One of four businesses now operating in the reimagined, remodeled former Escalon Lumber and Hardware building on First Street, Lumberyard Cellars is quickly becoming known as a go-to for wine, music and fun with friends.
The husband and wife team of Derick and Megan (Velting) Webb are marking their third month in operation at The Merchant Yard, 1455 First St., and are in Suite 4.
They offer a Wine Tasting Menu with several selections for tasting, have wines for sale by the glass or bottle, have beers ranging from domestics to Stella Artois to some from Last Call Brewing in Oakdale, and also have Golden State Cider.
“I was already working for Bronco Winery in Escalon,” Derick said of being involved in the wine business. “I was managing the winery here but then we just decided we wanted to do something on our own.”
It was a fortuitous meeting with Larry Grossi – who purchased the old Escalon Lumber building and had plans for the remodel – that ultimately was the final piece falling into place.
“We got hooked up with Larry at the Escalon Chamber of Commerce wine stroll in 2019,” Megan explained. “We got to talking with him; the opportunity arose and presented itself.”
Derick said it was then-Mayor Robert Swift who introduced them to Grossi.
“It has been a couple of years in the making but that has been good,” Megan added of getting the business ready. “It gave us time to build the wine inventory.”
Derick makes the wine, and is a graduate of Fresno State with a degree in Enology, which is the study of wine and winemaking.
“We source our grapes and make our own wine,” Derick said, with such varieties as a Madera County White Blend, a 2019 Monterey County Chardonnay, a Madera County Rosé, 2018 San Joaquin County Grenache and a 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, to name a few.
They have also instituted a Wine Club, with a quarterly shipment of wine, which can be picked up on site or delivered. Each shipment includes two to three bottles of wine, at a discount of 20 percent. Those in the club can choose between white wine only, red wine only or have them all with a mixed shipment.
Club members also receive 20 percent off all wine bottle purchases, complimentary tastings for up to four guests and invitations to Wine Club only events.
Along with the wines already available Megan said they have more “in barrel” that isn’t quite ready for bottling.
They opened the last weekend in July, just before this year’s Park Fete festivities, and have been enjoying the opportunity to share wine and conversation with the community.
“So far it has been great, Escalon has really supported us,” Derick said.
“We are very excited by the support from the community,” Megan added.
The couple has a four-and-a-half month old son, Jase, and Derick has a day job at a distillery in Modesto, while also making wine and helping run the Lumberyard Cellars.
“This is his night job and it has turned into my fulltime work,” Megan said.
She previously worked for Yosemite Farm Credit but now juggles motherhood and running the business.
Current hours are Fridays 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays noon to 9 p.m.; Sundays noon to 5 p.m.; they also occasionally have some special after hours events. Live music and a food truck are featured once a month, shared on their social media, and they hope to increase that in the future. The location also offers a patio with fire pits and guests can enjoy charcuterie boards and some seasonal items such as a pumpkin butter baked brie with candied pecans.
“We also have Sangria, always, with fresh in season fruit which right now is apples, pears and oranges,” Megan said.
Along with Derick and Megan, they have two staff members and “a lot of family help,” Megan said.
She added that they are eager to welcome in those that know about wine and those that want to know about it.
“We want to have a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere,” she said. “Everyone 21 and over is welcome; come in and give it a try. We want to be a place for friends to gather.”
For those that want to taste a number of wines, the tasting fee is $10 but that is waived with a wine purchase.
And as far as finding themselves making wine and running a wine bar?
“I always thought about it when I was in college,” Derick admitted.
“It became a dream together,” added Megan. “So when the building presented itself, we did it.”
To inquire about special events or private parties, call or text, 209-857-6181.
This is the first in a four-part series of features on the businesses in The Merchant Yard; look for the next installment in the Nov. 10 issue of The Times.