Growing Grapes (and Gardens) in the West With Kim Roberts of Westport Winery


by Drew Hendricks
Last updated Feb 16, 2023

Legends Behind the Craft Podcast

Last Updated on February 16, 2023 by rise25

Kim Roberts
Growing Grapes (and Gardens) in the West With Kim Roberts of Westport Winery 11

Kim Roberts is the Co-owner of Westport Winery Garden Resort, which she founded in 2008 with her husband, Blain. The business is home to Ocean’s Daughter Distillery, the Sea Glass Grill, the International Mermaid Museum, and resort lodging. The resort’s guests travel from across the US — and the world — to experience everything Westport Winery has to offer. 

The Westport Winery team is dedicated to finding out what their guests want and providing them with those products and services. Due to its daily motivation to exceed expectations, Westport Winery has been recognized by outlets such as Winery Press NW and Seattle Business Magazine.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Kim Roberts shares what drew her to launch a winery
  • Westport Winery’s transition from grapes to gardens
  • Why Kim chose not to follow the typical winery architecture
  • How the idea for the Mermaid Museum came about
  • Kim discusses how she stays motivated in the business
  • What’s next for Westport Winery Garden Resort?

In this episode with Kim Roberts

People say it’s nearly impossible to open a winery on the coast of Western Washington. After looking into various studies, today’s guest launched their winery to prove the skeptics wrong.

Westport Winery began harvesting a single cluster of grapes and has since grown into the thriving winery (and resort) it is today. Partnering with top growers, Westport Winery Garden Resort is now the leading destination spot in the area.

In today’s episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks and Bianca Harmon are joined by Kim Roberts, Co-owner of Westport Winery Garden Resort, as she shares what drew her into launching a winery. Kim also talks about the International Mermaid Museum, Ocean’s Daughter Distillery, and the business’ future endeavors.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.

Barrels Ahead is a wine and craft marketing agency that propels organic growth by using a powerful combination of content development, Search Engine Optimization, and paid search.

At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.

Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.

So, what are you waiting for? Unlock your results today!

To learn more, visit barrelsahead.com or email us at hello@barrelsahead.com to schedule a strategy call.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry with your host Drew Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show

Drew Thomas Hendricks  0:19  

Hi, everyone Drew Thomas Hendricks here, and the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. On this show, I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy. And that highlights your authenticity, tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers. In short, we help wineries and craft beverage producers unlock their story to unleash their revenue. Go to barrelsahead.com today to learn more. Today, Bianca Harmon is joining us again. How’s it going, Bianca?

Bianca Harmon  0:53  

It’s going great. Really looking forward to the conversation with Kim today?

Drew Thomas Hendricks  0:57  

Yes, yes, we I am excited today. We have Kim Roberts on the show. Kim is one of the founders of the Westport Winery Garden Resort in Aberdeen, Washington. Welcome to the show, Kim. Thank you. So Kim, I gotta we’ve got to go back because you’ve got a lot of things. We got a lot of exciting stuff to cover today. But let’s let’s go back to the origins of Westport Winery in it. I mean, you were in a dive shop in Hawaii.

Kim Roberts  1:24  

Right? Yeah, actually goes back even farther than that. I came here to Westport Washington to work on the fishing boats when I was a young college student put my way through architecture school and my one of my early jobs out of college was working at Westport shipyard and a fella came there to build a boat for his business behind the divers on Maui. And the boat, took me with him back to Hawaii. Worked with him there for five years. We got married and had a family. He promised to bring me back to Washington. So oh seven we we launched Westport Winery.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:03  

Now what do we in the wine industry before? What What drew you to the launching a winery?

Kim Roberts  2:09  

That’s a great question. We had been living on and rehabilitating farms in eastern Washington for many years after Hawaii. And when we were moved out here to the coast, we went to our county extension agent Don tapeo. And told him about our history with the largest stupid iving business in Hawaii, and with rehabilitating farms and he said the only way to make money now is with agri tourism. You should plant a vineyard and open a winery. It will be historic. And we both laughed because we didn’t know anything about wine.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  2:43  

And being on the coast of Western Washington. It’s not a southern area with think of planting grapes.

