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a trip to the loire valley

aug 2022

Market research never tasted so good. A trip to the Loire Valley was inspiring and invigorating, as we gear up for harvest in Eastern Washington.

Last month, my sister Lisa & I had the opportunity to visit with a variety of producers in the Loire Valley, France. We spent time in the vineyards, cellars, and caves of Domaine Lise et Bertrand Jousset and Les Capriades - known for their excellent pet-nat wines. Their winemakers Pascal Potaire and Moses Gadouche, are known as Kings of Pét-Nats, and are some of the top pét-nat producers not only in the Loire Valley, but in France as a whole.

a trip to the loire valley

Both producers generously allowed Lisa and I to taste over a dozen wines, many from tank and barrel, and several we disgorged on the spot for tasting. I was struck by their tremendous hospitality and generosity around knowledge sharing, in addition to the quality of some of the oldest pét-nats I have ever tasted.

a trip to the loire valley

I learned quite a lot about their processes, thoughts on aging wines, and their ways of identifying when wines are ready - and when they needed a little more time in the bottle. Many of the methods were very similar to what we are already doing with Pét Project. Inspired by this trip, I’m looking forward to making a few updates to our portfolio and cellar procedures this upcoming harvest, as we continue to develop our winemaking process.

a trip to the loire valley

outstanding in the field

jul 2022

Pét Project wines and Foundry Vineyards were invited to pour alongside renowned Seattle chef, Kristi Brown, at Outstanding in the Field’s long table. Sharing food, wine and stories was the perfect way to spend a summer evening near Seattle.

For the second summer in a row, we were lucky to be selected by Outstanding in the Field as a featured producer at one of their events. Outstanding in the Field is a radical alternative to the conventional dining experience, a “roving restaurant without walls”. Bringing the table to the farm, rather than the farm to the table, OITF creates thoughtful and stunning dining experiences all over the US, featuring local makers and producers, in their places of origin. Guests and producers sit down together at the long table to break bread and drink wine, featuring top chefs and artisan makers. It’s one of my favorite events to attend.

outstanding in the field

Last year during the Pacific Northwest tour, we poured at Pear Ridge, an orchard and vineyard we source grapes from in the Columbia River Gorge. This year, we got to pour a little bit closer to home at Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center- an organic community farm only 45 minutes from the Seattle Tasting Room on the Snoqualmie River in Carnation, Washington. They research and practice sustainable farming methods, grow food and native plants, and educate people of all ages about agriculture and the environment. As a fellow organic producer it was very interesting to learn about their approach to organic farming, and sustainable land management practices.

outstanding in the field

The chef for the evening was Chef Kristi Brown of That Brown Girl Cooks and Communion, two of Seattle’s lauded culinary hotspots. The menu was stunning, and such a treat to enjoy. For the reception we poured the Pet Project Orange Cuvée from magnums paired with small bites. Smoky grilled Olsen Farms pork belly bites in a slow-simmered plum wine berbere reduction. Watermelon gazpacho shooters with sweet Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center snap pea cream + Forage & Farm lilac sugar. Alvarez Farms mayocabo bean succotash shooters in crispy Degoede Farms lettuce cup with Forage & Farm hen of the woods & oyster mushrooms on Grand Central Bakery toasts.

We paired Foundry Vineyards wines with the rest of the meal- With the first course of fried Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center cabbage & collards with candied Olsen Farms bacon bits we paired the bright and fresh Foundry Vineyards White on White. For the second course the fire-roasted Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center beets with lemon thyme-braised Pacific Northwest-grown black lentils matched perfectly with the Foundry Vineyards 2019 Malbec. Finally the grilled Native Candy salmon over Vientiane Grocery Laotian sausage dirty rice and the 2019 Foundry Vineyards Syrah.

outstanding in the field

spring release happy hour

mar 2022

Start your “Spring Kick-off” weekend with us on Friday, April 1st (not an April Fool's prank- we promise! ) from 4 pm-7 pm

Foundry Vineyards Production Facility
735 N. 13th Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
enter on Pine St. (see map below)

Friday 4/1/22 from 4pm-7pm

Tickets are $35 - just 50 spots available.

