Prior to their partnership, both Bill and Chris had numerous years of experience growing grapes in Texas. Both farmed grapes and made wine for established wineries. In 2008, the pair decided to take their combined experience and passion to create authentic Texas wine and began William Chris Vineyards. Bill and Chris bottled their first vintage under the William Chris label in 2008, utilizing Old-World winemaking techniques to create a genuine expression of the Hill Country's distinctive terroir. They produced 16 barrels of our flagship red wine and called it Enchanté.
William Chris opened the doors of a small tasting room and produced a couple of thousand cases of wine. Several wines from this vintage gathered acclaim including the 2010 Enchanté, 2010 Hunter, 2010 Cabernet Franc, and the 2010 Blanc du Bois.
In 2011, Bill and Chris broke ground on a new and larger production facility enabling them to double their capacity. With the purchase of additional storage tanks and barrels, the winery produced 4,500 cases of wine in 2011.
The epic drought of 2011 produced a small-berried harvest that created great concentration and quality scarcely matched by any previous vintage in Texas.
In 2012, William Chris Vineyards introduced a new tasting room and patio for guests to enjoy. The old farmhouse was turned into a wine club lounge for Hye Society members only.
Our winery added a very special fermentation and wine aging vessel made of terracotta. All wines made in the terracotta pot are a very limited production each vintage. So, once we added terracotta wines the Hye Pot Club was established.
In 2016, our winery welcomed our very own bottling line and ramped up our production considerably.
In 2018, we expanded our wholesale program and distribution to include select retail locations including retailers headquartered in Texas beginning with Whole Foods Market and H-E-B stores.
In August of 2019 we opened our brand new wine club members tasting room. We couldn't be more proud of this beautiful building to host our members in for tastings, release parties and private dinners.
Senior Director of Marketing
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Wholesale
Director of Wine Education and Experiences
Wine Club Manager
Assistant Wine Club Manager
Wine Club Ambassador
Tasting Room Manager
Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Assistant Tasting Room Manager
Tasting Room Ambassador
Tasting Room Ambassador
Tasting Room Ambassador
Tasting Room Ambassador
Tasting Room Ambassador
Hye-Way Haus Property Manager
Guest Relations Manager
Katharine has been helping out at William Chris Vineyards since her husband, Chris Brundrett, co-founded the winery in 2008. She joined the team full-time mid-2014. Katharine is in charge of making sure that all of our executive operations run smoothly and efficiently. She also helps to manage our direct to consumer shipping compliance so that you can receive wine shipments - even across state lines. All federal government label approvals and reports also pass through Katharine's hands. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah joined William Chris Vineyards during the 2019 harvest season. Her background is in consumer marketing and advertising for various global brands, including YETI, BMW and Target. Leah is a native of Austin and is honored to have the opportunity to share the William Chris story and our Texas-grown wines with more people every day. In addition to her dream job, Leah enjoys learning more about wine, spending time outside, traveling, and relaxing with her husband and young daughter. Leah is a graduate of Texas A&M University's Mays School of Business.
Brian Gilliam leads the finance and accounting divisions of WCV. Prior to WCV, he was the CFO of FibeRio Technology Corporation where he led the finance, accounting, and administration groups. Brian led FibeRio from startup through successful sale of company to a Fortune 500 firm. Prior to FibeRio, Brian was in various senior financial roles with Nike Inc., Patagonia, General Electric, and Renew Data. Mr. Gilliam is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
Anthony Harvell leads the sales, operations, and administrative divisions of WCV. He has overseen the company production growth from 4,000 cases to 33,000 cases. During his tenure with WCV, he has also contributed to Texas wine organizations including serving two years as a board member for the Texas Hill Country Wineries association and creating the premier Texas wine event, Texas Wine Revolution. Prior to WCV, Anthony led teams in the retail sector, most recently with Skechers USA where he developed the central Texas market. Anthony has also held a national training role for Safilo USA as well as General Manager of a boutique retail brand. Anthony is a graduate of North Carolina State University as well as the prestigious North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.
