Very seldom when you are looking at getting close to retirement do you start a whole new venture, but Shari and Dr. Kelby Trusty did just that.
Kelby, with an under graduate degree in Microbiology began taking classes at Grayson County College and making wine as a hobby. Two years of wine making turned Kelby’s hobby into a passion. Shari Trusty, raised on a farm in Oklahoma, had always enjoyed harvesting and planting anything with a green leaf, so she started looking into the art of growing grapevines.
When a property that had been in the Daniels family for many years on FM 2931 outside Aubrey, became available, Kelby and Shari were able to purchase the property. At first they just looked at it as an investment but the more they went out to the property the more they fell in love with the location. They decided it was the perfect location for a vineyard with an open pasture in front to grow their grapes, an area to dig a pond to use to water the grapes, a home large enough for a tasting room and private party room for customers to reserve for special occasions and land at the back for small overnight rentals. So… Fortunata Winery was born. Jon Marc, their son, moved back from Colorado Springs to become a partner in the family winery.
“Sitting on our back porch one evening, we were trying to come up with a name for the new winery, because we had been calling it wine in the woods and knew that wouldn’t be a good name for a wine label, so we were looking up Italian words for fortunate, blessed or lucky and we found the word FORTUNATA. We all decided that was it!” Jon Marc said
Kelby ordered grapevine rootstock hardy to this area and they laid out the first rows which will eventually become the vineyard. Family and friends came to the winery on a beautiful Saturday in March and helped plant 560 vines. The Daniel’s daughters joined the landmark day at the vineyard by planting the first row of Cabernet grapes.
Shari, a commercial contractor, started immediately turning the ranch style house into a Tuscan themed design. “I have a big problem with my projects getting bigger by the day. If there was such a thing as ADD when I was a child I would have been diagnosed with it. I tend to go from one thing to the next if it looks fun!” Many ideas started coming to life; a wine tasting room designed and remodeled to look like an old world Tuscan home, a rock pizza oven and outdoor fireplace were added, a deck for live music, an outdoor courtyard, then small overnight rentals were designed and construction began on them, a pond dug and a fountain added, a backyard designed for customers to relax and escape their hectic everyday lives. A small chapel at the back of the property might someday become a reality also.
“I wish my wife had never bragged on my wine, now she has gotten me in deep! But we have always worked closely together at my office in Denton and this has become our passion to enjoy together when we retire” Dr. Trusty said. “We just wanted to build a close place for people in our area to come enjoy a peaceful atmosphere, bring their friends and family and feel relaxed just like we do when we are there.”
Shari, the romantic, says she wants a place for people to love, to fall in love and fall back in love!
Kelby, Shari and Jon Marc hope to see you at their new winery, FORTUNATA, in the very near future.