spring release happy hour

This year we are doing something a little different to celebrate the release of our 2021 pét-nats. We would like to invite you to join us for a Happy Hour tasting at our production space. Come try our new sparkling Syrah, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Gris. We will also be pouring the recently released Muscat Ottonel, as well as a preview of our Estate Rosé pét nat. Hand-picked by our winery and tasting room staff, the rosé is a blend of Malbec and Cab Franc, the first of our estate grapes used for Pét Project. The grapes were co-fermented in neutral oak and only 75 magnums of this wine were produced. Each guest will have the opportunity to pre-purchase a bottle. Also, enjoy light snacks from Foodscape and Walla Walla Bread Co.

spring release happy hour

Foundry Vineyard’s production facility is located at 735 N. 13th Avenue Walla Walla, WA, on the corner of Pine St. and 13th Ave. To park, please enter the driveway from Pine Street. Do not park in the small lot on 13th. Please keep an eye out for Foundry staff for parking instructions.

spring release happy hour

jay's natural winemaking bookshelf

jan 2022

If you are into wine, farming, and the environment - or maybe you just want to know why other people are so interested in these things - these books are a great starting point.

This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive list but rather a grouping of books that share common themes. While taking different viewpoints, each author understands that our interaction with the land we farm has a profound impact on our food, wine, and ultimately the way we live. Each of these books has been helpful or inspirational to me as I consider how to improve my approach to working in the vineyard and the cellar.

jay's natural winemaking bookshelf

The One Straw Revolution - Fukuoka:

Part manual and part memoir, One Straw Revolution examines organic farming before it was called organic farming. Masanobu Fukuoka details his trials and errors farming the land in a simple, low-input way. He describes how he found himself integrating into his own ecosystem. This book is the epitome of working with, not against, the land. Stewardship, cooperation, and collaboration.

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations - Montgomery:

Soil is the root of everything - any farmer or grower will tell you that. The Erosion of Civilizations not only follows the history of soil health since the introduction of the plow, but also attributes the growth and decline of civilizations to farming practices. A need-to-read for understanding why no-till farming is important, and how to build topsoil health and fertility.

Uncultivated - Brennan:

The concepts in this book could scare a conventional, or even organic winemaker. Looking to the past as a source for cultivation styles, Uncultivated follows a cider maker and former artist in upstate NYC who was ultimately unsatisfied with organic farming. Instead of the “big effort” to make an organic orchard which involves destroying or removing many parts of the ecosystem, Andy Brennan instead planted a “forchard” (forest-orchard) on his homestead. He is best known for creating wild fermented regionally foraged ciders, with much of his production coming from his foraging efforts in the region.. Uncultivated reveals what is still possible without traditional cultivation methods (and P.S. inspired me to make a cider for Pét Project.)

jay's natural winemaking bookshelf

Adventures on the Wine Route:

A true expert in large-scale buying, Kermit’s story is about importing wine, and his discovery of what wines he truly enjoys- big shock- it’s natural wine. Tracking changes between generations of wine makers, this endlessly entertaining book provides a glimpse in the decision making of a formative leader in wine imports- showing us all that it’s actually okay to change our minds about those conventional wines we used to love.

Biodynamic, Organic & Natural Winemaking - Karlsson:

Possibly the most voraciously underlined and re-read book in my collection, Biodynamic, Organic & Natural Winemaking is a practical winemaking resource that helped me realize it was possible to make truly excellent, natural wines - and more importantly understand their risks/rewards. From specific biodynamic preparations, to recipes for experimental compost teas (delicious), this book is definitely a cover to cover read for a budding natural winemaker.

Natural Wine - Legeron:

Written by the founder of RAW Wine (catch us at the events this Spring in L.A. and New York) this book is like an encyclopedia- including technical wine making information, stories and experiences from producers around the world, regenerative vineyard management, and more. Also included is how to use medicinal vineyard plants, like the nettles we fermented to make a spray at our Estate this year. Almost a quarter of the book is a glossary of producers from around the world- which would inspire even the natural wine skeptic to create a to-do list of wineries to try.

jay's natural winemaking bookshelf
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