If you’ve been inside Lone Star Wine Cellars in downtown McKinney, you can appreciate why one of its family members describes it as feeling like you’re in “Cheers,” the popular television show based in a Boston bar.
“It’s a place where everybody knows everybody,” said Becky Ross, the store’s managing director. “People pull you in and start chatting with you, they bring you into our wine-loving community.”
Opened in 2003 in Historic Downtown McKinney, a new visitor is first introduced to a wide variety of curated wine flights when they visit Lone Star Wine Cellars. They offer five of them, including one just featuring Texas wines and another called Trust Us where all you have to do is answer five questions and Lone Star Wine Cellars will recommend wines tailored to your taste buds.
“Most people who come here are loyal regulars who are here every day and then people who are visiting from outside the area,” Ross said.
In addition to all of that tasty wine, Lone Star Wine Cellars offers live music Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and features popular dishes like charcuterie boards.
A wine-making family tradition
While the shop in McKinney has been open since the early 2000s, the family’s involvement with wine actually started during Prohibition.
Percy Ross, the family’s first winemaker who was believed to have gone missing in the 1900s, actually developed himself into a successful businessman running the Crystal Grill and Casino in upstate New York. He is the same person who is featured on the shop’s popular Grey Ghost Pinot Grigio. The bottle displays the last photo of Percy before he fled Canada on his horse named “Grey Ghost.”
During Prohibition, using the grill’s underground speakeasy, he kept alcohol flowing and it was during this time that he passed along the art of wine-making to his children.
Fast forward to 1985 and Percy’s grandson, Ron, was spending time in the Finger Lakes region in New York learning wine-making secrets from his father. Those vino-making tips that were learned in that basement at the Crystal Grill Casino were now being shared with the next generation.
Then In 1996, the family purchased a ranch along the Red River (about 75 minutes from McKinney) where they started making wine. In 2003, the Ross’ opened Lone Star Wine Cellars, where they have retailed The Ranch Wines made by Ron Ross ever since.
“Wine has always been a family hobby and passion and it’s been passed down from generation to generation,” Ross said.