One of Texas’ most acclaimed winemakers is stomping on new grounds. William Chris Wine Company is opening of a new vineyard and tasting room on a gorgeous 78-acre property in Burnet, about 170 miles (or just over two-and-a-half hours) southwest of Fort Worth.
William Chris founders Chris Brundrett and Andrew Sides purchased the property, formerly named Hoover Valley, in 2021 from a private owner. The rebranded Uplift Vineyard hired the vineyard team and rehabbed the existing structures to offer elevated wine-tasting experiences and host future private events.
Uplift will be William Chris’ first estate wine brand. For those not up on wine-speak, the offerings will use grapes exclusively grown in the vineyard instead of those harvested by outside growers. Winemaker Claire Richardson will head the program, featuring a surfeit of single-varietal wines and proprietary blends.
Fall releases will zero in on hefty sippers like a single variety Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec, as well as a Bordeaux blend. Springtime will lighten up with Italian grapes such as Montepulciano, Aglianico, and Sangiovese.
Eventually, Uplift Vineyard will expand its wine offerings to a medium-body Rhône blend featuring Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre and explore white blends and rosés.
“Every bottle of Uplift wine will come from only the best grapes harvested from this spectacular site, situated in the Llano Uplift geological region,” says CEO Bundrett via a release. “We’re looking forward to bringing awareness to this unique location within the Texas Hill Country AVA because the fruit that’s being grown here is just outstanding.”
Guests can enjoy the vintages at the tasting room or via a limited-capacity wine club, the Uplift Viticultural Society. Uplift is in the final stages of filling the first 300 of 1,000 total spots for the ultra-exclusive Founders Club.
Looking forward, Uplift will host onsite cooking demonstrations and full-day experiences that take advantage of the bucolic setting. For now, the tasting room is open for reservations only, Thursdays through Sundays, 11 am-6 pm.
Last fall, William Chris Vineyards came in at No. 56 on the World’s Best Vineyards' list of top wine destinations for 2022. It was the only Texas vineyard on the list and one of only seven wineries from the U.S.