Kim Roberts  2:49  

Well, that’s a really good point. We based our decision on a study out of Oregon State University that said it was viable grape growing country. We planted about 15 acres of what would be considered maritime great cigar Eva Madeline ingenue been, oh, the coach and Muscat of Norway did not thrive. So we circle back met with another propagator and he got some other greats we planted all over again, those who did not thrive. Turns out that that study was not exactly accurate. We were able to harvest one cluster of grapes. Then we circle back and we planted blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Blueberries and strawberries do well here and I started planting gardens and that was kind of the evolution of going from grapes to gardens. And in 2012 I was appointed to the Washington State wine commission had the opportunity to sit at the table and serve with some of the other rock stars in the industry that allowed us to move up on the rate purchasing ladder. So then affiliated with the top growers, and we have our own destination resort so it’s kind of happily ever after.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  4:12  

That’s That’s fantastic. So see I love how you just kind of the agri EC is still the dagger business you just started with the the wrong crop, but still doing the wine it few people you don’t actually have to have the actual winery where the vineyards are. And in fact most of most of Washington does. The wineries are located in Seattle or just outside of Seattle. Not really where they actual vineyards are. You just have to truck it over one extra mountain

Kim Roberts  4:42  

that running a winery and growing grapes are go hand in hand and the more time I spent in the industry with my grape growers, more I learned that what they do is uniquely specialized in what I do is uniquely special. There’s not many people that can successfully bridge that gap. And so I’m pretty comfortable with where we are. We’ve hauled as many as 112 ton of fruit in square we process my daughter’s our truck driver. We haul for 10 at a time, and we’re considered the Road Warriors of Washington State. As we leave our farm here at five in the morning, pick up our fruit get back and start processing fruit again. And where are you picking up your fruit? We mostly pick out a rattlesnake Hills ABA right now with Joe hattrick at both Elephant Mountain vineyard and Sugarloaf vineyard, having the opportunity to work with Joe and his team. That was kind of our pinnacle. We also picked some free to Candiac vineyards over near Pasco airfield vineyards near Prosser. And then we have some really historic Riesling at Wine bow vineyards, it’s owned by Sage Moore.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  5:54  

That’s just it’s kind of liberating actually to be able to find the best fruit and the best vineyards.

Kim Roberts  6:00  

Absolutely. And you know, those guys, and you hear everybody say it great wine comes from great, great vineyards. And there’s definitely a big correlation there.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  6:13  

So as you’re, as you’re found in the place, there’s some incredible slides for Vegas, the site of how you were clearing out all the all the brush and just start starting starting your winery and starting your facility. What challenges did you have to overcome, other than clearing out all the brush and building up from scratch?

Kim Roberts  6:31  

More than you can imagine? We found two full size bulldozers in the weeds. The property was completely overrun with noxious weeds, all their scotch broom and Himalayan Blackberry, we were trying hard to save the soil not yet knowing that we weren’t going to be successful as grape growers. So we spent a lot of money there. There’s a pretty long list of challenges and mistakes that we’ve made. And we’re super lucky that we were able to overcome those things from thinking we were going to be a little fruit stand on the corner and have an oyster shell parking lot to having, you know, 50 paved faces and a catering kitchen. All the things that we hadn’t planned for even though I am an architect, I’ve got a pretty good handle on stuff like that there was there were many surprises along the way.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  7:22  

Yeah. And talking about architecture, you made a conscious decision to not follow the typical winery, Chateau style and actually embrace the style of the local

Kim Roberts  7:32  

Coastguard. Absolutely, I think it’s it was important for me, kind of in the world of authenticity to recognize we are not in Bordeaux, we are not Tuscany. We are on the coast of Washington and our whole community and our heritage relates back to the ocean. So I love that postcard district 13 color scheme. I love white houses. I was wanting to be a lighthouse keeper or a mermaid. And so I know, right? It’s my husband, I should that we should build a lighthouse that would become our iconic symbol, so that when people drove by they go Wait, what was that lighthouse? Or people said where’s the winery? They’d say? Remember that lighthouse she went by? So we have a 40 foot lighthouse? That’s a quarter scale replica of the Grays Harbor lighthouse.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  8:22  

That’s amazing. That’s the architecture and yeah, so you’re just kind of building it. So when you started when you started back in the first first plowing you weren’t envisioning what you have today, which is to the people that are listening, you’ve got to you’ve got to executive golf course you’ve got the mermaid Museum, you’ve got a distillery you’ve got a what else I mean?

