Submitted by Westport WineryWestport Winery, known for its innovation as a destination winery, has added golf to its list of free amenities. Winery co-owner, Kim Roberts, calls it “mowing with a purpose.” The nine-hole pitch and putt course is situated within one of Vineyard By-the-Sea’s three orchards. “We have over twenty acres of vineyards, orchards and berries that we farm,” her husband Blain said. “All of these crops demand a maintenance regime that allows them to flourish without undo competition from grasses and weeds, so our team spends a lot of time mowing throughout the summer. Designing the opportunity for our guests to play golf within these crops made sense.”The idea itself came from Kim Roberts’ sister and brother-in-law, Jill and Stan Schwartz. “My sister and her husband have a wheat farm and cattle ranch in Eastern Washington. A number of years ago they created an event center at their place. They had been manicuring one grazing field for what’s called pasture golf. It turned out to be a really fun and popular part of their agricultural destination.”Since the Roberts are not currently raising livestock on their farm, other than chickens and pigs, they will adjust the name of their playing field from pasture golf to orchard golf. Blain Roberts said, “It’s a nine-hole orchard-golf course. There are no long fairways or putting greens. Play is limited to a 9-iron or chipping wedge. And it’s free to play. We just want to have a place that is fun for all ages, all year.”In September, Westport announced the creation of their own brand of cider. Blain said, “Since 2008 we’ve been Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea. The second half of our name is finally creating a stronger presence as our daughter Carrie starts producing By-the-Sea Cider in addition to her responsibilities as our general manager.”Kim Roberts, a former architect and honorary master gardener, designed the course herself which she said posed several interesting challenges. “The design was formed around our existing Shinseiki and Chojuro Asian pears and Jonathan apple trees. They are an integral part of our new cidery, so they are sacred to our agricultural mission. We also have some springs on our farm that create perfect water hazards. Plus we have a nursery so we’re eager to show our guests new design applications of favorite plants. And finally, with our incredibly talented local artists we have created an outdoor sculpture garden. By moving some fences for this orchard golf course we open up great opportunities for our guests to explore and enjoy more of our farm.”The couple’s son, Dana, is the director of winemaking for the family. Part of this job description is managing the vineyards where they grow Pinot Noir and Muscat of Norway. This integration of agriculture and entertainment is not new to him as one of his vineyards is also a grape maze. He said, “We encourage our guests to explore our farm with lots of educational signage and unique experiential learning opportunities. Greater knowledge about what it takes to create food for our country is an important part of preserving the family farm tradition.” Facebook3Tweet0Pin0 Westport Winery, the 2013 Best in the Northwest Destination Winery and 2011 Washington Winery to Watch, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Westport and Aberdeen. For more information or dinner reservations call Westport Winery at 360-648-2224.