Pop bottles with the irresistible men behind The Austin Winery.
By Molly McManus, Photo by Silvana Di Ravenna
Whether you’re in need of liquid courage, liquid therapy or just a straightforward delicious glass of wine, the dynamic duo behind The Austin Winery has you covered. Sourcing grapes mainly from California and making and bottling the wine in Austin, CEO Ross McLauchlan and Head Winemaker Cooper Anderson have a lot to celebrate.
After years of locating, crafting and jumping over the inevitable governmental hurdles, the boutique urban winery and tasting room officially opened just months ago. "Cooper and I have similar interests but we have very different talents," McLauchlan says. "I love having a partner like that." The ever-so-attractive entrepreneurs met while playing soccer. Both have an extensive background working with wine, McLauchlan's in selling and marketing and Anderson's in crafting and manufacturing. From an early age, each was influenced by his parents, shaping the path they've taken.
McLauchlan's Italian mother introduced wine as a cultural normalcy, setting the foundation for The Austin Winery's approachable method of making and serving wine. Anderson's father—a chemistry professor by day, beer brewer by night—introduced him to fermentation science, instilling an innate love for chemistry. "One of the things that makes wine-, beer- and spirits-making so much fun is that it's such a diverse combination of sciences—everything from agricultural science, culinary art, to biochemistry," says Anderson, who's latest project is fashioning a Texas Merlot.
With Austin's food and drink scene exploding, McLauchlan and Anderson saw an opportunity to introduce craft wine to the city by distributing among casual, trendy and farm-to-market restaurants, their goal to be snob-free. They utilize eco-friendly barrels (which fit 12 bottles: great for restaurants and events) to promote minimal oxidation and reduce overhead, but also sell by the bottle, with inventive hand-drawn label designs by Nic Mathis. It's different and young, setting The Austin Winery apart as a unique endeavor and Austin rarity. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of these charming guys and their progressive product, so I'll put a cork in it and let you be the judge of their tasty wines. Cheers to an enchanting evening.
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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.