Submitted by Westport Winery
Westport Winery earned the Best of Class award for their 2014 vintage of Mermaid’s Merlot at the West Coast Wine Competition held in Windsor, California, on February 6 and 7. For Westport this is a significant indication of the continuity and quality of their wines from year to year, as the previous vintage of Mermaid was ranked the number one Bordeaux wine under $30 in the Northwest in 2016 by Wine Press Northwest.
Director of Winemaking and co-owner of the resort, Dana Roberts said, “Our family has worked diligently for the past few years to solidify our grape sourcing with the top growers in the state. The result of this collaboration and partnership is our ability to provide our guests with top award-winning selections from any of our thirty-four wines and two hard ciders.” All Merlot grapes in this vintage were harvested within the Yakima Valley AVA, with 69% from Red Willow Vineyard, 30% from Two Blondes Vineyard, and 1% Syrah from Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
In their tasting notes, Mermaid is described as “an enchanting floral bouquet with refreshing red fruit.” In their restaurant, the Roberts’ family recommends this wine be served with their char-broiled Kalbi beef ribs. In addition to food pairings, they uniquely offer music pairings as well, in this case, the song Landslide by Stevie Nicks. Each of Westport’s labels benefits a different local charity with a portion of the proceeds from this wine dedicated to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Grays Harbor. This is a charity about which they are most passionate since Dana’s sister and business partner, Carrie, the winery’s general manager and cidermaker, is a leukemia survivor. Their mother and business partner, Kim Roberts, a former Washington wine commissioner, is currently undergoing treatment for fallopian cancer.
Shorebird Chardonnay earned a gold medal at this competition with grapes from Connor-Lee Vineyard located near Othello, in the Columbia Valley AVA. A portion of the proceeds from this wine is devoted to the Grays Harbor Audubon Society. In their restaurant, it is recommended that this unoaked Chardonnay, described as “sophisticated, starbursts, clean and crisp” be enjoyed with fresh pan-fried oysters grown locally by their neighbors at Brady’s. The more modern music pairing with the song How I Feel by Flo Rida exemplifies the family’s unusual take on the wine business. Co-owner Blain Roberts said, “We think wine should be fun. Something to be enjoyed with your favorite foods, your favorite friends, and your favorite music. Beyond that, we don’t dictate a lot of rules.” The previous vintage of this wine earned Best of Class at the 2016 Savor NW wine competition, again, highlighting the winery’s commitment to continuity from vintage to vintage.
Additionally, each wine is commemorated in the gardens with sculptures created by local artists. Lisa Humbyrd Murphy welded the Mermaid sculpture located in the winery’s four-tiered Meditation Garden. Mike Peterson created the Shorebird sculpture located next to the winery’s 7.5KW solar array. The Mermaid label is a photograph by Blain Roberts. The Shorebird label is a watercolor by his surfing partner Darryl Easter.
In 2016 Westport Winery was honored as one of the top twenty most admired wineries in North America by Winery & Vineyard Management Magazine. It was named 2011 Washington Winery to Watch by Wine Press Northwest. They have been voted Best Winery by King 5 Evening Magazine six times. They were named the Best Washington Family Business Silver Medal winners in 2012, received the Grays Harbor Environmental Stewardship Award in 2015, and were name Best Winery, Best Wine Shop, and Best Boutique Winery for 2016 by South Sound Magazine.
Family-friendly Westport Winery Garden Resort, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. The resort (including the restaurant, bakery, plant nursery and 15-acre display garden) is open daily or breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Westport Winery’s second location, TASTING @ Cannon Beach, is located at 255 N. Hemlock. The Oregon tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or reservations call 360-648-2224.