Young entrepreneur receives award
Chris B. Brundrett, cofounder of William Chris Vineyards in Hye, received the 2017 Outstanding Early Career Alumni Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University on Nov. 10 in College Station.
The award honors former students who have made significant accomplishments and contributions at the state, national or international level in agriculture, natural resources or the life sciences, and who graduated from the college within the past 15 years.
Brundrett earned a bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M as a horticulture major and entomology minor.
After finishing his undergrad, Brundrett went on to work for Woodrose Winery in Stonewall as the general manager and winegrower.
In 2008, he partnered with winemaker William Blackmon.
They bought land in Hye and opened William Chris Vineyards in 2010 where they went from making 450 cases annually, to producing over 25,000 cases a year.
William Chris Vineyards is currently the largest 100 percent Texas grown fruit winery in the state.
Brundrett and Blackmon simultaneously own Tres10 Solutions where Brundrett is a consulting winemaker for more than 10 Texas wineries.
“Under the direction of Chris, William Chris Vineyards wines have received numerous awards across the country and internationally,” Blackmon said. “These awards include medals from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the Houston and San Antonio Rodeo, as well as gold medals at the Lyon International Wine Competition in Lyon, France.”
Additionally, the 2006 graduate has made outstanding contributions to the teaching and Extension programs of Texas A&M AgriLife through his tireless and continuous work to support the development of viticulture and enology in Texas, according to Daniel Lineberger, professor and head of the Department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M.
“His winery is always a stop on field trips for our advanced enology class,” Lineberger said. “Chris spends a great deal of the time with the students during the visits.”
Brundrett was also a vital source in the development of the Hill Country Wineries association, a regional group whose goal is to serve the rapidly expanding production and marketing efforts of firms in the Fredericksburg region, according to Lineberger. Here, he served several leadership positions including president and vice president.
“He is known throughout the industry for his efforts to establish Texas estate bottle wines and to help increase the recognition of quality Texas wines,” Lineberger said.