Kim Roberts  8:46  

Where I’m sitting right now, we have a nursery 15 acres to display gardens. We’re just starting marching will be having four different Airbnb is on property plus four RV spaces and an event area.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  9:04  

Oh, that’s great. The RV spaces are we belong to harvest hosts which and we go to different wineries and stuff. And I’m always surprised at how many wineries don’t really cater to the RV traveler. But it makes sense.

Kim Roberts  9:19  

It’s sometimes a zoning challenge and with harvest host you know there’s a promise of purchase. And I’m not sure that always works out in in all circumstances. So we’re going to be doing our RFPs through air b&b.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  9:35  

Yeah, that’s when that’s why I just just the ability to park it, whether it’s services or whether you actually running an Airbnb type style. It’s just it’s a huge benefit.

Kim Roberts  9:45  

Yeah, I think one of the things is like we live on property, and we did this beautiful goldfish bowl and we’re the fish now. And I think when you have that, that level of intensity in your life, we have 35 employees Wait, you say start coming to work at 730 in the morning. And this is all happening in our yard? I think there’s, you know, for us there was a little reluctance to people on 24/7.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  10:11  

Yeah, then you’re yeah, that definitely kicks up the level of hospitality that’s necessary.

Kim Roberts  10:16  

Yeah. And, and we’re not always pretty.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  10:21  

I have a hard time imagining that. So, as you grew, when you started, did you envision this? Is this? Did everything come to your vision? Or is did you kind of did it kind of expand, like scope creep is, if you will, over the last 20 years or so.

Kim Roberts  10:37  

Not part of my original vision I had, I had an original mission and intentions. But you know, to become the Washington winery of the year to win many international competitions, we’ve got over 400 Medals now. Amazing. So competitions, we’ve been named the top, one of the top 20 Most Admired wineries in North America, twice the number two best Winery Restaurant in the United States, best destination winery in the Northwest eight times. So those were all high kind of ideas that I had in my mind. But in order to get there, it took more than wine. And it has been an eye on behind the divers on Maui we’d hired a consultant kind of expensive and out of our needs. And ultimately said find out what your customer wants and give it to them. And that seems so self evident once you hear it. But I think many business people and sometimes people in the wine industry, forget that. That’s the basis. So a lot of people come to the industry saying, Oh man, I love Bordeaux wines, or I just love to make Pinot Noir. And that leaves a big gap between them and the customer. And if you happen to be one of the rare birds can make this extraordinary wine, that gap, that gap gets bridged easily. But as you know, we started with 12 wines and people our local community came here, this the first winery in our area, and they treated each one as though it was precious. So then we teach them to drink wine. So we did culinary classes. And then they said well, you must have a restaurant. No, absolutely not. Restaurant may have said we love your desserts. So we added a bakery and and we just kept listening to the customers. And finally in about 18 or 19 I realized that the name winery was almost self limiting for us because we are very family friendly. Beautiful desk destination. But there were a lot of people. I think making a choice not to visit us. Because they were like, I don’t drink wine. I you know. And that’s when we brought the mermaid Museum.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  12:57  

Yeah. Talk to me about the mermaid Museum. Curious,

Kim Roberts  13:01  

would it be possible for me to take a break and talk to my staff to tell them to stop talking?