Keith is born and raised in Texas; he grew up in Austin and currently resides in Fredericksburg with his wife and two boys. He has a degree in Business Management from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. Keith joined William Chris Vineyards in early 2014 starting as a Tasting Room Associate, moving up to Tasting Room Manager. In 2018, Keith was promoted to oversee all distribution and fulfillment where he makes sure we have enough wine to go around for wine club members, tasting room visitors, direct to consumer shipping, and our wholesale accounts. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and hanging out on his family’s ranch. If Keith isn’t drinking a glass of William Chris wine, you will find him with ice cold (or sometimes even warm) Natty Lite in his hands. Keith can be reached at email@example.com
Elise joined the William Chris family in January 2016. She is from the North Texas area and is a native of Canada. She is in charge of all William Chris accounting. With her 30+ years of accounting experience, she is a key team member. Elise lives in Canyon Lake with her husband Donnie. They have two sons and one daughter who are all grown. Elise has been a lover of wine for most of her life and enjoys all of the learning experiences she has available to her here at William Chris Vineyards. When she is not keeping our finances in order, Elise and Donnie enjoy riding their Harley Davidson all over the country. You can reach Elise at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelsey joined the William Chris marketing team in December of 2019. With her passion for wine, it was a no-brainer for her to hop on board. She has a background in social media marketing and public relations with companies like Go Daddy and nonprofit organizations all over the U.S. Being from Indiana she is excited to embark on this journey of Texas wine and share our story with the world.
Savana joined the William Chris team in August 2019 bringing 4 years of distributor sales management experience. Although she’s a Colorado native and not 100% Texan like our wine is, she's pretty darn close. Growing up in Dripping Springs and a Texas Tech Graduate in RHIM she holds her WSET Level 2 Award. Outside of the vineyard Savana enjoys dipping her toes in the sandy shores of Texas, Vino Vinyasa and spending time with friends and family.
A former teacher and school administrator, D Thompson has championed the power of education in improving others’ lives for more than 15 years. In 2018, he brought those skills to the William Chris team as the Director of Education & Experiences. While exploring many of the world’s major wine regions in person and visiting over 35 countries, D became a self-taught wine nerd. He is passionate about sharing his love and knowledge of wine with others so that they, too, can share in the joy and community of the wine world. He holds his WSET Level 3 Award in Wine and his WSET Level 1 Award in Sake. He loves French bulldogs, his Texas Aggies (Class of 2006), international travel, high acid white wines, and Champagne. You may learn a thing or two by following D's stories on Instagram: @ddrinkswine
Reach D: email@example.com
Victoria joined the William Chris team in June 2019. Prior to WCV, she was a Special Education teacher and a volleyball, basketball, track and golf coach for 4 years. Victoria attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN where she served as the manager of their Division 1 Volleyball Team. When not at the vineyard, Victoria can be found with her family and friends, floating the river or out at her family's farm in Rio Hondo, Texas.
Rochelle Carnes has been with William Chris Vineyards since February of 2015 where she started out in our tasting room. She joined our team after years of wrangling a house full of boys as a full-time mom in Johnson City, TX. Rochelle has a quick wit, tells it like it is, and she is a natural entertainer so after two years of working with guests in our tasting room Rochelle’s warmth, humor, and approachable nature made her a natural fit for managing our wine club. She spends most of her free time doing what she loves, cooking for a small army (including our winery team), managing and planning social events for both her family and ours here at William Chris, and most importantly partnering with husband Trenton to raise their four boys Jake, Luke, Dade, and Tate. Reach Rochelle at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shawn Fitzsimmons joined the William Chris team in June of 2019. Born and raised in San Antonio, Shawn attended St. Mary's University where he played basketball and met his beautiful wife Ashley. The past ten years Shawn served the people of West San Antonio as the Quality Improvement Manager at Good Samaritan Community Center. Shawn, Ashley, and daughter (Abby) moved to Fredericksburg, TX during the summer of 2019. During his free time, you can find Shawn hanging out with his family, surrounding himself with friends, or pretending he is good at golf.
Anne is an upstate New York expat who loves calling Hill Country home. She is relentless in her pursuit of fun and will often go to hilarious lengths to ensure a good time is a had by all - including our guests. Anne loves her family and friends dearly and treasures her time with them. If you get a chance to visit with Anne and you love Hootie and the Blowfish, be sure to mention it because you'll be fast friends.
Lisa wasn't born in Texas but got here as soon as she could. She's been here for over 30 years now. With a background in hospitality and special events, she fell easily into the Texas Hill Country wine industry. She brings with her oodles of experience in customer service! With a love of the outdoors, Lisa is often at one of the many local state parks and rivers in her spare time, or she is at home by the fire sipping her William Chris wine.
Luke joins the William Chris Vineyards team after spending several years in Napa Valley working with reputable wineries including Duckhorn Vineyards. Luke relocated to the Texas Hill Country in the spring of 2019 with his wife and daughter. You can reach Luke at email@example.com
Vernetta or "Miss V", as the team lovingly calls her around here, has been a part of the William Chris Team for many years now, and has been a critical member of our tasting room team every step of the way. When Miss V isn't on the job, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and her grandson.
Tara is a native of New Jersey, and she relocated to Texas after being introduced to William Chris Vineyards by some of her family members who call Texas home. She's been an important part of our tasting room ream since day one, and in 2019 was promoted to Assistant Tasting Room Manager.
