William Chris Vineyards La Pradera Rosé, Texas High Plains 2022

Deep copper color; blackberry, cherry, lime, raspberry, strawberry on the nose and palate.

William Chris Vineyards La Pradera Rosé, Texas High Plains 2022

Dry; good acidity (3.31 pH), no noticeable tannins. Light-medium body. Blend of 87% mourvèdre, 13% cinsaut. Grapes come from the 100-acre La Pradera Vineyard in Terry County (the heart of the Texas High Plains AVA) owned by the Paddock family and managed by notable viticulturalist Andy Timmons. William Chris has sourced from La Pradera since 2012.

The 2022 vintage was one of the driest in decades on the High Plains. Lack of moisture reduced yield by 40% while heat accelerated ripening. Then came harvest rains. Certainly a challenging vintage that produced concentrated fruit. Fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel for 34 days, then aged in stainless steel for six months. The vexing vintage caused William Chris to rely heavily on mourvèdre (aka monastrell and mataro) because of its tolerance to heat and stress. In other vintages, the mourvèdre-cinsaut (aka cinsault) percentages have been reversed. 13.3% ABV

Bill and Chris—William Chris Vineyards

William Chris is a major player in Texas wine ascendency with the quality and quantity to be taken seriously. The winemaking facility and tasting room are located in the tiny hamlet of Hye, 20 miles east of Fredericksburg on US 290, the wine road in the Texas Hill Country that is analogous to Napa’s Highway 29. The Texas Hill Country AVA is the second-most visited AVA in the United States, behind Napa. There are clear differences: the Napa AVA is 789 square miles; the Texas Hill Country AVA is more than 14,000 square miles. Well, things are bigger in Texas.

While the Texas Hill Country AVA produces some grapes, the AVA is much more famous for its wineries and tasting rooms. Most Texas grapes—85%—come from the Texas High Plains AVA, a region of more than 12,500 square miles on the Texas High Plains (Llano Estacado) centered between Lubbock and Brownfield (Terry County, where the La Pradera Vineyard is located). With elevations ranging from 3,000 to 4,000+ feet, hot days and cool nights, the High Plains developed into a major grape producing region in the past 40 years. The grapes for this effort come from the La Pradera vineyard, elevation 3,300 feet.

William Chris deck tasting area
William Chris outdoor tasting

The Texas Hill Country AVA is an easy day trip for the more than 1.5 million people living in San Antonio (seventh largest city in the U.S.) and the one million people living in Austin (11th largest city in the U.S.). Throw in 2.3 million people in Houston (4th largest U.S. city) and the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth area with 2.5 million people. The Texas Hill Country AVA is comfortably reachable for some eight million people in a less than a four-hour drive. Texans don’t blink about four hour drives, and the Austin/San Antonio drives are 90 minutes or less.

William Chris indoor tasting
William Chris event center

The wisdom is you go to Napa for vineyard beauty, pricy restaurants, and tony tasting rooms. You go to the Texas Hill Country if you want welcoming tasting rooms, good food, thigh-slapping fun, and outrageous characters. You also go there to enjoy the soaring quality and sophistication of Texas wines. William “Bill” Blackmon and Chris Brundrett—William Chris Vineyards—are part of that inspiring story. You also have more than a passing chance of visiting with Chris—his mother always refers to him by his full name “Christopher”, BTW—in the tasting room.

William Chris Vineyards La Pradera Rosé, Texas High Plains 2022 delivers tasty red fruit with an emphasis on mourvèdre in this vintage. Skilled winemaking produced a nicely concentrated wine in a vexatious vintage. This is another testament to the rising quality and sophistication of Texas wines in general and William Chris in particular. With its rich, dark rosé color, light-medium body, and good acidity, works nicely as an aperitif, or pair with charcuterie board that includes fresh fruit. Pair with shellfish; rich fish—salmon, tuna; salads, especially ones that include fresh fruit elements; pork—lighter cuts, not barbecue or heavy sauces; pasta; poultry; appetizers and snacks. Cheese—brie, goat cheeses, camembert, mild cheddar, fontina, gouda, mozzarella, sheep’s milk cheese. $24


William Chris vineyard
William Chris outdoor tasting
William Chris entrance sign