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Couple opens new winery in Buhl

Chateau DNA Vineyard and Winery comes to life

Owner Dale Lewis talks about the vineyard Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at the Chateau DNA Vineyard and Winery west of Buhl. Lewis and his wife Aileen saw the property for sale while on a road trip last fall. With a chuckle Lewis mentioned that they didn't buy any postcards, but they bought a winery.

BUHL — Dale and Aileen Lewis never planned on buying a winery, but it happened last year during a 20-day road trip.

“We didn’t buy any postcards or anything on the trip,” Dale said. “But, we bought this winery.”

The couple, originally from Seattle, purchased the previously named Snyder Winery in Buhl and changed it to Chateau DNA Vineyard & Winery.

“DNA is Dale and Aileen,” Aileen said. “It’s been our gmail address for 20 years.”

The couple has spent more than five months renovating the space and making repairs. The previous owner had used the winery as a RV park and Airbnb.

Dale and Aileen are preparing to open sometime around the Fourth of July weekend. Right now the couple is not permitted to operate on Sundays, which Fourth of July falls on this year. They are working with the city and county government to extend their days of operation.

Thousands of fire-damaged trees are being removed at a cost of millions of dollars in the wake of Napa County wildfires.

There are 32 wineries in Idaho, including Chateau DNA. Aileen said local wine makers have been willing to share advice and tips.

The couple retired from King County government in Washington State where Dale worked as a safety director and Aileen was in human resources.

“We love people,” Aileen said. “We are people people.”

Chateau DNA will not have a day-to-day restaurant but will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. for wine service.

Other events such as ladies night, taco Tuesday, holiday events, ballroom dance lessons, music on the lawn, and Thursday Night Football are also part of Aileen’s plans. The winery will also serve as a venue for one wedding a month, and they already have some dates booked for 2021.

“We want to do a lot of events for the community and us together, and still take maybe a day off and go explore,” Aileen said.

Because of the current influx of people to Idaho, she hopes local governments will help small businesses get off the ground. The permit and licensing process has taken almost six months and pushed back the grand opening, she said.

“Whether it’s a beauty salon or a hair shop or a florist, we would like to see more support from the government agencies, the city and county, to support the businesses in a fast process,” Aileen said.

Anyone interested in visiting the winery can check their website, chateaudnavineyardandwinery.com for updates.

“This is ours,” Aileen said. ‘We are so excited and blessed with this opportunity to do what we like. Dale’s passion is wine.”

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