Spring Wines from William Chris Vineyards; Picnic

Texas Wine Shop

Browse through our available 100% Texas-grown wines, wine club exclusives, current restaurant and retail locations, and event tickets.

Farmhouse

Who we are

Prior to their partnership, both Bill and Chris had numerous years of experience growing grapes in Texas. Since the two established the William Chris Vineyards brand, a beautiful story continues to be written. Not only driven by the passion of our founders but also the community they continue to build as the business grows. Our vineyard partners, winemakers, and team members make Bill and Chris's vision a reality.

Our Story

Prior to their partnership, both Bill and Chris had numerous years of experience growing grapes in Texas. Since the two established the William Chris Vineyards brand, a beautiful story continues to be written. Not only driven by the passion of our founders but also the community they continue to build as the business grows.

Bill and Chris: An Inspired Story

William 'Bill' Blackmon

Bill Blackmon holds 30 years of winegrowing experience in Texas, having planted and managed several of the state's earliest and finest vineyards in both the High Plains and the Hill Country. Beginning in the late 1970s, after graduating from Texas Tech with a degree in agriculture and economics, Bill worked with some of the early wineries in the Lubbock area. In the following decade, he planted and managed vineyards in the High Plains, including the Hunter Family Vineyard. In the 1990's he moved to Fredericksburg to plant some of the first vineyards in the Hill Country, including our estate vineyard in Willow City, Granite Hill Vineyards.
 

Explore our vineyard operations here.

Chris Brundrett

Chris Brundrett has established a career in the Hill Country as one of the state's fastest rising young winegrowers. While earning a horticulture degree from Texas A&M, Chris spent time in the Hill Country, acquiring experience in the winery and the vineyard. He then quickly proceeded to take on head winemaking responsibilities for several wine labels, managing vineyard properties in both the Hill Country and the High Plains. In 2017, Chris was honored with the Oustanding Alumni Award from Texas A&M University. The following year, Wine Enthusiast Magazine tapped him as a winemaker that is changing the face of American wine.
 

Learn about our winemaking process here.

History of William Chris Vineyards

Bill and Chris Bottling Enchanté

The Beginning: 2008

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.

Farmhouse

2009

 Deciding on a pioneer farm settlement in the historic town of Hye, Texas, they began the project to restore the 1905 Deike farmhouse, the future William Chris Tasting Room. The Hye property was acquired in 2009. The century-old farming homestead was painstakingly restored with the same passion and attention to the land's heritage that goes into creating each wine.
Skeleton Key Red Blend Label

The Skeleton Key: 2009

When we took ownership of the 1905 farmstead the old house was dilapidated and weathered by age, but Bill and Chris thought it was an important part of the Hye Estate's heritage and worthy of preservation. As the pair reclaimed original fixtures and materials, rebuilding the house room by room Bill and Chris discovered a Skeleton Key that unlocked every door on the property. Out of that experience, our most famous red wine blend, Skeleton Key, was born.
 
1stTastingRoom

First Tasting Room Opens: 2010

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.

BreakingGround

Expansion: 2011

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.

TR 2012 - William Chris Scrapbook

New Tasting Room: 2012

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.

Terra Cotta Pot

Innovation: 2015

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. 

Bottling Line Under Consruction

Bottling Operation: 2016

In 2016, our winery welcomed our very own bottling line and ramped up our production considerably.

William Chris Retail

The Retail Market: 2018

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.

New Tasting Room Feb 16 2019

New Wine Club Perks: 2019

Construction began on our brand new wine club only tasting room at the beginning of the year. It opens its doors to our Hye Society members in June of 2019.

A Visionary Partnership

What began as an acquaintance as winemakers in the Hill Country became a collaboration between Bill and Chris, focusing on a shared winemaking philosophy. As the word 'winegrowers' implies, Bill and Chris agree that great wines are not made but grown. They also believe that wine should be inspired by the pleasure that is shared with an extended community of friends and family. The creation of each new vintage depends greatly upon these two priorities.
  
Today, Bill and Chris continue to reach for a level of quality that represents the very best of Texas in each new vintage. It is with confidence in their process and pride in their families, community, and this special place, that they inscribe each bottle of William Chris with this greeting:
 

We are pleased to share a piece of our world.

