Submitted by Westport Winery
The spirit production building for Ocean’s Daughter Distillery, a subsidiary of Westport Winery, was destroyed by fire Saturday, May 15. The Roberts family who owns the business and live on the property were alerted of the fire by drivers on SR 105 at 10:57 p.m.
One of those people who called the fire in to 9-1-1 was a winery employee passing by on her way home from an evening with friends. She pounded on winery co-owner Carrie Roberts door to notify her of the disheartening scene. Another good Samaritan pulled into the winery’s commercial entrance and began fighting the fire with a garden hose. He prevented the adjacent winery production building and the company’s harvest cargo trailer from catching fire.
South Beach Regional Fire District responded and fought the fire for several hours. The pole building was completely destroyed. It contained the business’s still, all their warehoused spirits, shipping supplies, tools, and thousands of empty wine bottles staged in preparation for an upcoming bottling.
Blain Roberts said, “It was shocking to run out of our house to see a large part of our business going up in flames. We do not know the cause of the fire. At the time, we were distilling water.”
There were no people in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured.
The family used this still to produce hand sanitizer during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
His wife, Kim Roberts said, “We are so grateful to Scott, the deckhand from the charter boat Ranger, who was in our yard fighting the fire. We are especially appreciative to the professional and volunteer firefighters who responded to our call. They were with us all night.”
Westport Winery’s tasting room which includes the Sea Glass Grill and the Ocean’s Daughter Distillery tasting room was never in danger. The non-profit International Mermaid Museum was also spared from the fire. These two enterprises will be open offering regular service daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The family is grateful for the many well wishes and prayer extended to them through the night. The building was insured, and they plan to rebuild. There will be a temporary pause in spirit production until they can purchase and install another still in a new building. There is no pause in wine production.
The Roberts family and the Westport Winery team look forward to serving their friends, family and guests, as they move through this challenging chapter. The winery can be reached at 360.648.2224.