Drew Thomas Hendricks  13:07  

Yeah, let’s um, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, so you’re talking about the desserts. And you said absolutely no restaurant,

Kim Roberts  13:19  

right. And then my daughter and I had gone back to Maui to go scuba diving together. And we were hitting up some of the distilleries there and we came home and said we need to add a distillery and we the two of us were going to do that independently. And fortunately our husband’s like No, no, I’m in with yet. So we added Oceans Daughter Distillery. And and then like I said, even the distillery happened before the mermaid Museum and then the mermaid museum how Okay,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  13:48  

so what about tell us about how the what sort of spirits you’re producing and

Kim Roberts  13:56  

just like we do with wine, we produce 40 different wines because we are so remote, we have to be everything for everybody. So we do a plastic whites, traditional reds, but we also do a series of Fruitlands and dessert wines. With the distillery we do Agave spirits, rum, vodka, gin, whiskey, and

Drew Thomas Hendricks  14:17  

the course. Oh, wow. Yeah. How does the licensing work on that? I think isn’t it pretty difficult for a winery to get also get?

Kim Roberts  14:25  

We were the first dual spirit and wine tasting room in the state of Washington. We we got the distillery bond and so all that production has happened separately from the wine bonded area. And then finally in May last year, we had a devastating fire in our distillery and lost everything there. So we had to rebuild from the ground up. So it’s, I mean, you add that to COVID and all the other things We’ve, we’ve had quite a few challenges.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:03  

All right, who’s handling all

Kim Roberts  15:05  

of the distillery portion for you who’s making it? You know, how’s that all work, and amazing winemaker named Mark or so and he is also our master distiller. And he and I partner up in terms of tasting and I really create the direction of our products. And then on the wine side, we are so fortunate we have our good friend, John Bookwalter is our consulting winemaker. And so he hops over here a couple of times a year. And we just have the, I guess, the security blanket of having him review everything with us. And I trust him implicitly. He was just named Washington’s vendor of the year. And so other great relationship that is indicative of everything we do here.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  15:53  

Oh, wow. So that winemakers deal will also be part of it a story that’s like an eye that’s like a dream job for somebody that wants to, like produce produce alcohol.

Kim Roberts  16:04  

Yeah, I think he has a pretty good time.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  16:06  

Yeah. So I do remember we were talking about the mermaid Museum. What? Got it? How did that idea come about? Right. Fascinating.

Kim Roberts  16:16  

Yeah, it was this idea that the winery wasn’t a family place. And why this is kind of a crazy story. But I was at a funeral. And another local business man had passed. And he created a museum about 25 years ago. And the premise was there was all these cars driving by his business. And he wanted to figure out how to get more people to stop. So Blaine and I were coming home from that funeral. And I said, Blaine, I think we should open a museum. And he’s pretty used to these ideas now. Always just a tiny bit resistant for good reason. And goes what kind of museum you know, like all patronized, sir, but whatever. And I said, Well, how about umbrellas? He goes, No, that stupid

Drew Thomas Hendricks  17:04  

umbrella Museum?

Kim Roberts  17:06  

Well, because it rains

Drew Thomas Hendricks  17:07  

here, remind everyone, it’s raining.

Kim Roberts  17:10  

And I said, Well, you know, he was this amazing and well known underwater photographer, and we have all these beautiful underwater images. And many people don’t have the opportunity, the means even the interest of going scuba diving. But with photography, I could tell the story of ocean ecology of my dog just walked in. And by wrapping it in mermaid mythology,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  17:39  

the chow dog.

Kim Roberts  17:41  

Yeah, that was my white chow, as long as she’s on her way to the staff meeting.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  17:48  

Letter right below me. Yeah.

Kim Roberts  17:50  

Anyway, um, ocean ecology, mermaid mythology. It’s the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. And that was just another game changer. For us. In the first eight months, we had 82,000 visitors into the mermaid museum. And I know, we’re really bringing families onto the property. And for us, it’s the wine is the heart of what we do. But we want to be a place that everybody can come and there’s lots of young families traveling, that if they think I’m gonna go into a tasting room, and my kids are going to be banished or school that it takes the fun out of it. But here we can really entertain and and teach people to educate in a fun way. And it just makes it even more fun for everybody. So you’re literally the Disneyland of the wine industry.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  18:40  

Yes, we are. Don’t come dressed up like that. There’s their destination trip and they come in their mermaid garb.

