article by Megan Winkler of Culturemap Austin.
Editor’s note: This is the inaugural year for CultureMap’s Top Texans Under 30, a program that celebrates the twentysomething power players making a difference in their industries and communities across the Lone Star State — and, in some cases, the world. The full list is here. For now, read all about Ross McLauchlan and Cooper Anderson.
Urban, funky, and snob-free, Austin Winery epitomizes Austin innovation. Founders Ross McLauchlan, 27, and Cooper Anderson, 29, have a love of community, a spirit of inclusiveness, and a dedication to bringing fine wine to Texans without the fluff of Napa.
CEO McLauchlan and head winemaker Anderson are hands-on, hitting the road to help harvest and crush their grapes from their eco-conscious and biodynamic vineyard partners across the United States. Everything else — from fermentation and filtration to bottling and serving — takes place in Austin, where age-old craftsmanship is always on the menu, but white tablecloths aren’t. The same attitude can be expected at their upcoming space at The Yard, located at St. Elmo and South Congress, which is set to open this fall.
Everything they do is as local and sustainable as possible, down to the recycled cork, locally made bottles, and artwork created by Texan artist Nic Mathis.
We recently chatted with the pair, who took a break from winemaking to let us in on a few secrets.
CultureMap: What inspires you to do what you do?
Ross McLauchlan: I’m inspired by the community of small business owners in Austin and the unifying power of wine. A soccer ball and a bottle of wine is the fastest way to find friends anywhere in the world.
Cooper Anderson: Every year is a different challenge, but I get to find creative expression within those confines.
CM: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other Texans trying to innovate in their industry?
RM: Be ready for delays. Navigating government compliance can be tougher than selling your products. Remember, if it were easy, someone would have done it by now.
CA: Attract people outside the typical demographic of your industry.
CM: Sum up Texas in three words:
RM: Gritty, groundbreaking, frontiersmen/women.
CA: Can do attitude.
CM: What’s one thing that people might not know about you?
RM: I meditate twice a day to calm my competitive nature and try and gain perspective.
CA: I’ve voted for my dog for president in the last three elections.
CM: Finish this sentence: “It’s a great day when … ”
RM: Our new space opens at St. Elmo and South Congress.
CA: I can finish my day of winemaking with beers and sandwiches.
Cooper Anderson, 29, and Ross McLauchlan, 27
Co-founders, Austin Winery
Cooper Anderson and Ross McLauchlan co-founded Austin Winery on the premise that it should be as relaxed and local as possible. The first of its kind within Austin city limits, the urban winery is distinctly Texan. Although the grapes are grown elsewhere, everything — from the fermentation and filtration to the bottling, serving, and enjoyment — takes place in town.Read More
An article by: Molly McManus via Culture Map Austin:
Austin has an affinity for taking something old and making it new again, revitalizing struggling areas of the city and turning them into hot destinations. The latest of which is The Yard, a new mixed-use development for creative businesses.
The Yard is located near South Austin’s massive new public market Saint Elmo, a $120 million project sitting on over 10 acres of land off South Congress Avenue. Like Saint Elmo, The Yard is transforming a 150,000-square-foot complex into mixed-use buildings for creative local companies, a music venue, food truck court, festivals, and more.
Thoughtbarn and Delineate Studio and commercial real estate experts Scott Ungar, Adam Zimmerman, and Brian Schoenbaum developed the concept for The Yard in collaboration with Civilitude Engineering and the City of Austin. There's a heavy emphasis on design, food, and drink.
The Yard development team has thoughtfully curated its tenants. Businesses set to open in The Yard include St. Elmo Brewing Company, Vuka and Impact Hub Austin, SUP ATX, and The Austin Winery. Drophouse Design, wakaNine, Granite Recyclers of Austin, and Enabler have already opened at the revitalized warehouse campus.
“Every business at The Yard is a master of their craft, whether you’re a coffee roaster, distillery, fabrication shop, or brewery,” said Bryan Winslow of St. Elmo Brewing. “Because of that, joining this community felt right because we knew we’d be surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs in a collaborative, maker-friendly space. There are not many places in Austin, or the country, that will be like The Yard.”
The official grand opening is scheduled for winter 2016, and The Yard hopes to be a multifaceted spot for Austinites to come together, create, shop, eat, and drink. The Yard is also looking for more creative businesses to jump on board. See the full list of tenants here.
article by Nicole Raney of Culture Map Austin
Austin has a wonderful landscape of locally made brews and booze. Tap into the scene by exploring 10 of the best tasting rooms at breweries, distilleries, and wineries around town.
Hops & Grain Brewing
Hops & Grain has one of the most accessible tasting rooms in the city. Not only is it conveniently located in East Austin, but the hours are seven days a week from 10 am until 10 pm. Combine the Wi-Fi with the delicious morning coffee offerings and sweet patio, and you have the perfect spot to post up and work for the day. Reward yourself in the afternoon with a fresh Alt-eration beer.
Zilker Brewing Company
Embracing the urban brewery trend, Zilker's tasting room functions more as a bar. Nestled on East Sixth Street, the 1-year-old brewery aims to be a purveyor of great American-Belgo beers as well as a destination for weekend hangs. The taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday with late hours on Friday and Saturday.
The Austin Winery
Whether you're a connoisseur of wines or new to the drinkable delight, you'll find something to enjoy at The Austin Winery. Tucked away in Northeast Austin, the urban winery features a small tasting room where you can sip your way through an amazing selection of varietals and blends. Good news for longtime fans: The Austin Winery will be moving to a larger, more decked out location in South Austin later this year.
