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 1970's, 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, a holding that Bill has brought into the William Chris portfolio. In the 1990's he moved to the Fredericksburg area to plant some of the first and longest running vineyards in the Hill Country, including a William Chris estate vineyard in Willow City, Granite Hill Vineyards.
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 2010, he planted the Brundrett Family Estate vineyard with his father Bruce in San Angelo, which will produce winegrapes exclusively for William Chris.
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.
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. The Old-World method integrates farming, tradition, and local culture, and Bill and Chris kept this in mind as they sought out a property to build their winery. 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, with the winery and tasting facilities opening in 2010, and the Hye Estate Vineyard planted next to the winery in March of 2012.
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.