Kim Roberts  18:49  

We actually have loaner tails. Oh, do. People can get your tail from the tub and sit on the mermaid throne and have their photos taken during our mermaid festival in the spring. We do have live mermaids here swimming and interacting with people. Mermaids, I said it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  19:12  

Well, that’s that’s that’s, that’s fantastic. Now this whole nautical theme really kind of runs through your entire winery given that you can be in your proximity to the ocean and your Hey,

Kim Roberts  19:22  

my husband and I were boat captains. Okay. My philosophy is you dance with the one that brings you and the marine industry brought me.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  19:32  

Yeah. And there’s the one thing that I was really fascinated about. Was that the your float bottle that came from the Japanese floats? Yes. was a great idea.

Kim Roberts  19:42  

Yeah, people come to the beach and they want to find one of those Japanese fishing floats. And so I designed a bottle and got the trademark on that myself. And so we produced a wine that the wine was the idea of our liquor agent And we’re transition of getting into the restaurant and we decide don’t buy a spirit license, it’s going to cost you a fortune. Just make a really high fortified wine, and then use it to make cocktails. And so Okay, yeah, these are all great partnerships and relationships. And so we did that thinking this would just be temporary. Of course, the product itself float. It’s a 24% Alcohol Riesling. So it’s, we call it vodka from the vine. And it, it has a place that the float balls are hugely popular. We originally just made them in the traditional color. But now we make them in all different colors, because people collect them. Falling ones and Valentine’s and pumpkins.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  20:44  

Now, are those available on your site? Or those

Kim Roberts  20:48  

on our website? Yeah. And we work with local glassblowers. And each one is handmade numbered and signed. Oh, wow. That’s so cool.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  20:58  

Now, the goal is to find one on the beach, how in your experience, how many Japanese floats? Have you seen walking up and down the beach? Three. It’s

Kim Roberts  21:10  

my husband and I were fortunate enough to work on boats much of our lives. And so we did find some in the ocean on the beach is really a rare treasure. Now our local museum does something called Wild floats, and they release floats every spring so that more people can find them both. It is quite a fun thing.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  21:31  

Yeah, that’s great. Now, this is more of curiosity is Japan’s it seems like more of an ancient type of way of creating it goes back

Kim Roberts  21:39  

to the 1950s. And mania, these floats are in what’s called the North Pacific Garbage Patch. There’s kind of a and so periodically, a storm will hit the garbage patch, and they’ll blow floats out of it. And then they’ll hit the beaches.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  21:55  

Oh, I see. So it’s like they’re in a kind of a cycle just kind of hanging out. Are they? Is Japan currently use that technology? Or that? Not

Kim Roberts  22:03  

really. There’s very and yet Japan wasn’t the only country that did it. We’ve got floats from Korea and Russia and the US and all over the world. But there’s not really anyone that still using that fishery.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  22:17  

What a great idea to make a bottle of everything in cohesively

Kim Roberts  22:23  

What is the weather like where you’re at? I mean, you’re in Washington, but I mean, it’s all mermaid and it’s water. But so how warm is it? It’s really temperate here today, it’s about 65 degrees and gray, we’ve got light rain. In the winter, it’s about 45 degrees and rain. And that’s kind of our world. It’s we even though like Seattle’s up in the 90s. Today, we are very much a marine climate for solar and wind when it gets super hot. All of Seattle comes here. Oh, so do you don’t get snow though? Not really, we maybe just a couple inches a year, okay, which is great. And even in the winter, though it rains, we’ll get a you know, we’ll get a break every three or four days and the sun comes out. And we all are like groundhogs where we, you know, come outside. It’s a very hearty community. We have a saying when the tide goes out, we set the table we all are fishermen and clamors. And, you know, foragers and berry pickers, so it’s about a quarter mile off of the road, you feel like you’re in Alaska here, because we’re we’re really quite remote.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  23:41  