Jodi joined William Chris Vineyards after holding various positions within the wine industry in the hill country. She enjoys providing her guests with an educational and interactive experience.
Robert joined the William Chris Vineyards team in spring of 2019.
Mr. Bill Pace was born in Beaumont, Texas. He is a graduate of Lamar University. Bill has been a hard worker since his first job shining shoes in a barbershop at the age of 12. Bill retired from the Texas Workforce Commission on August 31, 2001. He and his wife, Carol, joined our wine club in August of 2012. Bill fell in love with William Chris and our story came out of retirement and traded his wine club membership for a job in our tasting room. Bill has been with us since 2012, soon after joining our wine club. He and Carol reside in Fredericksburg.
Eva is a native Texan, raised in Dallas. 30 years in food and beverage service from bartending in Deep Ellum to fine dining in New Orleans. The hospitality industry has allowed Eva to travel the country working and making friends. Coming home to Texas in 2009, she settled into the Texas Hill Country and began to take on a lifelong hobby of photography. Carol Blackmon saw a display of her photographs and invited her to have a room in the William Chris Vineyard farmhouse in 2011. Eva joined our tasting room team in 2014.
Originally from England, Mary has a way with guests and it's not just her accent that makes the tasting experiences she hosts memorable. Mary enjoys showing off our vineyards and educating her guests about the structure of the vines, the terroir on Hye Estate, and the varietals we grow here.
Josh Tye joined William Chris Vineyards to head up the culinary program which is currently under development for the new members tasting room. Josh previously owned and managed a Texas native food truck that bridges the gap between street food and white table clot dining. His years of experience in catering and event management are an asset to our team. When Josh isn't in the kitchen he and his wife enjoy their in-home cross-fit gym. You can reach Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronny makes sure our Hye-Way Haus operates and runs smoothly. She handles reservations and makes sure the Hye-Way Haus is always ready to welcome its next guests. Ronny has three boys that keep her busy when she's not busy with the Haus. Learn more about the Haus at hyewayhaus.com or contact Ronny at email@example.com
Carol’s adventures in wine started with an agriculture upbringing in west Texas, along with her brother, Bill Blackmon. She learned early on the importance of weather and soil conditions for quality crop production. She expanded on this in college with the study of horticulture and plant maintenance and owning her interior-scape company in the Dallas area. Carol has many years of experience in the food and beverage hospitality industry. These skills made for the perfect blend for her responsibilities here at William Chris, evolving from Hospitality Director to Wine Club Manager to her current position as Guest Relations. As a resident of Fredericksburg, she has been with William Chris since day one.
Michelle has been with the William Chris team for several years now, starting out as a star in our tasting room and eventually finding herself responsible for flawlessly executing our onsite events, both public and private.
Tony Offill, the winemaker for William Chris Vineyards, has been in the Texas wine industry for the past six years. During his tenure at Texas Tech University, Offill completed serval harvests in the Texas High Plains, where he developed a passion for winemaking and winegrowing. He has since taken his passion for the craft and has worked to enhance the quality of Texas wines throughout the state. Offill relocated to the Texas Hill Country in January 2016 and joined the William Chris Vineyards team the following year. Contact tony: firstname.lastname@example.org
After graduating from Virginia Tech with a Biology degree, he took a job as a cellar hand for the 2015 harvest at a winery an hour outside his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. That is where his respect for the hard-working people who make this industry so unique really begin to grow. Jordan has traveled around the world making wine: Washington, California, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and now Texas. He couldn’t be happier to be making wine for William Chris today, and he believes the best is yet to come. Reach Jordan at email@example.com
Jason first joined the William Chris Vineyards as a tasting room ambassador. After spending a few months working with our wines Jason developed an interest in the production process and joined our winery crew for his first harvest in 2018 and today he is our Lab Manager.
Ray joined the William Chris Vineyards winery team in 2019.
Wyatt began working with the William Chris Vineyards team in our tasting room where he provided exceptional experiences to our guests. While Wyatt's skills in hospitality are second to none, his interest in all things wine inspired him to request a position in our cellar to learn more about winemaking. The 2019 harvest will be Wyatt's first as a member of our winery crew.
Dusty has been a valued member of the William Chris Vineyards team for several years now, serving key positions in our tasting room before taking on his new role on our production team.
Evan McKibben is a native Texan who grew up in the DFW metroplex. Evan started his career in the Texas wine industry in 2005. He spent many years growing grapes and making wine in Central Texas. Focusing on production he gained a passion for farming and has been able to live that out at William Chris Vineyards. When Evan is not in a tractor he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children at their home in the Hill Country. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy has been with William Chris Vineyards for several years. He resides on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Reach him at email@example.com