The Snake River Valley (SRV) American Viticulture Area (AVA), which encompasses a large area in Southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon is defined by the boundary of the now dry, 4 million-year- old Lake Idaho. The Snake River flows through the center of the SRV AVA and is the backbone of the territory. The soils that are contained within the old lake define the terroir of the AVA.
The unique combination of geography, climate and soils found in Idaho's vineyards can produce grapes with unique varietal character. From vintage to vintage, we seek out grapes from specific vineyards in the Snake River Valley and Columbia Valley that we not only think are exciting, but that show amazing character to differentiate our wines.
Sawtooth vineyard is the place to find the unconventional grape varietals that we love to love. The vineyard is located on a beautiful slope that overlooks Skyline Vineyard below and has a nice, hot micro-climate. We have sourced Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, Riesling, and Petit Verdot from this vineyard. The vineyard managers do a great job balancing the grape canopy and harvesting the right amount of fruit to elevate wine quality.
Skyline Vineyard is located on a relatively flat plateau with varied slopes below Sawtooth vineyard and winery. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It’s an impressive operation for Idaho wine lovers. It has some great hot spots that fuel the temperatures needed for our Syrah and random whites we expirament with. The owners manage vineyards in Washington and know the ins and outs of proper vineyard management and grape care.
The Williamson Family is perhaps best known for its many fruit orchards in the Snake River Valley. This beautiful vineyard has a great view of the Snake River, and has provided us some fantastic grapes. They are known across the valley for their peaches and their very popular fruit stand, and they are now in the wine business as growers and producers. We get mourvedre from this vineyard that has a wonderful peppery flavor that we love.
Born from pestilence and debauchery, fire and brimstone, Jed Glavin and Laura Hefner-Glavin are the conviction behind Split Rail Winery. Boone Glavin, the surly gentlemen in the middle, is our private consultant and debonair. We began our wine exploits by pairing crappy wines with cheap food during our impoverished years together at college. As we charged through the years, our dedication to exploring new foods married beautifully with an interest in wine. Finding and tasting new grape varietals and learning about the rich history of wine-making became an obsession.
We dig wine, we love Idaho, we grew up in a farming community and so we figured what the hell, lets make some wine (in Idaho). That to us is a beautiful story, based on love and driven by heartache.
In its most basic sense, Split Rail Winery emerged from a fervent belief in supporting local agriculture and creating local products, exploring new wines and a new wine style, and an unfettered love for drinking, eating and debauchery. We invite you to consume either with or without us
Jed Glavin is the mind behind Split Rail wines. Jed learned the process of winemaking in the confines of his garage and through years of making expensive mistakes. Fermenting grapes from Walla Walla struck a chord of intrigue that blossomed into a hard-core passion project. His previous life as an urban planner creating sustainable, livable, and environmentally-friendly communities drove him to creating space, place and, well, wine. Aside from his professional ventures, he dances to 80’s revival and couture techno-pop music, loves synthesizers, dreams of mountaineering, thinks incessantly about global travel, is a skiing philanthropist, reads the occasional beatnik poem, and is an accomplished grower of both vegetable and weeds (thistle). His favorite wine is beer.
The Name: Split Rail
The fence. We once installed a fence; a split rail fence to boot. The sweat and blood that we dumped into the soil of the fence post holes had an undying significance. Now, vines and weeds grow across the fence and the wood has turned to a prehistoric grey. It stands as a philosophical margin that reminds us of the west. It defines the desert landscape that radiates behind it. Our wines arose from the soil and conviction of these landscapes.
Dedicating our wine to the fence allows us to make the desert landscapes of the west drinkable. It is our goal to make everything drinkable in a sentient sort of way. Help us consume all that is temporal.