By Laura Samuel Meyn
Photos by Beth Swan
Umbra Winery at La Buena Vida Vineyards in Springtown was built to offer a wine country wedding experience close to home. Last fall, owners John and Debbie Wilson unveiled their new Spanish Colonial-style 8,000-square-foot event center. It was built on the grounds of Texas’ third oldest winery, La Buena Vida Vineyards, which they purchased from Texas wine pioneer Bobby Smith. With dark wood beams and white walls, wrought-iron touches and stucco and stone exteriors accented by Talavera tile, the new building feels like a Mediterranean winery, yet it’s less than an hour’s drive from downtown Fort Worth. With its light-filled ballroom, moody romance of the barrel room, gazebo overlooking more than 7 acres of vineyards and bell tower with an antique bell that can be rung after your ceremony, the setting accommodates a variety of weddings, serving from 50 to 200 guests. There’s also a tasting room — typically open to the public for trying Umbra wines — which can be reserved for a rehearsal dinner or smaller wedding, along with its adjacent balcony.
Two Girls in Pearls Events recently used the new venue as the backdrop and inspiration for a styled wedding shoot, stopping in each space to design vignettes showing how to play up the setting’s vineyard elegance. In the ballroom, romantic red and lustrous gold are featured in table settings and dramatic flower arrangements. In the barrel room, white hydrangeas spill off a harvest table set for celebration under low lights and flickering candles. And in the tasting room, a wood dining table with a free-flowing floral and fruit centerpiece is set with hemstitch linen napkins, white china and enough wineglasses to pair a different varietal with each course. The bride wears a romantic strapless gown from Bliss Bridal Salon, along with a loose, romantic updo; her groom is in a classic tuxedo.
La Buena Vida Vineyards lends the new venue a sense of history, including a stash of 30-year-old Texas port that can be purchased
as part of a wine package alongside other La Buena Vida varietals and Umbra’s estate wines and imports. It’s all designed to make couples and their guests feel like they’ve been transported to wine country — and with eight varietals grown on-site, they have.