Oasis Texas Brewing Company
This young brewery tucked away in the Oasis complex along Lake Travis has the best view in town, hands down. The lakeside deck is the perfect place to kick back with some Metamodern Session IPA, especially during the spring season. Open Thursday through Sunday, the taproom features regular live music and fun events in addition to its amazing craft beer lineup.
Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery
Deep Eddy's flavored vodkas are so smooth you can drink 'em straight, and the distillery's tasting room is the perfect spot to try new flavor combos and vodka cocktails. Each week, Thursday through Sunday, you can come out and enjoy an awesome patio with Hill Country views — and maybe even some live music.
Jester King Brewery
On the Fitzhugh Road libations trail you'll find several Austin breweries and distilleries. Our first stop is Jester King, a Hill Country escape open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The main reason to go is Jester King's lovely selection of farmhouse ales, but the brewery also has several different offerings from nearby makers to try. Post up at a picnic table and splurge on some pie from neighboring Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza.
Treaty Oak Distilling Co
Next stop: Booze town. Head out to the new Treaty Oak Ranch and taste your way through the distillery's amazing lineup of Treaty Oak Rum, Waterloo Gin, and Starlite Vodka. The 30-acre property is molding into a fabulous destination for family fun, special events, and educational outings. Friday through Sunday guests can enjoy a number of cocktails on tap among barrels of resting spirits.
Also along Fitzhugh Road is Argus Cidery, an apple-drenched Hill Country hideaway. The new tasting room shares space with fermenting tanks, providing guests with an intimate look at the cider-making process. All of Argus' offerings are available to taste, in addition to some harder-to-find varieties and fermentables. Like cider? Keep an eye out for the opening of a new Austin Eastciders this summer.
Meridian Hive Meadery
The folks behind Meridian Hive are out to show people that mead isn't just ren faire fare. Get more acquainted with this drinkable and refreshing honey wine by spending some time at the North Austin meadery on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Meridian Hive will let you sample the expansive lineup that ranges from traditional mead to honey cider.
Texas Saké Company
The small, intimate tasting room at Texas Saké Company is a great place to explore the wonder that is sake. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the small "brewery" on North Lamar Boulevard opens its doors to sake fans and newbies alike. Come on in, taste sake by the glass, and learn more about the process. The company is now owned by the same folks behind Strange Land Brewery, so look forward to some collabs in the future.
One of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S., residents here are more of a beer crowd, but there’s a new winery in town aiming to change that. Ben Parsons, CEO and winemaker of The Infinite Monkey Theorem, opened his 6,000-square-foot winery and taproom off South Congress Avenue in November with a “hipster kind of coffee shop” vibe. It’s got a modern industrial aesthetic and food delivery from next-door The Buzz Mill is in the works. This is the sister location to Parsons’ first urban winery, which opened in Denver back in 2008.
This spring, Texas-made Trebbiano, Vermentino, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo and Mourvèdre will be available in the Austin tasting room. Parsons’ team crushed 45 tons of Texas grapes in 2015, its first harvest.
“The goal is to make the best wine that we possibly could with Texas fruit and to have it available in our taproom, but also throughout the best restaurants in the city,” says Parsons.
It might be the newest, but The Infinite Monkey Theorem is not the first urban winery to open in Austin. That title goes to The Austin Winery, which cranks out a wide range of varietal wines made from Texas, California and Washington grapes. —Christina Pellegrini, Wine Enthusiast
Read through our sit down with Austin lifestyle blogger, Sheridan Butler:
“Cooper and I have been working in the industry since we were 19-20 from tasting room to cellar. We were learning the basics of wine making and having fun flirting with the process. One thing led to another and I ended up in California representing for several small wineries. Meanwhile, we started taking courses. I had gotten an undergraduate degree and I was like, ‘this might be a career.’ So we took some courses through Washington State. Cooper was developing his chemistry knowledge. It helps to have a friend who’s going through it together with you so we were able to study together.”
Read the full article here.
Grapes of Craft
Smoldering summer months put a cork in your wine drinking, but with fall just a hop, skip and a bootie purchase away, you're ready to break out the goblets. Meet Ross McLauchlan, CEO & President of The Austin Winery. He and his right-hand man, Cooper Anderson, contract acreage on small, biodynamic-minded vineyards across the country and, at harvest, bring the grapes to Austin in a refrigerated truck to start the crafting process. We stopped by their East Austin urban winery-meets-tasting room for a flight, to find out what to drink on a first date and whether Ross is a fan of "bro-sé." (He is.)
Austin is becoming known for the many craft breweries in the area, but did you know there is a winery within the city limits? Read the full article here.
The vibe: Being inside The Austin Winery is comfortable yet chic and interesting. If you’re hesitant to visit a winery for fear of the experience feeling out of place or snobby, this is the place for you. The ambience is casual and this is a great place to comfortably taste wines or take a tour of the winery. The labels on the wine are anything but ordinary, featuring artist Nic Mathis’ abstract drawings of animals, landscapes and more. You can learn about the art behind the labels on The Austin Winery website. The wine: The wine at The Austin Winery is grown from vineyards in Texas, California and Washington. So tasting wine here is unique, as you can compare Texas wine to California and Washington wines. Try the Old Vine Zinfandel, a delectable combination of zinfandel and petite sirah. A big plus for this winery is the short driving distance, as it’s located in the city. The Austin Winery allows a genuine winery experience without the travel. Head out for a tasting or a tour of the winery, and you won’t be disappointed. - Read the full article
written by Macy Moore
Summer offers many occasions to break out a glass of wine and celebrate, but how do you pick the best bottle for a memorable time? We asked experts around Austin for their seasonal recommendations so you’ll be sure to bring the right varietal to every festivity.