On a sunny weekend in Laguna Beach, you can find McClain Cellars filled to the brim with new and longtime customers sampling the independent winery’s selection on the expansive outdoor patio, much of which is a conversion of the parking lot to accommodate the company’s growing fan base.
Such demand has prompted the young company to add two new Orange County locations, and another spot in Temecula, effectively doubling the firm’s portfolio.
Residents of Coto de Caza are eagerly awaiting the debut of one of those outposts. The company’s first wine lounge and full restaurant will be in The Village, a community that dates back to the 1970s.
Another location is in the works near the company’s warehouse in the Irvine Spectrum area.
Jason McClain and his wife, Sofia, launched the company in 2016 as a pop-up speakeasy in their own backyard, and added three locations over the next three years in Laguna Beach, and two in Santa Barbara County.
McClain Cellars’ wine is harvested from vineyards he owns in Central California’s Santa Ynez Valley, and each bottle is vetted by the company’s wine club members and assigned a meaningful name.
“Sofia’s Star,” a Syrah, immortalizes Sofia’s mother, whom she lost at age 12.
“Kiss of Life,” a grenache blanc, echoes the Sade song that played when Jason and Sofia had their first kiss.
McClain Cellars received the Up & Coming Award at last August’s 22nd annual Family-Owned Business Awards.
“We want McClain Cellars to be the only business that has won all five OCBJ awards in the course of our lifetime,” McClain told the Business Journal in August.