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.
William Chris Vineyards is a leader in producing 100% Texas-grown wine. Since 2008, winegrowers William “Bill” Blackmon and Chris Brundrett have managed estate vineyards and partnered with family-owned farms to source only the highest quality fruit. William Chris prides itself on expressing genuine Texas terroir through their wines while delivering a one-of-a-kind experience. Their approach integrates farming, tradition and local culture, and Bill and Chris kept this in mind as they sought out a property on which 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, which became the original William Chris Tasting Room.
William Chris Vineyards prides themselves on only using Texas-grown grapes and are fierce advocates for the farmers that cultivate them. Educating consumers on what type of fruit is in the bottle, why certain grape varietals grow well in Texas (and why some do not), where the grapes are grown, and how they arrive is paramount to their vineyard-to-bottle philosophy. Winemaking techniques at William Chris Vineyards are decidedly Old World, utilizing farming and tradition as well as local culture. As a result, William Chris wines serve as a true and unique reflection of Texasʼ distinctive terroir.
As wineries across the country closed their doors due to COVID-19, William Chris Vineyards led the community of Hill Country Wineries in being the first to close for the safety of their employees In an effort to keep all 62 employees on staff, the winery pivoted their business to weekly virtual tastings with Chris and Katharine Brundrett, to-go and picnic pack offerings, and more. In April 2020, William Chris Vineyards collaborated with Master Sommelier Craig Collins to launch the Wanderer Series Relief Project, a red blend wine benefitting the Texas hospitality industry. Due to the overwhelming success of the Wanderer Series Relief Project, William Chris Vineyards was able to make a $45,000 donation to Southern Smoke Foundation.