The bottle as a mystic portal

Photography by Colby Kuschatka


Article by Peter Musolf

Appeared in Walla Wala Lifestyles (November 2010)


To begin with, an old truth: wine is more than wine. The “how” or the “why” is mysterious, but wine, especially the detailed, intimate wine we enjoy in the Valley, resists reduction to chemistry or terroir. As a rose surpasses its color and shape, as a poem transcends its words and rhythm, so too can wine take on meaning beyond its origins, give insight beyond the buzz.

This is the charm of wine, available to each of us. Even so, rarely have I met anyone in whose life wine — this wine that is more than wine — abides more powerfully than  Ian Boyden.

The Walla Walla sculptor, painter and maker of fascinating, multiform objects known as artists' books inherited a degree of this oenophilia from his parents, who raised him at the fulcrum of a convivial Oregon art community. One memorably vinous visitor back then was a Buddhist monk from San Francisco. Perhaps with him, Boyden reflects, began the path that eventually led to his remarkable fall 2009 show of paintings at Seven Hills Winery.

The trail wound first through study stints in China and Japan. It climbed into graduate work in Asian art and traversed an elemental love of nature. Finally, it opened onto the wine universe of Walla Walla.


Read the entire article here.