William Chris Wine Company (WCWC) is excited to announce the hire of Seth Urbanek as Director of Wine Projects. In this role, Urbanek will be focused on establishing a full-scale sparkling wine production facility in Texas. He plans to focus on méthode traditionnelle processes but will also experiment with various other sparkling wine methods and will oversee WCWC’s existing Pét-Nat and sparkling Pinot Meunier programs.
Urbanek joins WCWC from Wedding Oak Winery, located in the Texas Hill Country, where he ran production and acted as general manager for the brand. His expertise in Texas wines will be a welcome addition to WCWC, greatly expanding the company’s capacity for sparkling wine production. At WCWC, Urbanek will spend time identifying the ideal varietals, including old vines like Chenin Blanc and vineyard sites across the state that will produce an exemplary sparkling base. He also plans to implement traditional practices of barrel and lees aging to produce world-class sparkling wine. In addition, Urbanek will make the wine for all custom crush clients.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at William Chris Wine Company and look forward to bringing the first Texas-based sparkling wine production online as soon as possible,” says Urbanek.
Urbanek’s roots run deep in the wine industry. He has spent time working at various wineries across the U.S., as well as at the MollyDooker Winery in South Australia, where he worked as a laboratory technician and cellar hand. More recently, Urbanek worked a three-month internship through the champagne harvest at Champagne Bollinger in France. A perk to the job was the ability to evaluate wines from a portion of the 3,500 barrels that made up the 2017 vintage.
“The addition of Seth to our production team is going to allow us to deliver more of what our fans want. Sparkling wine is something we’ve been eager to explore further for a while and Seth is here to help us put that intention into action,” said Andrew Sides, cofounder and winemaker at Lost Draw Cellars.
Urbanek is a graduate of Texas A&M University, holds a certified proficiency in the French language from Centre Universitaire d’Etudes Francaises, Grenoble, France, and a Master of Science degree in Enology from Cornell University.