Doug McCrea opens a new wine bar in booming east Lacey

After working in the wine industry for more than 30 years, Doug McCrea has started a new venture.

The founder of McCrea Cellars’ newest business is called La Vida Wine Bar, which opened last month in Lacey and was set to have its grand opening Friday, May 17.

The wine bar business also is not new to McCrea. He used to run the Olympia Wine Tasting Bar in downtown Olympia, then ran a similar business in Yelm. He then considered expanding to Tacoma until he dined at a restaurant east of Marvin Road off Martin Way in Lacey.

McCrea was stunned at the growth in the area, which has included multifamily developments south of Martin Way and commercial development to the north.

“My word, look what is going on here,” he said at the time.

That led him to open La Vida at 8650 Martin Way, east of Marvin Road.

The space was remodeled to be comfortable and bright (to combat those rainy Northwest days). It offers red and white wines, some of which feature grapes from Spain and Portugal, including those produced by McCrea.

McCrea Cellars no longer produces wines, but McCrea shifted to a new winery called Salida, where he has produced four wines that are on the La Vida menu. One of those is a Tempranillo, a red wine produced from a Spanish grape. Why produce a Tempranillo? Well, for one, McCrea was given a ton of the grape, he said.

He describes the Tempranillo as a “big red,” something that resembles a Bordeaux. In addition to the Salida Temparanillo, there are other reds: Salida Graciano, Salida Tres Vino and Salida Tinta Madre.

He expects the Salida wine list to expand over time, and the overall wine list to expand as well.

Other wines served include a white Maccerato Albarino, a white Vinho Verde, and a white Satinela.

If you’re a wine lover who prefers Chardonnay, the Albarino is a good fit, McCrea said,. He called the Verde and Satinela easy, light-drinking, semi-sweet, summer wines.

The business sells wine by the glass and bottle, as well as food: charcuterie (a selection of meats and cheeses), salads and empanadas.

How did McCrea first become interested in wine? Originally from New Orleans, he grew up exposed to good food and wine.

“Wine was a part of life,” he said.

La Vida Wine Bar

  • Owner: Doug McCrea
  • Location: 8650 Martin Way E, Lacey
  • Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 4 to 10 p.m. to Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Online: Find La Vida Wine Bar on Facebook or lavidawinebar.com.