Bottle Rockets: Sommelier Jason Hisaw recommends two wines from William Chris Winery in Hye, Texas

On a recent trip to Fredericksburg, Texas, I stopped at William Chris Vineyards, in the nearby  town of Hye.

Part of my the fun of working as a sommelier at a prominent Texas steakhouse is tasting some of world’s best wines, which often reminds me that I should also pay more attention to the wines grown almost in my own backyard.

At William Chris Vineyards, I met up with Bill Blockmon (the William in the name) and tasted through the winery’s entire line-up. I was thrilled by the quality and the dedication to craftsmanship in their wines and their use of 100% Texas grapes, minimal sulfites, and a minimum amount of manipulation.

One of the wines that really stood out was the 2010 Emotion, a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Mourvedre. It tasted of bright red cherries with great, racy acidity and herbal notes.

Another star was their 2010 Syrah. The fruit for the wine is grown in the nearby Stout Vineyard, which is owned and farmed by master sommelier Guy Stout. The Syrah tasted like a classic:  black fruit, with hints of black pepper and a savoriness of roasted meats.

To see what’s on the horizon, I sampled from the barrels their still-young Merlot and Cabernet Franc, which both tasted promising.

Check out their website at, where you’ll find their all their wines for sale. If you make it down to Fredericksburg, stop by the winery to taste their wines.

You’ll be amazed by what’s growing right outside your back door.

William Chris Vineyards, 10352 U.S. Highway 290, Hye, TX 78635 PH: (830) 998-7654