Westport Winery, located between Aberdeen and Westport, takes its cues from the beach, right down to its lighthouse-themed architecture.
WESTPORT WINERY doesn’t look like a French manor, but it’s not in Bordeaux. It doesn’t look like a villa because it’s not in Tuscany.
It’s in Grays Harbor County so, naturally, it’s a lighthouse.
Owners Kim and Blain Roberts embrace maritime culture at Westport Winery. Even if you don’t realize you’re just eight miles from the beach, you’ll know it when you arrive at Westport Winery.
Three by the sea
Westport Winery 2013 Charterboat Chick, Horse Heaven Hills, $28: This cabernet sauvignon offers aromas of coffee, plum and spice, followed by flavors of ripe black cherry and blackberry, all backed by supple tannins.
Westport Winery 2014 Fleur de Lis, Columbia Gorge, $26: The Roberts family brought in pinot gris grapes from the cooler Columbia Gorge, and this is a bright white with notes of lime, Asian pear and crisp apple, all backed by juicy acidity.
Westport Winery 2013 Jetty Cat, Columbia Valley, $29: This blend of five red grapes leads with cabernet franc, and it is complex and beautiful, thanks to aromas and flavors of blackberry, blueberry and chocolate. Rich tannins give it plenty of grip on the finish.
In addition to the 40-foot-tall lighthouse (modeled after the nearby Grays Harbor Lighthouse) that dominates the winery’s architecture, there also are the surfboards, the glass floats, the fishing nets, the driftwood and the delicious bowls of clam chowder in the restaurant.
Kim grew up in Marysville, a Snohomish County community better known for its strawberry farms than its waterfront. When she was 17, she moved to Grays Harbor because she wanted to work on a fishing boat more than anything else. She wanted it so bad, she worked for free the first year just to prove herself (“Girls don’t work on boats,” she was told.). She spent the next dozen years on the docks and in the fishing boats in the harbor, earning two degrees from Washington State University along the way.
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When she met Blain in Westport — he was buying a boat — she relocated to Hawaii, where they owned a commercial dive operation. By 2007, they were back on the mainland and opened a winery in Pabst Blue Ribbon country. All they know is life along the ocean, and that has driven many of their business decisions.
More than half the labels of their 35-plus wines have names and images directly tied to the beach and coastal culture. There’s Going Coastal (a sparkling gewürztraminer), Shelter from the Storm (a blended fruit wine), Lighthouse (a riesling-based blend) and Charterboat Chick (with a photo of young Kim working on a fishing boat).
In the restaurant, the menu Kim designed is heavy on seafood. Fresh crab and oysters are delivered directly from the ocean to the kitchen door. This is the coast. Kim can’t imagine life anywhere else, so she embraces it.
Locals and visitors alike love it. They come for the coast. They stay for the wine.