Flying into the Pullman Moscow Regional Airport. My trip to Idaho is courtesy of the North Central Idaho Travel Association.
MOSCOW, Ida.--This is the Palouse, some of the world's richest farmland. Those colors? Wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, mustard seed. The land is as carefully groomed as a golf course by tractors and combines with self-leveling cabs. The payoff is huge: 100 bushels of wheat an acre, twice the national average. The Palouse is such valuable farmland that every inch of its soil grows something other than houses (the fate of many rural landscapes).
Half a dozen wineries on the agenda here in the course of a two-day visit. Grapes from the Washington side of the border (Wahluke Slope, Walla Walla) as well as the about-to-be designated Lewis-Clark Valley AVA along the Potlatch River (also known as Colter's Creek) on the Idaho side. Used to be, the Big City here was Spokane; no more. Now it's Boise, but that's a five-hour trip down the Snake River Canyon. A spectacular drive, we're told, but it will have to wait.
Meantime, visits with growers and chefs in the twin college towns (WSU in Pullman, University of Idaho here). Tasting notes to follow.