Photography by Kathy Tran
A 33-year-old mother of two successfully building her own wine company in Plano with grapes grown exclusively in Texas?
That’s Jessica Wortham and The Pour Girl, her 18-month-old winemaking company — a dream-come-true for Wortham, who started thinking about making and selling wine in college.
“I’m just enjoying doing the groundwork, getting out meeting people and pushing my product,” she says. “It’s been a lot of fun for me.”
The fun began in her 20s, when Wortham read a book about winemaking.
The process of actually getting into the business has been a little more trying than expected, she says. She and her husband began talking about the business in 2019, with the idea of launching in 2020; that was going to be her year.
She began licensing work that February only to see the process delayed by various COVID-related restrictions. When things started opening back up later, she got to work refining recipes and working with a custom-crush facility.
“If I was going to do this, I was going to do this right,” she says. “That means doing really good-quality Texas wine.”
For Wortham, freshness is key. Some of the best wine comes from wineries where you can have a true vineyard-to-glass experience, she says. That’s why she’s involved in the entire process, ensuring that grapes and other ingredients are exactly what she wants.
Since debuting last year, she has become one of the top producers at the Frisco Fresh Market. She’s also been a hit at area wine festivals and events, including the Plano Food and Wine Festival.
Wortham admits being a mom and entrepreneur can be hectic. At home, she has a 4-year-old on the autism spectrum as well as a 2-year-old. That often leads to busy days and late-night work long after her children have gone to bed. Occasionally, she just throws up her hands and realizes that certain days are going to be “mommy days.”
“It’s a major sacrifice, and sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy,” she says. “But if I’m going to go crazy over anything, it would be for a business that I feel is like my third baby.”
The next step for The Pour Girl may be getting on store shelves. Wortham wants to make her products more accessible, and a distribution partner would help that effort. She’s currently taking meetings, continuing to learn the business and keeping her fingers crossed that she might find the right fit this year.
Another goal is to take some of the pretentiousness out of wine drinking. She believes too many people regurgitate old theories they’ve been told instead of discovering what types of wine they really enjoy.
“People should have no shame no matter what type of wine they like,” she says. “I just think that people should like what they like. It’s kind of silly to have all these rules in wine.”
Learn more about The Pour Girl at thepourgirlwines.com.P