AP NEWS

Harvest Green picked for Messina Hof’s fourth location

March 11, 2019

The Bonarrigo family, owners and operators of Messina Hof Wine Cellars Inc., announced March 4 plans for their fourth Texas location: Richmond.

The project will break ground this year in Harvest Green, a 1,300-acre Johnson Development community and agriculture focused neighborhood around a “village farm.”

Crain Group will direct the building project being designed by Ted Trout Architect & Associates, which has a heavy emphasis on sustainable design and water recapturing.

When completed, Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery will be the largest winery in the Houston territory, according to a news release.

“We are hopeful that Messina Hof at Harvest Green will complete phase 1 and open in early 2020,” said Messina Hof’s Paul Bonarrigo.

“As we looked toward expansion we always had eyes and hearts set on the Houston area and after learning more about Harvest Green, we knew we had found the perfect location,” he said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled about organically integrating into a community whose core values align with ours, and making the most of the on-site resources to see our vision for the winery and its farm-to-table restaurant menu come to life.”

David Hogue, Harvest Green development manager, added “One of Messina Hof‘s VIP members is actually a Richmond local and a fan of Harvest Green. He fostered the introduction between the community and the winery. It has taken a couple years to figure out just how to make this partnership work, but we are hitting the ground running and are very excited to be the new location for their facility.

“The site is located on the northwest corner of Harlem Road and Harvest Garden Boulevard., which is nestled into the middle of the community’s two farm areas and directly adjacent to the Farmers Market lot,” continued Hogue. “We looked at this site’s potential use as a unique restaurant opportunity early in the planning process, so finally being able to see that come to fruition is amazing.”

Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery will include a tasting room and wine bar, as well as an open kitchen restaurant that will seat approximately 130 guests across all indoor spaces, according to the news release. A 2,600-square-foot covered patio will allow for larger, private events and group tastings. Two private tasting rooms will be available for corporate use, group bookings and private dining.

Hogue said, “Having an on-site Texas winery with a restaurant within the neighborhood adds great entertainment opportunities to the community. Our Director of Fun is already brainstorming fun and interesting ways we can partner with the winery on resident events.”

The wine production and barrel room will be anchored by wooden foudres and oak barrels acting as both a focal point and an opportunity for guests to taste wine in process. Much like Vintage House Restaurant located at Messina Hof’s Estate in Bryan, the restaurant at Messina Hof Harvest Green will make use of the on-site gardens and Harvest Green’s neighborhood farm to put forth a hyper-local menu focused on Vineyard Cuisine™.

When complete, Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery will be the winemakers’ second largest production facility, with both vineyard harvesting and wine processing aging taking place onsite. Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery will also become the home for all wine shipping operations including a wine club, according to the news release.

A later phase will include a large indoor event space and limited lodging. Eventually the project will also serve the local community with educational programming, work with the community farmers on seasonal tastings, and start to harvest from the experimental plots that are being added.

“For 42 years Messina Hof has pioneered great Texas Wine and built a loyal family of customers throughout Texas. We are excited to continue our passion of providing delicious wine and food in a new craft winery and kitchen located in Richmond,” said Bonarrigo. “Our community partner in this project, Harvest Green, is an agriculture-based farm community that aligns with our passions in farm-to-table foods paired with great local wine. We look forward to growing and connecting our large family of customers in Houston and South East Texas,” he added.

Since opening in 1977, Messina Hof Winery has won nearly 1,300 awards from national and international wine competitions. It added 50 awards in 2018, including six Gold medals from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Uncorked International Wine Competition and a Double Gold from the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition.

Messina Hof owns and operates its Estate Winery in Bryan, Messina Hof Hill Country Winery in Fredericksburg, as well as Messina Hof Grapevine Winery in Grapevine.

karen.zurawski@chron.com