Submitted by Westport Winery
At Westport Winery—home of the westernmost vineyard in Washington State—a modest error in trellising a new vineyard into a grape maze has created a unique musical experience. Winery co-owner, Kim Roberts said, “When we were laying out this vineyard the guys worked from both sides. Unfortunately, there was an extra post in the middle on one side. This left us with a funny short row that was unusable for planting grapes.”
Roberts connected the dots after one of the winery’s volunteers, Jim Flynn who has his own vineyard in Olympia, Washington, forwarded a video to Roberts about a musical fence in Winton, Australia. “At the same time I was converting the vineyard into an interactive grape maze, I was pondering where I could build a musical fence. The two components became symbiotic as one was the journey and the other the destination,” Roberts explained.
To construct the fence the Roberts family gathered ideas and components from friends who are musicians. “I wanted to make sure the fence would be fun for professional drummers and for kids.” The integrated instrument includes everything from galvanized cans to hard plastic fishing floats to used cymbals and lengths of pipe. The entire experience sits amid rows of Pinot Precoce and Muscat of Norway.
Kim Roberts’ husband and winery co-owner Blain, along with their winemaking son, Dana, worked together to build the outdoor instrument. “We invited musicians over to help us tune the fence but from the day we put up the signs, our guests found their way and played the fence throughout the day. It’s really music to our ears,” said Blain.
The winery’s general manager Carrie Roberts (the couple’s daughter) said, “We want our guests to have lots of reasons to visit often and bring their friends and family. With the tasting room, restaurant, bakery, nursery, outdoor sculpture garden and games, we’ve created a fun place for all ages.”
What’s in the future for the 2011 Washington Winery to Watch? Kim Roberts said, “Well, we’re pretty involved in the design and planting of our new arboretum right now, but we’ve also decided to create a space for an off-leash dog park.” Apparently, the canine participants in the winery’s Yappy Hour have asked for this amenity. “Our job is to find out what our guests want and give it to them. Even those with four feet.”
The 2013 Best in the Northwest Destination Winery is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Westport and Aberdeen. For more information, call Westport Winery at 360-648-2224.