Westport Winery earned two Best of Class awards at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition held on May 18 and 19 at the Los Angeles Fair Complex in Southern California. Both Little Wild Blackberry Riesling and Sunflower, a non-alcohol Riesling grape juice, were honored with this top award representing unanimous double gold medals from the judges. Bog Berry Blush, a cranberry Gewurztraminer, earned a silver medal. Ancient Mariner, a pear Riesling, earned a bronze medal. Additionally, the judges gave Little Wild 92-points while 91-points were awarded to Sunflower.
Grapes from the renowned Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA were used in all of the wines. A portion of the proceeds from Little Wild benefit the Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties Master Gardeners. The label features the family Chows playing the role of the little wild bears which are commemorated in the winery’s 15-acres of display gardens in a sculpture by Warren Heathers.
The Sunflower label was painted by watercolorist Darryl Easter, winery co-owner Blain Roberts’ surf partner. The winery created this product for those under age 21, designated drivers, expectant mothers, and folks who simply don’t want to drink wine, but want to participate in the tasting experience.
Bog Berry Blush benefits the Washington State University Cranberry Museum and Research Station in Long Beach, Washington. The art for the label was painted by Tokeland artist Wally Mann. The sculpture commemorating this wine was created by Carrie Larsen of Hoquiam.
Ancient Mariner has another label by Darryl Easter. Its sculpture, by Kent Wall and Matt Bale, is a replica of the fighting top of the Pirates of the Caribbean ship Black Pearl. This wine benefits Coastal Animal Rescue and Adoption (CARA).
The competition had over 3000 entries from almost 1000 wineries representing 23 countries.