Foundry Vineyards: a family bond — iron clad
WALLA WALLA, Wash. — It all started with metal.
Mark Anderson founded the Walla Walla Foundry in 1980.
He has a studio arts degree from Whitman College, falling in love with contemporary art.
“To try to express an idea about politics, or the world, or about the environment,” he said. “Those are the things that I felt were engaging.”
His children, Lisa and Jay, also have art degrees. Along with his wife, the family runs the Foundry, producing art pieces designed by artists worldwide.
“I grew up with these internationally renowned artists at my dinner table,” Lisa Anderson said.
A few blocks from the metal facility sits the family’s tasting room.
“Really our slogan is art plus wine,” Lisa explained.
In 1998, Mark Anderson decided to plant some new seeds.
“Try to be connected to something that was happening in my hometown,” he said.
A small plot of grapes expanded over the next few years. By the mid 2000s, the Andersons released a series of Foundry Vineyards wines, now producing 2,500 cases a year.
“I like the labels,” one visiting taster said, gesturing to the vividly painted bottle designs.
The tasting room also serves as a gallery, art exhibits lining the walls, and metal sculptures from the Foundry gracing the outdoor courtyard.
“This one really becomes mesmerizing,” Lisa Anderson said, pointing up at towering metal creation.
The stainless steel object is called Azlon, designed by Anthony Howe, an artist featured in the Rio Olympics.
Swooping spires swirl in the wind, resembling a sea anemone-like flower.
“It moves with about seven miles per hour of wind if it’s going in the right direction,” Lisa said.
The Andersons are grateful to marry two passions, coming back to their local roots with the growing Walla Walla wine industry.
However, they also hold tightly to their niche, producing and displaying art across the United States, Europe, and Asia.
“The foundry isn’t one particular person, it’s now about 125 people,” Mark Anderson said. “Each one performing a task to the best of their ability.”
A family bond – iron clad.
“That’s unusual, and that’s a real blessing,” he said.