Oct. 16—HARLINGEN — While some families baked or did arts and crafts while inside their homes during the pandemic lockdown, Ashley David and her mom Beata Dawi thought of a different kind of project to work on. David and Dawi decided to buy a property and open up a winery.
"We were looking into what we could do that was new and different and we thought the coolest thing was a winery restaurant bar," David said.
"We renovated the inside to make it into a bar," she said.
The 83 Winery is located at 9211 W. Business 83 and will feature a bar, eatery and in the future Sunday brunches as well as events.
David said they are big lovers of wine, which is why they wanted to create something of the sort in the Rio Grande Valley. Dawi is originally from Chicago but has been living in Harlingen since she was 10.
"We had just visited wineries before this and we always said we would open a winery. Hopefully, people will enjoy it," Dawi said.
The family bought grapes that could be grown in the RGV and currently have grapevines for Zinfandel among others for white wine.
"We had a hundred but during the freeze half of them died. We are learning, it is a learning process," Dawi said.
It has been a year since they have been preparing to open. Right now, they are looking into opening late October or early November.
"We mostly ordered white wine, the pretty grapes. We hope to eventually do grape stomping festivals like they do in other wineries. It will take a while because the grapes have to mature," David said.
"We are hoping to eventually host bachelorette and other private events on the property," she said.
A local chef was contacted by both Dawi and David and they are hoping to offer charcuterie boards, sandwiches and anything that pairs well with wine. They plan on opening Tuesday through Thursday 3 to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 3 to 12 a.m.
"So far everything has been positive. Harlingen needed something different, maybe something more upscale," she said.
Dawi's son-in-law created the bar top, which was made from a tree he cut down from the property. Another idea in the works is a cigar bar where people get to smoke and try different cigars, Dawi said.
"The Valley has a big wine group, there are a lot of people who enjoy wine and the closest place to get the experience is in Fredericksburg," David said.
"We just thought we wanted to try it out and we are trying it," she said.