Yeah. No, I have not had the ability to be I haven’t been there yet. I

Kim Roberts  23:46  

was there that were that place in the middle of nowhere. You know, you always hear that story about, hey, you know, there’s this really cool place in the middle of nowhere. So for me, what I do when I’m traveling, is I go to Texas wine country, and I like Where’s the place in the middle of nowhere, that you love to go to? And so I travel around, and I find out what these other smart, creative people are doing. And I find a way to bring it back here to our place.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  24:11  

Oh, that’s fantastic. And that’s kind of one of the ways I was going to kind of ask you, how do you how do you find your next idea? Really, how do you stay motivated to grow everything that you’ve grown over the last so many years?

Kim Roberts  24:26  

A little bit of fear. I think most entrepreneurs have that, you know, you very much want to be successful, because strong creative streak in me inherently. And I’ve got the luxury of a husband and a daughter that allow me to pursue these things and kind of back my place because he could be the most talented girl in town and if you don’t have someone back in your play, it just doesn’t matter.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  24:54  

You got to have a team you got to absolutely got to have that support group. No as far as like gets lost tremendous growth. How, if you could do it again? Was there anything you would have done differently?

Kim Roberts  25:07  

Oh, absolutely. I would not have wanted grapes. I would have spent that money creating this, this destination garden earlier. But there’s no way I could have known that. And just, you know, there’s there’s several other mistakes I’ve made along the way that I think hang Oh is a thinking. But in order I have a really good friend. He’s absolutely brilliant. He says, are you making the right choice more than 50% of the time? And that kind of put it in perspective for me that I don’t have to be 100% of the time?

Drew Thomas Hendricks  25:47  

Yeah, I mean, every one of those choices is that growing moment where it kind of changes the way the path the road, the river flows. If you didn’t make that incorrect choice, the river might not have gone that in that other direction.

Kim Roberts  26:01  

Absolutely. Did you contact Oregon State let them know that their study was definitely wrong. I was too embarrassed by why what was it just a prank or why? Nobody else nobody in their right mind will try this. And I didn’t just do it once. I went back twice. You know?

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:22  

severence. And you know what I in college, I went to Gonzaga, and I was in my I was not quite the wine drinker back when I was 21. But we used to go surfing out in Forks. So we would take the long haul. Oh, man, yeah. Now to out to forks. And there’s actually a couple of wineries on what even back in like 92. Yeah.

Kim Roberts  26:45  

And camaraderie were both their sport, you know, nine miles from where the wineries located is really the superior surfing destination. Washington state of the forks is still famous for being home to Twilight.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  26:59  

It was yeah, this was pre Twilight. It was the love push beach. There was there’s a little there was some it was we are always surprised at how warm the water was. Because it was, I guess there was a banana current, where it was actually about as warm if not warmer than San Francisco when we serve there.

Kim Roberts  27:17  

It’s not all that different from San Francisco. There’s definitely a line when you get down below Monterey that the warm the water starts gets warmer. And I know this because my husband was a nationally rated surfer. I am a surf wife and I schlepped you know up and down the coast with surfboards and dogs with the best of them. Oh, yeah.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  27:38  

And his buddy is surf buddy. Does the watercolor for your labels

Kim Roberts  27:41  

right? Yeah, his buddy Darrell Easter from Camp Maria. They met surfing CeCe three out of Ventura. And Blaine was hanging onto a piece of kelp because the the current was just racing. And a soul guy swam up to him says that’s cheating, you know, and blaze was not above it. Excuse me. We were having lunch at the burrito place that sponsors him as a surfer. They’re also in his mid 70s now still surfing. And he’s an amazing artist, and I’ve been able to utilize much of his art on my labels. That’s I think the beauty about mine surfing I feel you know, can do it up there. No matter what age you are to.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  28:22  

Yeah, my dad served until he was 80. Oh, man,

Kim Roberts  28:25  

that is so cool. Blaine does anymore yet back surgery a few years ago. So the surfboards are hanging up here in the winery. A lot of good memories there.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  28:36  

Yeah. I hope I have a few more years. But yeah, my dad had a long haul he used to he was still surfing Fiji and tab route 79.