Meet the William Chris Vineyards Team

Leadership

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Carol Blackmon

Guest Relations Manager

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Katharine Brundrett

Executive Administrator

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Rochelle Carnes

Wine Club Manager

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Leah Derton

Senior Director of Marketing

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Keith Helmers

Logistics Manager

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Luke Hricik

Tasting Room Manager

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Elise Koerner

Accountant

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D Thompson

Director of Wine Education and Experiences

Food Program

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Josh Tye

Executive Chef

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Ronny Waits

Food Program Coordinator

Tasting Room

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Anne Bozych

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Janis Buck

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Vernetta Edwards

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Lisa Flick

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Jodi Freeze

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Dusty Harvey

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Robert Herrera

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Bill Pace

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Eva Robinett

Tasting Room Ambassador

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Mary Rosenthal

Tasting Room Ambassador

Winery

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Tony Offill

Winemaker

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Jordan Byrne

Assistant Winemaker

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Tyler Wolz

Assistant Winemaker

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Claire Richardsson

Laboratory Assistant

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Ray Jones

Cellar

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Jason Guerrero

Cellar

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Wyatt Eubanks

Cellar

Vineyards

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Evan McKibben

Vineyard Manager

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Andy Howard

Assistant Vineyard Manager

Carol Blackmon

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. Reach Carol at Carol@WilliamChrisWines.com.

Katharine Brundrett

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 info@williamchriswines.com

Rochelle Carnes

Rochelle Carnes has been with William Chris Vineyards since February of 2015 where she started out working 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 wineclub@williamchriswines.com

Leah Derton

Leah joined William Chris during the 2019 harvest. 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 thrilled to have the opportunity to share the William Chris story and our Texas-grown wines with more people. When she's not on the job, Leah enjoys learning more about wine, spending time outside, traveling, and relaxing with her husband and young daughter. 

Keith Helmers

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 keith@williamchriswines.com

Luke Hricik

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 luke@williamchriswines.com 

Elise Koerner

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 accounting@williamchriswines.com 

D Thompson

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: d@williamchriswines.com 

Josh Tye

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 joshtye@williamchriswines.com 

Ronny Waits

Ronny makes sure our food service operations run smoothly. She curates our cheese boards and small bites. You may be familiar with one of her specialties - our spiced almonds. Ronny has three boys that keep her busy when she's not running the kitchen. Contact Ronny at ronny@williamchriswines.com

 

Anne Bozych

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 experience a tasting with Anne and you love Hootie and the Blowfish - mention it because you'll be fast friends. 

Janis Buck

Janis Buck is a tenured member of the William Chris Vineyards tasting room team. Janis is married to another wine enthusiast, Todd. The two have one son and one daughter who are grown. Once Janis and Todd had an empty nest, the two decided to live riveted in their Airstream in a community on the South side of Fredericksburg. Janis is a former kindergarten teacher. Born and raised in Louisiana, Janis has since earned five teaching certifications. No wonder she provides our guests with such an exceptional tasting experience - she is a natural educator. 

Vernetta Edwards

 

Lisa Flick

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.

Jodi Freeze

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. 

Dusty Harvey

Dusty has been a key member of the William Chris Vineyards tasting room team for years now. Dusty worked his way up to Assistant Tasting Room Manager and served in this position for a year and a half before stepping down to pursue his bachelor's degree full time. 

Robert Herrera

Robert joined the William Chris Vineyards team in spring of 2019.

Bill Pace

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 Robinett

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.

Mary Rosenthal

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. 

Tony Offill

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: tony@williamchriswines.com 

Jordan Byrne

Jordan joined our team in June of 2019. Reach Jordan at jordan@williamchriswines.com 

Tyler Wolz

Tyler Wolz came to William Chris in 2013 from Illinois where he was a college football player. Tyler has done many jobs at William Chris from working in the vineyard to the crush pad and is now our Cellar Master. If you take a peek inside the winery or production facilities, chances are you’ll get a glimpse of Tyler hard at work. In his free time, Tyler enjoys playing several different instruments as well as handcrafting chainmail jewelry you can find in our tasting room. He also has a love for food, you may have seen him at our annual black-eyed pea eating competition where he is our three-time reigning champion. Reach Tyler at tyler@williamchriswines.com 

 

Claire Richardson

Claire joined our team full time after graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Food Science. 

Ray Jones

Ray joined the William Chris Vineyards winery team in 2019.

Jason Guerrero

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.

Wyatt Eubanks

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.

Evan McKibben

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 evan@williamchriswines.com 

Andy Howard

Andy has been with William Chris Vineyards for several years. He resides on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Reach him at andy@williamchriswines.com 

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