Saturday, February 7, 2009

Foundry Vineyards An Artistic Adventure

Last week’s blast of Chinook wind gave me the energy to get out and visit some wineries.

One noteworthy place that I visited was Foundry Vineyards in Walla Walla. The Walla Walla Foundry is a fabulous place where some of the world’s most renowned sculptors come to have their works bronzed. Walking onto their grounds is like walking into an art museum. Absolutely beautiful sculptures by Deborah Butterfield, glass works from Dale Chihuly, and paintings by today’s great artists adorn the entire campus.

One block away from the actual foundry at 13th and Abadie is the nearly equally adorned Foundry Vineyards Tasting Room. It is comfortably snuggled on the same block with Whitman, Amavi, and Canoe Ridge.

Jennifer, the tasting room manager shared with me six wines by their winemaker Mark Anderson. Overall, I found the wines to be as delightful and artistic in nature, much like the environment of the tasting room.

The White on White 2006 vintage is a very pair-able wine of Semillon and Chardonnay. It starts with floral notes, and leads to mineral and fresh lime juice on the finish. I would highly recommend this with a nice Ceviche or Pad Thai.

Second I tried the 2007 White on White. This wine had a completely different flavor palate, with a makeup of 70 percent Chardonnay and 30 percent Viognier. I loved the pear and apple salad flavors in this wine.

The 2005 Red Wine features all Walla Walla Valley fruit. If you like a nice, fruit forward red then this is what you want. Flavors of black cherry jam, vanilla, and black pepper fill the palate.

I enjoyed the 2006 Merlot for having somewhat the same qualities. It is nicely balanced with Blackberries, Vanilla, and a nice warmth from the alcohol that balances the tannin.

The 2006 Artisan Blend was probably the most elegant of the Foundry wines. A nice blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. It features a rich mouthfeel, with flavors of plum, raspberries, and white and black peppercorns.

My favorite wine of the visit was the 2003 Stonemarker Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. I love interesting wines, and this is one that I had to buy to take home to lay down. My first impression of the newly opened bottle was canned oysters, smoke, and leather. As the Cabernet opened up, the flavors became even more layered with asparagus, plum, and spice box. As interesting as the wine on the inside, I was also impressed with the label design, which is itself a great work of art by renowned painter Jim Dine.

I hope that you have the opportunity to get out and make a visit to Foundry Vineyards and their neighbors soon. When you do, make sure to take time to look around and enjoy!


  1. The Artisan blend is smooth ... where can we get it in Pendleton?

  2. At this point it is not available in Umatilla County. I would suggest asking Ken or Carrol at Great Pacific to ask their distributors to try and bring it in. I think the winery would be happy to oblige.

  3. Hi, My name is Jennifer, and I am the Sales and Marketing Director for Foundry Vineyards. I am hoping to make the drive to Pendleton next week to talk to Great Pacific, and some of the restaurants about carrying our wines. Check back to our website to know where we are carried! Also, wines can be shipped directly to you.

  4. Great Jennifer! I hope to see your wines sold there in town, as well as Hermiston if you can make it there. I know that Farmer's Kitchen and Bellingers would probably love to see you as well!


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