Carol Blackmon, Guest Relations
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, Office Manager
Katharine has been helping out at William Chris Vineyards since her husband, Chris Brundrett, co-founded the winery in 2008. She came onto the team full time mid-2014. Katharine is in charge of making sure that all of our labels are (TTB) perfect, so you have her to thank for their beauty and timely delivery. She has also taken over the difficult job of managing shipping compliance so that everyone can receive their wine shipments - even across state lines. If you give us a call, more than likely you will hear Katharine's lovely voice on the other end of the line! You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith Helmers, Tasting Room Manager
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 came to William Chris in early 2014 starting as a Tasting Room Associate and moving up to his current role as Tasting Room Manager. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and going out to his family’s ranch. If Keith isn’t drinking a glass of William Chris wine, you will find him with an ice cold (or sometimes even warm) Natty Lite in his hands. For any questions about the tasting room, please contact Keith at email@example.com
Elise Koerner, Accountant
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 has been a key team member. Elise lives in Canyon Lake with her husband Donnie. They have two sons and one daughter who are all grown. She is also a proud grandmother of Wyatt Carver Koerner who resides in Oregon with her son and daughter-in-law. Elise has been a lover of wine for most of her life and eagerly anticipates all of the learning experiences she has had and will have at William Chris Vineyards.
Kate Shelley, Director of Wholesale and Outside Events
Born, raised, and educated in Toledo, Ohio, Kate graduated with her BBA in International Business. Having worked restaurants all of her life, she officially entered the wine business when she began working for Glazer's, a national wine and spirits distributor, as a sales consultant representing over 2100 brands. After earning 'top salesman' for Glazer's, Kate traveled to Napa Valley. While there she decided to relocate to the West Coast to further her wine career. During her time in Napa, Kate worked for several wineries including Beau Vigne as Wine Club and Shipping Manager and also for many wineries within Vintage Wine Estates as Event Manager. Ready to explore new opportunities, Kate and her dog Axel moved to the Texas Hill Country. The stars aligned and Kate is now Director of Wholesale and Outside Events, representing William Chris in restaurants, stores, and events in Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, and more. You can contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kappy Simpson, Tasting Room Manager
Kappy is a San Antonio native, who earned her chops in restaurants. She stumbled across William Chris in February of 2015 when her love of wine and live music lured her out to the vineyard and she never left. That spring, she came in as a tasting room associate and overhauled our Madeira House and food program. Now a few years into her wine industry career, she still seeks out and soaks up as much knowledge as she can while coordinating on-site sommelier classes for all our staff to enjoy. She now serves as tasting room manager, head of our food program, and coordinator for all on-site dinners and events at William Chris. So, next time you're in, stop and say hello!
You can reach Kappy at email@example.com
Tara Guthrie, Director of Marketing and PR
Tara Guthrie our Director of Marketing and Public Relations. She graduated with a degree in behavioral science from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene where she also got her start as a lead editor in the office of student publications. She grew up in Texas – and moved to Texas wine country after spending over 10 years as a media professional in Austin with The Statesman, Austin360, and serving as content strategist for multiple blogs and trade magazines. She has been a part of the William Chris team since February of 2017. In her free time, she enjoys testing out cocktails for her mixologist husband and teaching her toddler, Everett, how to swim.
For questions about media, marketing, upcoming promotional events please reach out to Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rochelle Carnes, Wine Club Manager
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 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.
You can reach Rochelle at email@example.com
Joshua Fritsche, Production Wine Maker
Josh came to William Chris in 2011 and has proved to be a lover of all things wine. From the vineyard to the cellar, Josh is committed to producing high-quality wines. His love of wine started while working at fine dining establishments in Fort Worth, Austin and San Diego, California. In August 2013, he graduated from the Texas Tech Viticulture program and continues to grow his wine knowledge by attending local wine conferences and studying for the Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist of Wine program. From time to time, Josh puts forward a special private cuvée named for his daughter, Tatum. Reach him at Josh@williamchriswines.com
Tony Offill, Assistant Wine Maker
Tony Offill, a native of the Fort Worth Metroplex, joins William Chris Vineyards team as Assistant Winemaker. Offill has over five years of experience in winemaking and has completed several harvests both in the Texas Hill Country and Texas High Plains. He made his debut in Texas winemaking during his tenure at Texas Tech University. While completing his studies in the Texas High Plains, Offill joined the team at McPherson Cellars, where he developed a passion for winemaking and winegrowing under his mentors Kim McPherson and Spencer Igo. He has since taken his passion for the craft and has worked to enhance the quality of Texas wines throughout the state. Following his tenure at McPherson Cellars, Offill relocated to the Texas Hill Country in January 2016 to join the team at Compass Rose Cellars. Now, as part of the William Chris Vineyards team, Offill works on the enology and fermentation management side of our production.
Tyler Wolz, Cellar Master
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.
Tasting Room Staff
Lisa Flick, Tasting Room Ambassador
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.
Amanda Brand, Tasting Room Ambassador
Amanda grew up in the Texas Hill Country. She has been living in Johnson City with her two sons for the last 10 years. She began working in the wine industry in early 2012 at another local winery and at a wine bar and tap room in Dripping Springs. She has been a member of the William Chris family since October of 2014. In her spare time, she stays busy with her boys' baseball, soccer, basketball, and football. She enjoys cooking with her family and pairing wine with her meals, of course.
William "Bill" Pace, Tasting Room Ambassador
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 as shining shoes in a barber shop 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 for 3 years now. He resides in Fredericksburg with his wife.
Eva Robinett, Tasting Room Ambassador
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. 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 came into the tasting room family in 2014.