PARMA, Idaho — Countless celebrations of wine worldwide have been lost to the pandemic during the 2020 vintage, but the Idaho Wine Commission is directing a new production called UnWined at the Drive-In, using a big screen in the Snake River Valley as a backdrop.
On Thursday, Aug. 27, five Idaho wineries will meet at the historic Parma Motor-Vu Drive-In northwest of Boise and pour for 90 minutes ahead of sunset. At nightfall, the Motor-Vu will begin showing Sideways – the 2004 dram-com that championed Pinot Noir, did a disservice to Merlot and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2005.
“We jumped at the chance to participate in this event because we feel strongly that Idaho wines have always been about celebrating our community and collaborating with local businesses,” Crystal Potter, co-owner of Potter Wines in Boise, told Great Northwest Wine via email. “Under current circumstances, it’s more important than ever to find ways to be together, show support for one another, drink amazing Idaho wines and have a great time doing it!”
Dolsby in 12th year as leader of Idaho wine industry
The announcement came directly from the email account of Moya Dolsby, executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission.
“Our entire team was brainstorming on what we could do safely,” Dolsby said. “We used to have the event UnWined, and we did it at a local theater. That’s when we landed on the drive-in.”
“We are only having five wineries because of limited space,” said Dolsby, who is in her 12th at the helm of the Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission after spending four years as events manager for the Washington State Wine Commission. “We didn’t want it too crowded. We thought this would be a fun event and a safe activity people could do while having a glass of Idaho wine.”
Parma Ridge Winery will enjoy a home field advantage being less than 10 minutes from the second-generation Motor-Vu, but the evening is expected to pull a few wine lovers out of Boise about 40 miles away.
Wine commission promotes masks at public pouring
This year, the Idaho Wine Commission was unable to stage its signature consumer event – Savor Idaho – because of the pandemic, so UnWined at the Drive-In will be a way to not only promote a handful of members but also generate some funds for the state agency.
Admission is just $10 per car, and all wine sales will be inside the fence of the Parma Motor-Vu, which opened as a drive-in in 1953. For those who want to purchase wine by the glass, the Idaho Wine Commission will sell reusable plastic GoVino wine glasses for $15. That glass also is good for a complimentary five-ounce pour from one of the participating wineries.
The commission also is urging each wine lover to don a face mask during the Motor-Vu public pouring.
“When you approach winery tables or other groups of people, it is important to wear your mask to keep everyone, including our winery staff, safe & healthy!”
And it’s especially fitting to have longtime winemaker Angela Shaltry showcasing her new W2 project at the Motor-Vu. A cancer survivor, Shaltry tells the story of how her ah-hah moment with wine came in 2000 via Sanford Winery 1998 Pinot Noir, a revered producer in Santa Barbara – the region in California that served as the setting for Sideways.
Shaltry worked as an assistant winemaker for famed Napa Valley producer Helen Turley prior to returning home to Boise and launching Périple Wines with Pinot Noir from the Russian River. Under W2, she’s now championing Pinot Noir grown in Oregon.