The Austin Winery is an urban winery based in Austin, TX. Creating world-class wines with fruit sourced from some of the best vineyards and growing regions in not only Texas, but also California and Washington, The Austin Winery has quickly earned a great reputation and a passionate following - we're proud to include their wines on the Winestyr platform and in our wine clubs.
What is your name and title?
Ross McLauchlan – CEO & President of The Austin Winery
How did you get your start in wine? When did you know you wanted to make it a career?
My mom, Patricia Calamari, raised my brother and I in an Old World household – we had early exposure to, and appreciation for wine and its central role in family meals. In college, I saw wine (and soccer) as a vehicle to bring people from all walks of life together. I traveled with a bottle of wine and a soccer ball, and always made quick friends. They were my passport to the world, and I was inspired by the willingness to share knowledge among the industry.
What wine did you make that you are most proud of and why?
Our Quarter Horse (new release) is a blend of Texas Sangiovese (75%) and Walla Walla Syrah (25%) and drinks like a Montepulciano. We’re proud to work with vineyards near and far, and to create a blend that showcases and highlights the earth-driven character of Texas, balanced with the weight, color, and lengthly finish of Washington Syrah.
What do you strive for in the wines you produce? Approachability and terroir-driven character.
What is your favorite thing about being in the wine industry? The people and the wine! Wines are as diverse as the people who make them. I love getting to know people through their wine and vice versa.
How do you see the wine industry changing over the next 5-10 years? Increasing consumption across the USA and removing the myth of the white tablecloth.
Who or what are your biggest influences? Jayson Woodbridge – opened my eyes to grape sourcing opportunities and snob-free winemaking. Cooper Anderson – My VP and Head Winemaker who never lets passion or enthusiasm dip, regardless of the adversity.
If you could meet any person, deceased or living, who would it be and why? Matthew Mcconaughey – we’re both University of Texas alumni and we were in the same fraternity. He could realistically drink a bottle of wine and chill with me. Consider this an open invitation.
Did you ever have a lifechanging wine? What was it and how did it impact you? Dominus, 2001 – simply blew my mind. 2nd would be the first wine Cooper and I made on our own, a Rhone-style blend called the Violet Crown. Inspired us to quit working for other people!
It’s an early Fall evening, sweater weather, what are you drinking? A Cote-Rotie as long as you’re buying.
What’s your favorite drink other than wine? Pappy van Winkle (we drink a bottle of the 12 year every Thanksgiving)
What is your favorite food? Eggplant Parmesean or Rigatoni alla Norma with spicy lamb meatballs.
Favorite food and wine pairing? Duck or any game-y meat with a Chateauneuf-du-Pape for a formal pairing, fresh ahi tuna tacos and Sauv Blanc for casual.
What is your favorite book of all time? Why? Ageless Body, Timeless Mind – Deepak Chopra. Taught me the power of my own perspective, and that physical age and chronological age are separate entities.
You can taste the very best wines from The Austin Winery and many other acclaimed small wine producers by joining one of Winestyr's wine clubs. To learn more about our wine clubs, click here.