Winery History

  • Feb 24, 2021

    1916

    George and Irene Nichols sell their farm in Ilo, Idaho (present day Craigmont) and purchase the farm that is now home to Clearwater Canyon Cellars.  They want their four children, Gladys, Bernice, Helen and Ralph (Coco’s grandfather) to have more educational opportunities available to them.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    1920

    George Nichols dies of a ruptured appendix at the age of 46.  Irene continued to manage the farm through the depression while raising four children. National Prohibition sweeps across the United States.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    1936

    Ralph takes over management of the farm after graduating from college at Lewiston Normal School.  He expands the farm by adding a herd of purebred Hereford cattle.  He and his wife Bonnie have four children, Ralph Jr., Gary, Mary (Coco’s mom) and Linda.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2003

    The first vines are planted on the farm by Karl and Coco with the help Grandpa Ralph’s tractor skills.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2004

    Coco and Karl are married. Grandpa Ralph decides the vineyard should be named Umiker Vineyard.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2004

    Clearwater Canyon is started by Coco and Karl and 3 other couples who want to see the wine industry resume in the Lewis-Clark Valley. Our first wine was 100 cases of 2004 Renaissance Red produced in a garage in the Lewiston Orchards.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2005

    The first grapes (Merlot) from Umiker Vineyard are harvested. The resulting wine is the first to be grown and produced in the Lewis-Clark Valley from vitis vinifera (European) grapes since prohibition.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2007

     

    Clearwater Canyon moves to the Port of Lewiston.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2010

    Coco and Karl buy out their partners. We are all still friends! 

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2011

    Ralph passes at the age of 96, having lived 95 of those years on the farm. Coco completes her PhD at WSU in the wine program and continues teaching at LCSC. Karl leaves his position at University of Idaho to focus on vineyard and winery management.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2012

    Coco leaves her teaching position at Lewis-Clark State College to join Karl in focusing 100% of their energy on taking Clearwater Canyon Cellars to the next level!

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2015

    Clearwater Canyon is named Idaho Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2016

    Winery Constructed at Umiker Vineyard making Clearwater Canyon Cellars an Estate Vineyard and Winery on the 100th anniversary of the family farm! 

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2016

    Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) is designated.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2016

    The Idaho Department of Agriculture presents an Idaho Century Farm award to the family farm (the plaque proudly hangs in our tasting room).

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2017

    Clearwater Canyon makes the ‘King of Platinum’ list after receiving a tenth Platinum medal in Wine Press Northwest’s Annual Platinum Judging.  The tenth Platinum received was for the 2014 Coco’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Lewis-Clark Valley.

  • Feb 24, 2021

    2020

    Named Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest!