Mini-Doc: Meet The Austin Winery

  • By David Modigliani
  • Published 1/18/2016

How is wine like soccer? They’re both universally loved around the world. Ross McLauchlan decided that the fastest way to make friends, just about anywhere, is with a bottle of wine in one hand and soccer ball in the other.

Ross (Founder and CEO), Cooper (VP and Winemaker), and Matt (Chief of Operations) saw a gap in Austin’s market, so they decided to bring their passion for wine to life. Here’s how Ross tells the story of his winery’s growth:


Funded: $60,000 | Backers: 3 | Backers Loaned: $15,000 | Able Matched: $45,000

My family is from Italy, but it wasn’t until I studied in Barcelona and took a wine course that I fell in love with the history of wine making — and decided to work for a cava producer there. As soon as I got back to Austin and graduated from UT, I knew I wanted to start my own winery.

I didn’t want to be one of five thousand wineries in California, so I decided to stay closer to home. I also didn’t want people to have to take the day off to come visit during the week, as they do with most of the Hill Country wineries. You’re looking at an hour drive out to a winery where the wines are limited to Texas varietals, and an hour drive (plus wine) back into town — not the best combination.

So, the three of us decided to merge the best of both worlds and handcraft wines from our vineyards in Texas, California and Washington, right in the heart of Austin. Our concept fit right in to Austin’s culture — focused on quality, but snob-free.

Since founding the winery in 2014, demand for our wine has only continued to increase — meaning we needed access to more grapes. Our Able Loan made that possible: We increased our production and are now selling to stores like Whole Foods, Central Market, and restaurants like South Congress Cafe and Jacoby’s.

My friends and family were relieved when I explained the concept of an Able loan. They appreciated that it was something official. With Able seamlessly handling the payments to our Backers, we can keep focusing on our work. Our next goal is to sign a lease on a new space so we can accommodate more guests — and more events!

Know a small business that’s ready for the next level of growth? Let us know and if they get accepted, we’ll give you $1000 to spend at their business.

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