Handcrafted, Old World Style, Award Winning Wines
Established In 1981
Family-run Bitner Vineyards is home to some of the oldest blocks currently in production in the region. Their initial plantings of Riesling and Chardonnay have since grown to include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, and Viognier. Their fifteen acres of premium vinifera wine grapes flourish along the beautiful Snake River Valley in scenic Southwest Idaho.
Owners Ron and Mary Bitner have focused from the start to showcase Idaho wines at their very best and build up the wine-growing community in Idaho. They are devoted not only to creating award-winning wines, but to promoting sustainable and socially conscious practices such as LIVE Certification (the only certified Sustainable vineyard in Idaho), Bee Friendly Farming and hand harvesting.
Drawing on Ron’s background as a scientist, Bitner Vineyards takes a scientific and forward-thinking approach to their work, priding themselves on being Sustainably Grown, Patiently Crafted, and Innovatively Driven.
Bitner Vineyards values its reputation on being the only current LIVE (Low Input Vineyard and Enology) certified wine grapes, working to restore natural systems into Idaho viticulture. Bitner Vineyards is part of the solution to improving environmental conditions throughout all stages of wine growing.
Bitner Vineyards’ approach combines scientific research and decades of experience, producing outstanding quality and limited production. Their red wines average two years in the barrel and up to another year in the bottle, ensuring wine lovers are offered the very best and most delicate flavors preserved from harvest.
Bitner Vineyards’ wine stems from its founder’s reputation for a biodiversity-based approach to wine making and a passion for driving success through science. Ron has enlisted the help of scientists including geologists and climatologists to study the growing conditions in the region with the goal of helping current and future Idaho vineyards thrive.
Bitner Vineyards Story
(Watch This Short Video To Learn More)
Run by Ron, Bitner Vineyards is a family-owned business whose wine making is driven by three guiding principles:
Sustainably Grown, Patiently Crafted, Innovatively Driven.
Dr. Ron Bitner is a professional entomologist (www.pollination.com) who received his PhD in 1976 from Utah State University. His work with bees has allowed him to travel extensively, both nationally and internationally. The nine seasons he spent working in Australia inspired Bitner Vineyards’ plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz (as the Aussies say) to produce Australian style wines. Ron is currently the Intermountain Representative to the Wine America Board and President of the National Wine Grape Growers Association.
When Ron returned to Idaho after getting his PhD, he found a 15-acre property in the Sunny Slope area that overlooked the Snake River, which he bought solely for the incredible view. The property was located next to the region’s first wine maker, who explained to Ron that he had purchased a world-class site for growing Chardonnay grapes, due to the slopes, the soils, and the proximity to the river. Ron was intrigued and planted some Chardonnay and Riesling grapes in 1981, discovering that his neighbor was right – his crops flourished. An Australian consultant who visited his farm in the early 1990s pointed out the similarities between the Sunny Slope area in Idaho and a wine-growing region in Northern Spain and encouraged the Bitners to start growing red grapes as well.
Idaho has some of the most elevated vineyards in the country. Its short growing season, cool climate, and sloping hills lead to a concentrated flavor in the grapes – this results in beautifully flavored red and white wines. As a native of Idaho, Ron was surprised to discover that it was an undiscovered gem when it comes to wine making and excited to be one of the first of a new wave of wine makers to build up its wine making culture and reputation. In 1997, he spearheaded a group to start Idaho’s first AVA – American Viticulture Area, proving that Idaho’s wine making region was unique and different from other areas on earth. Now, winemakers are able to list Idaho as the region of origin if 95% of the grapes come from the area.
Bitner Vineyard Segment
(Watch This Short Video To Learn More)
Take a stroll through a Vineyard, Bitner Vineyard, located in Caldwell, Idaho. Show host and producer, Rebecca Evans, had a chance to not only sample some world renowned wines, but also was able to talk with Rob Bitner and share his story – from bees to Australia to wine. He has definitely helped shape the Idaho Wine community and also gives back to our community through education.
Bitner Vineyards is only LIVE certified winery in Idaho
As an integrated pest management specialist, Ron understands the practical use of beneficial insects in the control of pests. In 2014, Bitner Vineyards became the first and only Idaho vineyard to receive a LIVE (Low Input Vineyard and Enology) certification. Our vineyard uses only soft chemicals when needed and take proper care of the soils, water, and habitat being mindful of the birds, animals, workers and the community. Ron Bitner grew up working on both small farms and some of the biggest farms in the United States. During his time working in big agriculture, Ron found that most of the standard practices involved the use of chemicals. After leaving big agriculture, Ron started paying more attention to the soil. In 2013, he went to a seminar on low-input viticulture and he learned how to take better care of the soil and the water, and how to get away from spraying. Instead of using chemicals, they use mechanical equipment and hand-pull weeds. Bitner Vineyards employs a biodiversity-based approach to their growing practices. Ron applies his entomologist background to the way he cares for his grapes and deals with insects, allowing beneficial insects to thrive and reducing the use of pesticides.
Bee Friendly Farming
Ron believes in taking care of the land through responsible stewardship and passing it down to future generations.