Kim Roberts  28:44  

That’s awesome. That’s really cool. I give anything to still be able to do that.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  28:51  

Yeah. 15 seer, an accomplished author.

Kim Roberts  28:55  

Yes, I have written three mysteries set on Maui and my protagonist, Aloha Jones. And she is the one that solves the crimes and she has a unique character with a unique voice that is not is not mine, but it’s really fun to allow her to do her thing.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  29:15  

Is it more of it? What motivates you to write is it in pursuing a new whole new mindset? Or,

Kim Roberts  29:23  

like probably everybody else I love reading. When we were first opening and starting the winery, I was in the truck a lot. Fallen Fruit and my husband was driving truck. And so I just started taking that time to write books anymore. I don’t I don’t get time in the truck. And originally, this was supposed to be a five book series. But five years ago, I got cancer and I have not been able to write since I had cancer. So we’ll see if that comes back at some point.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  29:54  

Oh, yeah. Is it the the just the just a lot? I guess it’ll probably come just I guess I lost my story. I realize, yeah. Because yeah, that’s the way life evolves. You’ve done so much. And there’s probably a new focus, you’ve got the new resort coming online, you got the new RV coming online. So I got to kind of ask it, what’s what’s next? What’s,

Kim Roberts  30:18  

what everybody’s? Well, there’s, again, like you said, it’s the river with multiple forks, we do have our business for sale. I am 63, and my husband 72. And we think that might be fun to spend some time together. Yeah. And being right now a five year survivor of cancer, I’m, I’m interested in wealth, not doing this with both like, at the same time, you know, if it doesn’t sell, we have a really prosperous business, that still brings us a lot of joy. So after we get the lodging going this fall, I think it would be cool to have the first aerial adventure park on the coast, we have about three acres of forest here on the property. I’d like to do zip lines and stuff like that. Just a room to further develop the gardens and polish them up, I’d love to get them to a world class level. We’re not that far from blue shark gardens up on Vancouver Island, and they got about 100 year head start on us that I would love to be able to have the blue shark gardens of Washington State. I think you know, the museum, the distillery, the restaurant, the winery, those are all so well rounded. Right now we’ve got such a great team, that for me, it’s always fun to figure out what’s new. So I appreciate you asking that question. Those are my original, or my initial thoughts with regard to that. Oh, yes, acres, is everything total your property. We just have 21 and a half acres here. So it’s just that seems like a lot today. It it’s well utilize that. As we convert our homes into lodging now and we remove our horses and goats from the property that gives me a lot of acreage to work with. So we’ve already been approved for up to 20 more lodging units here. And I think it would just further enhance that whole resort component.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  32:18  

Oh, yeah, for sure. So the winery, the winery is for sale? What’s, what’s the I mean, that’s gonna be kind of a double edged sword, a little nostalgic, I don’t want to keep on to it. But it also opens you up to a whole new new life of freedom outside of the winery. How do you go about selling a winery? Well,

Kim Roberts  32:38  

that’s a great question. I since I haven’t been successful at doing so yeah, I’m not really sure the answer, but with a national business broker that was referred to us from another lodging entrepreneur that said that this guy was really a good guy. So that’s what we did. And we just, we hand it to him, and we let it go. Because my job is to show up every day as my husband and my daughter and, and produce what we do really well and not lose sight of that. So we’re not stepping back, though, I would dearly love to, you know, take a day off. And what would your plans be if everything sold? Well, I have had the pleasure of becoming friends with an author named Tessa Bailey, that she had sent some books out here in Westport. And she came out and did a book signing. And it turns out it’s a mature adult literature. So basically, I tell everybody, I’m gonna go right for him. And that will be my new career. So I really don’t know. Writing porn seems like a good answer,

Drew Thomas Hendricks  33:49  

or erotica.

