Welcome to Umbra Winery at La Buena Vida Vineyards. We’re thrilled that you’d like to learn more about who we are and how we can help make your wedding day all that you’ve dreamed of!
A little about us and how we got here. John and I met, coincidentally, at a wine tasting. At that time, neither of us were in the wine field and in fact, we didn’t even live in the same city! As romantic stories go, we fell in love and knew we would need to make some location and vocational changes to be together. After a beautiful candlelit proposal in a courtyard on New Years Eve, we made plans for John to move from Longview, Texas to Dallas where I lived. John began a search for a new occupation and in doing so discovered a local winery for sale. We discussed it and decided to look into it. We had traveled to Napa and Tuscany and I had grown up in Southern Italy so the idea of a winery wasn’t completely foreign although neither of us come from such a background. Shortly thereafter, we found ourselves the owners of a small Texas winery. After a few months, John quickly learned we would need to relocate to drive the traffic needed to keep the place alive. Almost two years later and with a stroke of luck, we leased a space in historical downtown Grapevine under the newly rebranded name of Umbra Winery. The ‘ umbra’ is the shadow created when the moon and other celestial bodies pass. John likes to say it represents our coming together: he the dark and I the light.
The Grapevine location did well and a few years later we found ourselves contemplating additional space to allow for weddings & events that we could not accommodate there. Fate once again intervened when we received a flyer in the mail for a vineyard for sale an hour west of Grapevine. Largely curious but also open to the idea of living on a vineyard, we met with Dr. Bobby Smith the founder and owner of La Buena Vida Vineyards. The vineyard is the third oldest in Texas and Dr. Smith was a pioneer in the industry helping craft and shape legislation that remains today. We connected right away and knew the meeting was destined. We started the process to purchase the vineyard and began plans for the event space we had been seeking. We knew that we wanted to retain the history and legacy Dr. Smith created so we kept the original name and simply modified it, Umbra Winery at La Buena Vida Vineyards. La Buena Vida means “the good life” in Spanish and represents exactly what we wanted to create for our guests to the vineyard.
Fast forward two years and the gorgeous event center was completed, designed to emulate Spanish Colonial architecture and old world traditions. An estate barrel room is a key feature we wanted to include to create an authentic barrel room experience, much like you see in wine country and at vineyards across Europe, South America and beyond. The ballroom, catering area and suites are carefully laid out to accommodate weddings upwards of 200 guests, more if the outside patios are utilized. A courtyard fountain, fire pit and an antique bell tower were all constructed to lend authenticity to the venue.
Quaint cottages are also available onsite to allow couples to really enjoy the time with their families and friends. Each are uniquely decorated with a style fitting their names: Explorer, Ranchero, Sophisticate, Teatime and more! Seven in total, these cute cottages can sleep up to 32 people and allow for a relaxing and comfortable stay nestled in the vineyard.
When asked why we left our corporate careers to pursue this way of life, we often laugh! You see, the dream sort of found us. A series of serendipitous events combined with a courageous and imaginative vision allows us to bring happiness to people and share an experience that combines our love of wine, our love of European culture and our love of people. So we thought ‘why not?’ Life is simply too short not to live the good life.
And that’s exactly what we wish for our brides and grooms: a beautiful start to their “good life” right here at La Buena Vida Vineyards.