Gary McLean’s career began with building his family’s trucking company, Interstate Distributor Co. In 1984, over dinner with an important new customer at a high-end restaurant in San Francisco, he was told to select the wine. He selected a White Zinfandel. When the customer stated he was never to pick the wine again, he committed himself to learning more about it.
As a member of the Columbia Tower Club, he met many people who would go on to be luminaries in Washington state wine: Allen Shoup, Gary Figgins, Eric Dunham, and Marty Clubb, just to name a few. He discovered these folks not only had passion and dedication, but they were good people that he enjoyed being around.
As he fell in love with Washington wine and winemakers, he began taking cases with him on trips throughout the country, introducing his clients, somms, restaurant owners to Washington wines. As his knowledge grew, he became the Auction of Washington Wines co-chair in 2003 and 2004.
Through Gary’s extensive network of winemakers and business owners, Gary served as a procurement manager for the Auction of Washington Wines 2018-2020, bringing some of the most coveted and high earning lots to the auction including original Chihuly Drawings, “French Connection” dinners with Christophe Baron of Cayuse and Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat, and two private dinners with Robert Parker.
The Northwest Wine Benefit Foundation, DBA Auction of Washington Wines, is committed to supporting the growth and awareness of the Washington state wine industry through a series of celebrated events benefiting our community. We have raised over $63 million since our inception in 1988.
The Auction of Washington Wines is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or familial status.