In addition to his environmental responsibility, Ron is dedicated to taking a socially equitable approach to their work, treating their workers fairly and with respect. In 2005, they founded a scholarship fund for Hispanic students at the College of Idaho as a way to give back to the Hispanic community who are so important to agriculture in Idaho.
Medals & Ratings
San Francisco Wine Competition 2022
GOLD / Tempranillo Erlexte 2018
SILVER / Dry Riesling 2020
SILVER / Petit Verdot / Merlot 2018
San Francisco Wine Competition 2021
GOLD / Dry Riesling 2019
GOLD | Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, 11/2020 / Petit Verdot / Merlot 2016
Rated “OUTSTANDING” by Great Northwest Wine Review, 1/2021 / Petit Verdot Merlot 2016
While Syrah, Tempranillo, and Malbec are rightfully viewed as the red varieties that producers in Idaho’s Snake River Valley are most bullish on, Petit Verdot recently became part of that discussion. In fact, a Petit Verdot was selected by a panel of judges from beyond the Gem State as the best red wine at the 2019 Idaho Wine Competition. Greg Koenig, the longtime winemaker for the Bitner family, uses the traditional Bordeaux blender as the lead — 71% — of this bottling. A concentration of earth and terroir welcome you and tie you in with a Crayola box and violets. Dark brambly fruit that moves right into black tea, cassis and a hint of mint. This wine is tightly wound with tannin and backbone and will age nicely with the bright acidity that streams through it. Potentially a lamb ragu would take the edge to a really interesting place.
PLATINUM |Wine Press NW 21st Platinum Judging, Winter 2020 / Syrah Reserve 2016
Retired bee biologist Ron Bitner jokingly refers to the skills of winemaker Greg Koenig as his “retirement plan.” Well, what’s left of these five barrels of Syrah should move quickly after news of this Platinum drops, which is the fifth that Koenig has delivered to this Sunnyslope Wine District property in the past three years. Big, juicy and spicy, this savory Syrah packs a punch with ripe blackberry and follows with a drizzle of chocolate for round and structured wine (113 cases, 14% Alc). Award: Cascadia International Wine Competition (gold).
PLATINUM |Wine Press NW 21st Platinum Judging, Winter 2020 / Chardonnay Reserve 2019
When Ron Bitner first entered the Idaho wine industry in the early 1980s, legend has it that he didn’t know Chardonnay was a grape. Thanks in part to Greg Koenig – the dean of Idaho winemakers – this Caldwell, Idaho winery is pouring some of the Northwest’s best. While there’s significant oak to the rich profile, it’s more along the lines of pineapple upside-down cake and flan rather than toast. There is a discreet note of jasmine, and a slice of Buddha’s Hand citrus adds delicious acidity and makes this incredibly well-balanced. (116 cases – 13.2% alc) Award: Idaho Wine Competition (gold).
91 Points |James Suckling/ Mi Terra 2013
A ripe, savory, and earthy red that has a marvelous, supple texture, in spite of having a solid tannic base. This has now matured to ideal drinking form. Where is that big beef stew? Drink now.
90 Points |James Suckling / Mi Terra 2014
Quite ripe fruit and hints of caramel, milk chocolate, and wood. Fleshy and ripe with delicious fruit and round, easy tannins. 67% Syrah and 33% Petit Verdot. Drink or hold.
92 Points |James Suckling/ Terrosa 2015
Beautiful aromas of wild black raspberries and spices. Juicy and full on the palate with some fun verve carrying through on the rich finish. Some orange peel and Earl Grey tea, too. A blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Petit Verdot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink or hold.
91 Points | James Suckling / Dry Riesling 2017
Intense green papaya, wet rock, and lemon zest with some marzipan. Slightly sweet. The bright acidity is excellent, as is wet stone, lemon rind, and suggestion of cantaloupe at the finish. Bitter-lemon aftertaste. Drink now.
90 Points & Editor’s Choice | Wine Enthusiast, 5/1/19 / Dry Riesling 2017
The aromas are vibrant, with notes of apricot, tangerine peel, and flower. It drinks off-dry, with bright acidity, exquisite balance, and a lengthy finish. Delicious stuff.
PLATINUM | Wine Press NW 20th Platinum Judging, Winter 2019 / Dry Riesling 2017
While some of Washington’s oldest and most prized plantings of Riesling have been taken out of production, Ron Bitner’s circa 1981 vineyard has emerged as the source for one of the Northwest’s top examples. Much of that credit goes to homegrown winemaker Greg Koenig, and he’s delivered a delicious enticement for those who claim they don’t like Riesling. Green apple taffy and peachy aromas lead to an intensely rich drink of stone fruit with a lick of candy corn. Its natural acidity makes it quite remarkable and consumer-friendly. (100 cases, 13.2% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (double gold).
