What began as an idea kicked about during a kids’ play date, soon morphed into a micro-winery in one of the fastest-growing cities and regions in the country, Missouri City and Fort Bend County just outside of Houston, Texas.
Having enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years with no signs of slowing down, entertainment options, particularly as it relates to fine dining, in Missouri City have not necessarily kept up with the growth.
“There was a group of us moms at a play date and we wanted to get something to eat afterward,” shares Tamesha Hampton, one of the three female African American owners of Wine Vibes Micro Winery and Bistro. “We are all into wine and started thinking about where we could go and couldn’t come up with anything. We started talking about the fact that we needed something else to do out in the suburbs.”
That initial conversation saw Hampton, along with partners Phelicia Colvin and Sheri Lawal Price, embarking on a journey to open a wine establishment this past February in the Sienna neighborhood.
A Shared Love of Wine
In addition to filling a gap in the neighborhood, they knew they wanted to incorporate wine into their lives. For Price, inspiration came from traveling around the world with her mom.
“I fell in love with the lifestyle, the camaraderie,“ she shares. “I love how wine brings people together over great conversation.” That vision is clear when walking into Wine Vibes. The warm ambient lighting, exposed brick wall and dark wood tones make for an intimate gathering space that can please a couple out on the town as well as a group of friends sharing a bottle.
Though no one in the trio has a professional background in wine, they all are experienced in business and management and hit the ground running, learning all they can. At the core, the ladies wanted to make wines that they enjoyed. “Our portfolio is definitely inspired by what we like,” says Hampton. “We all like different things and wanted to make sure that was incorporated into the wines.”
The initial 5,000 bottle production was sourced from California’s Lodi wine region and includes chardonnay, moscato, cabernet sauvignon and a red blend called “Trio” that features syrah, petite sirah and zinfandel. It’s only fitting that Trio is one of their best sellers as it truly is an amalgamation of the three women’s personalities.
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“We spent the day in Lodi with a local winemaker, and he actually found wine grapes that fit our personalities. Syrah is definitely the ‘bold’ grape, and I won’t say which of our personalities that fits,” laughs Hampton. “After that, it was easy to choose a name. There’s three of us, so we thought the name was perfect.”
While their search for wine initially took them to Lodi, it has expanded globally, recently with the winery owners sourcing grenache from Australia to craft a rosé and a pinot noir from Oregon. A riesling and a bottled white sangria are also new from the trio.
Personal and Healthy Food Touches
After tackling the wine offerings, the ladies were also very thoughtful about the winery’s food menu. “We didn’t want to just offer bar food,” says Hampton, who loves to cook and wanted the menu to feature some healthy options as well as some personal touches.
“Many of the things on the menu come from or are inspired by things I’ve made myself.” One of the dishes that Hampton has perfected is the winery’s peach and prosciutto flatbread.
The trio’s thoughtfulness also extended to handpicking a chef who could execute their vision. They tapped chef Phillip Hare, who had previous stints at Houston’s Red Cat Jazz Cafe and Mia Bella Trattoria as well as at New Orleans’ Beaucoup Eats.
Like Hampton, he wanted a menu that was approachable and featured customer favorites but also healthy. “I wanted some healthy touches as well as a menu that blended regional and cultural foods,” says Hare. “I want people to know that you can do all types of popular foods and it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. I like Southern food and have made it in healthy ways to take away the stigma.”
Delivering on this intention, the menu offers healthier vegetable-based flatbreads, Brussels sprouts, as well as a couple of salad options. But no worries, if you’re in the mood for French fries, they have that as well.
Wine Vibes Supportive Community
So far, the community response has been quite positive, with residents excited to visit the space. Even elected officials and community leaders from the City of Missouri City, including the Mayor, have come out to celebrate the new business owners.
“We’ve had lots of interest for our private space, and we’ve had good crowds on Fridays and Saturdays,” says Hampton. “Each week we see more and more people.” Whether hosting business gatherings or networking events, it hasn’t taken long for residents to gravitate towards the winery.
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Excited about all of the possibilities after such an initial positive response, the trio has lots of ideas they are toying with. Thoughts about consumer education classes, wine pairing events, and even yoga and wine experiences are swirling around.
One of those early ideas has already been realized as the winery recently hosted a successful crawfish and wine pairing event last month. “We have so many things we want to do,” exclaims an excited Hampton. “This is just the beginning.”
Wine Vibes Micro Winery and Bistro is located at 9018 Sienna Crossing Drive, Suite 100. For more information on the winery, check out their website. To learn about upcoming events and news, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.