Eat, drink and be merry. That’s the perfect slogan for the Sunnyslope Wine Trail, and one of its participants that perfectly embodies this lifestyle is Parma Ridge Winery & Bistro. Known for delectable food and even better wine, Parma Ridge has been captivating citizens of the Treasure Valley for the past seven years.
Parma Ridge’s story begins in 1998, when Dick and Shirley Dickstein planted grapes on their property. The Dickstein's quickly caught the wine bug, wanting to produce their own vintages. After purchasing the proper equipment and building a small winery, they began selling wine at local stores and in their facility in the early 2000’s.
Nearing retirement age, Dick quickly realized his new hobby was going to require more work and time than he was able to put in. That’s where Storm and Stephanie Hodge come in. With over 20 years of culinary experience, Storm found the property listing online, and the couple decided to move to Idaho and build upon the success of the Dickstein family.
“From day one, we knew we wanted to have great wine, but we also wanted great food,”
Stephanie explained. “We had to go through the Health Department and put in a good amount of work for all those processes, so we decided to have a larger menu than we originally planned.”
Instead of simply offering charcuterie boards and appetizers, the Hodge’s put Storm’s skill to use and offered sliders and sandwiches as well. Receiving incredible feedback from customers, they continued to expand the menu.
“A lot of the local customers were really intrigued and impressed by our food. So we expanded the menu based on our feedback from customers, what they love, and what Storm is good at,” Stephanie said. “You can come out and do a wine tasting, and you can also enjoy an appetizer or dinner, and that’s really fun.”
While improving their food, the Hodges refused to sacrifice the quality of their wine, intriguing customers across the Treasure Valley. While working in the culinary industry in Washington, Storm learned the in’s and out’s of wine production from a fellow winemaker. Stephanie explained that the older and more popular Parma Ridge Winery & Bistro has become, the more their wine has improved.
“One of the things that has changed since we first opened is having an inventory and having the ability to age our wine as long as we wanted to,” Stephanie explained. “The recent wines we’ve won awards for have truly showcased our work.”
One of the several award-winning wineries on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail, Parma Ridge Winery & Bistro received incredible recognition at the 2022 Idaho Wine Competition. Their 2019 Petit Verdot won best of class and a double gold medal, 2021 Gewürztraminer received a double gold medal, and the 2019 Syrah won a gold medal.
“The Idaho Wine Competition is one that we’ve always participated in, and it was so exciting to be recognized for the quality of our wine because we’ve had a lot of customers that have always recognized our quality,” Stephanie said.
It is to those customers and the community of the Sunnyslope Wine Trail that the Hodge’s attribute a piece of their success. Stephanie explained the camaraderie and promotion offered by the trail has greatly added to their experience as business owners.
“Many times we have customers tasting the trail, so people will come from Koenig Winery or Huston Vineyards, and they want to taste and have lunch or dinner,” Stphanie explained. “It’s really been a lot of fun because it has helped make us a destination for people.”
As they continue to receive more recognition and grow their business, the Hodges want to continue that unyielding quality and commitment to customers that they’ve had since the beginning.
“We’re really just trying to do the best we can to improve our craft and not get diluted in other things,” Stephanie said. “Our plan is pretty straight-forward: we want to create a really fun environment and to continue to improve on our quality.”
So the next time you want to sit outside, sipping on a smooth glass of wine, or feast on a smoky pulled pork sandwich, head over to Parma Ridge Winery & Bistro and know the voice behind the vine.
All photos courtesy of Parma Ridge Winery & Bistro Facebook