PLATINUM | Wine Press NW 20th Platinum Judging, Winter 2019 | Dry Riesling 2016
No other Riesling producer matched the two Platinum performances posted by Bitner Vineyards in Caldwell, Idaho, and Greg Koenig left this 2016 edition for Ron Bitner with just a touch more residual sugar. It hits on an enticing array of white peach and tropical notes as delicious lemon/lime acidity hangs on through the long finish of kiwi. (101 cases, 13.2% alc.) Award: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (gold)
PLATINUM | Wine Press NW 19th Platinum Judging, Winter 2019 | Tempranillo Erlexte 2015
Retired bee biologist Ron Bitner is among the champions in Idaho for the early-ripening Spanish red grape, and his proprietary name for this marquee bottling of Tempranillo pulls from the Basque term “beehive.” His longtime winemaker and friend, Greg Koenig, worked with Dale Jeffers fruit from the breadbasket that is Skyline Vineyards for an incredibly complex and spicy Tempranillo. It’s loaded with blackberry and black cherry, cured meat and coffee notes that trail off with a long savory element. (234 cases, 14%alc.) Award: Idaho Wine Competition (Gold).
90 Points | Wine Enthusiast 12/31/17 | / Merlot / Petit Verdot 2012
A 60 / 40 split of two varieties, this wine brings aromas of soil, citrus peel, and wood spice. The palate delivers a firm handshake of tannins and fruit flavor brightened by tart acidity.
Bitner Vineyards 2013.Canyon County Farm Family 2nd Edition
(Watch This Short Video To Learn More)
We profile Ron & Mary Bitner…selected this year as Canyon County Farm Family of the Year. They operate a small vineyard in Canyon County, Idaho.
Harvesting Tempranillo K.P. Martin Vineyards
WINE SHIPMENTS PURCHASED BY THURSDAY WILL SHIP OUT THE FOLLOWING MONDAY OR TUESDAY.
Estate Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 2002.
Bitner Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Library Wines | 1996 – 2014
Thank you for considering Bitner Vineyards Wine Club!
Bitner Vineyards is a premier destination for connoisseurs of fine wine. Our small production wines (1,200-1,500 cases a year) are highly sought after. Membership is limited and includes access to our tasting room and intimate patio with a spectacular view. We are the first LIVE-certified vineyard in Idaho. As a member, you will invest in quality wine crafted by a producer who cares about sustainability and the environment.
• The tasting room and patio are available to wine club members only and their guests.
• Complimentary wine flights ($15.00 per wine flight). Bring a picnic to enjoy on the patio with your wine flights.
• 15% bottle discount / 20% case discount / Merchandise discount.
• First access to our newest releases as well as membership-only and library wines.
• First access to special promotions and events throughout the year.
• Membership is a minimum of 3 consecutive releases. Cancellations and changes must be received by email.
• Wine release pick-up must be claimed within 90 days of the charge. Unclaimed wine may result in a wine change.
• We reserve the right to request additional information, to reject any application, or to cancel any membership.
BODEGAS – CELLARS CLUB (12 BOTTLES)
• Receive 12 bottles, 4 times a year.
• 15% bottle discount, 25% off case discount, 15% library wine discount.
• 14 complimentary wine flights a year.
• Bodegas Mix (6 white wines & 6 red wines) $285 – $325 / Bodegas Reds (12 red wines) $335 – $440
PRIMO CLUB (6 BOTTLES)
• Receive 6 bottles 4 times a year.
• 15% bottle discount, 20% case discount, 10% library wine discount.
• 10 Complimentary Wine Flights per year.
• Primo Mix (3 white wines & 3 red wines) $145 – $170 | Primo Reds (6 red wines) $170 – $205
RESERVA CLUB (4 BOTTLES)
• Receive 4 bottles; 4 times a year.
• 15% bottle discount, 20% case discount, 5% library wine discount.
• 8 Complimentary Wine Flights per year.
• Price Range: Reserva Mix (2 white wines & 2 red wines) $85 – $105 | Reserva Reds (4 red wines) $110 – $145
CLASSICO CLUB (2 BOTTLES)
• Receive 2 bottles; 4 times a year.
• 15% bottle discount, 20% case discount, access to library wine.
• 8 Complimentary Wine Flights per year.
• Price Range: Classico Mix (1 white wine & 1 red wine) $45 – $60 | Classico Reds (2 red wines) $55 – $75 | Classico Whites (2 white wines) $35 – $45
Tasting Room Hours:
Friday / Saturday / Sunday
(12pm – 5:00pm)
We are open for outdoor seated wine flights for members only and their guests (groups of 4 or less).
Seating is limited and reservations are required.
Wine Club Member News
View of the tasting room in the fall.
WINE CLUB MEMBERS (IDAHO & CALIFORNIA) ACCESS YOUR MEMBER ACCOUNT
The Members Account allows you to view your wine account, purchase wine, update credit card and account information.
Wine Club Tab > Members Sign In (Idaho & California) > Login: email address > Update password > View Wine Order History
A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve hanging with his younger siblings.
Wine Club Newsletter
Club Member Events
16645 Plum Road
Caldwell, Idaho 83607
Ph: (208) 455-1870
Email: [email protected]
TASTING ROOM HOURS
Fri: 12pm – 5pm
Sat: 12pm – 5pm
Sun: 12pm – 5pm
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