Kim Roberts  33:51  

Yeah, that sounds a lot prettier. Yeah, she’s tested. Bailey’s been a tremendous success. And we were so fortunate to have her. But I just don’t know. And I want to just keep, keep it open. I want to do something fun. And if I have the opportunity to sell, and a new owner wanted us to stay on, I would love to stay on with this business, because I still get a real kick out of it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  34:16  

I mean, it sounds like it’s definitely a passion project. I mean, you can’t, you can’t develop everything you’ve done from the art, all the art there. It’s around your grounds. Yeah. This golf course,

Kim Roberts  34:28  

commission local artists to create sculptures for each of our wines. And so we have and in each of the gardens, and so we have about 60 pieces of original outdoor art. We dedicated a percentage of the proceeds from each wine to different local charities. So we’ve been able to donate over $500,000 to our community in the past 14 years. And, you know, it’s like we have a wine called Bella. And it’s a painting by Darryl Easter, and it’s got Bella from Twilight struck on the label Oh yeah. And then the charity is the blood bank. Because you know, the vampires eat that. That’s clever. So much of what we do. It’s just, it’s just fun. And it’s, it’s good fun. So

Drew Thomas Hendricks  35:13  

that’s fantastic. So, when you’re not just inventing a dreamland and the Disneyland of wine, what’s your what’s your ideal vacation?

Bianca Harmon  35:26  

You’re gonna laugh at me. I love rock hunting. Oh. So I go to the beach, and I look for agates and glass balls.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  35:38  

Hmm, last,

Kim Roberts  35:40  

so yeah, I just love to walk on the beach, that’s my ideal vacation. It doesn’t get any more boring than that. That’s I love it.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  35:49  

It’s, it sounds pretty fantastic to me.

Kim Roberts  35:54  

And I do a lot of yoga. That’s, that’s, I’m a yoga instructor. And really, when I, when I got cancer, I just didn’t have the tools I needed. And so I was able to go to a place that offered me new tools. And so I do a lot of yoga every every day. And that really helps. I think

Drew Thomas Hendricks  36:12  

I need to get back into it. I I’ve been doing some self yoga after runs and surfing. But I was very religious on yoga, and then COVID hit and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t I couldn’t do it in front of the TV. I needed in the class in the community. And I really missed that.

Kim Roberts  36:28  

Yeah, it’s it really, especially for the kind of thought processes I have, I need to have that other side of my brain be able to shut off and that yoga is 100%. Good for that.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  36:41  

That’s fantastic. Kim is there as we’re kind of wrapping down here is there anything else we haven’t talked to you about or anything you’d like to bring up?

Kim Roberts  36:52  

I just hope people will take a chance go drive to that place in the middle of nowhere, whether it’s here in Washington State or, or somewhere else, and you know, have an adventure, and allow wine to be fun. I know that as a wine Commissioner, I would go to a lot of different wineries. And it can be a very serious business. And I think when you focus on that you lose the fun of it. And it should just be fun. You know, it’s a great product. Everybody’s got an amazing story in the wine industry. And it’s just such an adventure. So just go and have fun. Don’t be intimidated. So that’s my dad loved wine as much as anybody and he drank real low on ice is my base point. Why didn’t you?

Drew Thomas Hendricks  37:44  

Not I am going to throw a cube in there.

Kim Roberts  37:47  

Yeah. And so I’m like we tell people forget the rules. drink the wine you love with the people you love in the food. You love it. The rest of it just doesn’t matter.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  37:59  

I love it. I love it. Kim. Where can people find out more about you and Westport Gardens and resort winery and Resort

Kim Roberts  38:06  

at westportwinery.com. And, or the mermaidmuseum.org Because that’s a really, it’s a neat it’s a nonprofit. Provide scholarship to kids that are not for college that are more into the Marine trades. And we provide educational programs all the third grades in the state. Wow.

Drew Thomas Hendricks  38:31  

That’s fantastic. Well, Kim, thank you so much for joining us. I’ve got to make a trip to Aberdeen.

Kim Roberts  38:38  

Thank you guys, you’ve been so gracious. Thanks for including us. Of course. Thank you.

Outro  38:51  

Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.