The Roberts family of Westport Winery Garden Resort is reaching a
historic milestone when they unveil the fiftieth commissioned piece of
art in their outdoor sculpture garden this month. Winery co-founder
Blain Roberts said, “This is one of the promises we made to our
community when we opened the business in 2008. We committed to being
open daily for stability, to donating a portion of each wine to
different local charities, and to supporting local artists.”
Sherryl Jackson of North River accepted the commission to commemorate
Bordello Blonde after being inspired by an artist whom she and Kim
Roberts admired in the United Kingdom. Roberts said, “Sherryl and I
began emailing photographs back and forth of Robin Wight’s work. We were
both enchanted by the ephemeral nature of his wire garden fairies. I
couldn’t believe it when she said she would take on one of her own.”
Jackson, who has multiple sclerosis, works in wire with her
Newfoundland service dog Apollo at her side in case of emergency. She
has created three other sculptures for the resort in the past four
years. The first, called “Love”, is the centerpiece of the resort’s
lavender labyrinth. It features a woman holding a heart above her head.
This work was created from over two miles of fencing wire. Jackson’s
second work was for the English Cottage Garden where she placed a woven
wire woman resting with her bicycle beside her Newfoundland. Since Kim
Roberts had recently lost her Newfoundland Dax, it is a particularly
poignant and favorite piece. And her third commission was entitled “The
Kiss” with two mesh wire figures embracing amidst the vibrant heathers
in the Formal French Garden.
Her latest creation will be located
in the newly designed meditation gardens. Jackson said, “It’s always an
honor to be asked to create art for such peaceful gardens.” This area
features four terraces representing preparation, consideration,
affections, and resolution.
The Bordello Blonde unveiling is on
Sunday, August 21 at noon. The public is invited to attend this event.
All ages (and dogs on leash) are welcome.
In terms of economics
the Roberts family has invested about $80,000 in local arts. At the same
time they have donated over $300,000 to local charities, and kept the
business open daily (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
Carrie Roberts said, “We are so proud to be in this community and to
make what we believe are positive and lasting contributions.” Her
brother, business partner, and director of winemaking, Dana Roberts
said, “For us, it’s all about making incredible wines. Without those we
would not be able to do the extras that not only support the family, but
also support the community.”
In the beginning, the family had
hoped to grow their own grapes on their 67-acre estate. In short order
they developed collaborative partnerships with some of Washington’s most
acclaimed grape growers. This allowed them to use their land in what
they hope will become the Butchart Gardens of Washington. Kim Roberts,
with two degrees in architecture as her training, said, “People tend to
scoff when they hear this goal. But they forget that Butchart had a 100
year had start. It took Jenny Butchart and her incredible vision to
begin the process for them. I look at this as my canvas to create art
for the rest of my life. I hope it will last as long as hers.”
When now retired WSU county extension agent met with the Roberts in
2007, he said, “Plant and vineyard and build a winery. It will be
historic.” His words were more prophetic than any of them realized,
especially as the winery approaches the 500 mark on medals earned for
their wines in national and international competitions.
Winery was named 2011 Washington Winery to Watch by Wine Press
Northwest. They have been voted Best Winery by King 5 Evening Magazine
for six of the past eight years. 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.
Their satellite location, Westport Winery TASTING @ Cannon Beach, is
located at 255 N. Hemlock. This tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m.
to 6 p.m.
What they call “The Mother Ship”, Westport Winery
Garden Resort, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor
Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. The winery (including the
restaurant, bakery, nursery and gardens) is open daily, offering lunch
and dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.