Winemaker and influential leader in the Texas wine scene Rae Wilson announced this week that she has joined forces with the team at William Chris Wine Company (WCWC) to integrate her Wine for the People brands Dandy and La Valentía, and the wines under those brands into the WCWC portfolio. Wilson’s presence in the Austin wine scene and her expertise in producing elegant, premium Texas wines make her an incredibly welcome addition to the team. In her role as Wine for the People founder and winemaker, she and partner Anne Spalding will open the first Hill Country location of Wine for the People at WCWC’s Park Street location in Fredericksburg in January 2024.
The space at Park Street was previously occupied by Lost Draw, a flagship WCWC brand, which will relocate its winery and tasting room operations to its new estate vineyard in Johnson City.
“I couldn’t be happier to have Rae and Anne joining our team. As a fellow champion of the Texas wine industry, Rae has been a partner to us in many ways for a long time, so it feels incredibly natural to have Wine for the People become part of our family at William Chris,” said Chris Brundrett, founder and CEO of WCWC.
As one of few female winemakers in Texas, Wilson’s career has spanned from Napa to Portugal to Austin as she gathered experience as a sommelier, a wine educator/advocate, and a consultant before beginning her journey in winemaking in 2014 with the release of her first vintage of Dandy Rosé, a dry, Provence-style Texas rosé to much acclaim. Since then, she’s expanded the Wine for the People lineup to include Dandy Bubbles and the La Valentía label, which features limited-production wines highlighting some of the best growing sites around the state. She also co-founded The Grower Project, a series of wines that showcases and supports Texas vineyards and winegrowers, with Lost Draw founder Andrew Sides. In 2023, Wilson was named in the Vinepair 50, a group of individuals who are considered leaders and trailblazers in the new frontier of wine and spirits.
“We’re so excited to begin this partnership with the team at William Chris Wine Company,” said Wilson. “I’ve worked with Chris and Andrew for years on sourcing fruit and making wine together, and this move presents an opportunity for our business to flourish and expand into the Hill Country to reach a new audience of Texas wine lovers.”
Wine for the People will begin hosting preview tastings for their members, as well as Lost Draw members, at the Park Street location this month. Full tastings will open up in January following a brief closure of the Park Street location for minor renovations.
As mentioned, with this opening, the Lost Draw brand will officially relocate to Johnson City, effective Jan. 1. As a proud leader in growing and producing Texas wine, Lost Draw is excited to return the brand and its educational tasting experience to a working vineyard and to have more space to welcome and entertain the current and future fanbase.
“Lost Draw was born in the soil on the backs of generational farming efforts, and our new chapter in Johnson City will allow us to create experiences anchored in the agricultural elements of our process. The ending of one chapter and the beginning of another will bring new opportunities for our members to experience Lost Draw’s stories and wines in a fresh setting and to watch us continue to grow into our full potential,” said Sides. He added, “We’re so pleased to have Rae and the Wine for the People brand take over our Park Street location. The collaboration between Rae and I on The Grower Project is a great foundation for this partnership, and I’m excited to see her welcomed by the Hill Country community.”
Reservations for January 2024 and beyond can be made online soon at wineforthepeople.com. For more information on these brands and their wines, please visit williamchriswines.com, lostdraw.com, and wineforthepeople.com.
ABOUT WILLIAM CHRIS WINE COMPANY
William Chris Wine Company (WCWC) was founded in October 2020 following a merger between business partners Chris Brundrett of William Chris Vineyards and Andrew Sides of Lost Draw. After many years of working closely together in various projects as peers in Texas winemaking, Andrew and Chris blended their businesses and teams to create William Chris Wine Company. Their shared vision of elevating Texas wine and cultivating a place where future leaders in the industry can develop and grow their careers has been a driving force behind their mission. William Chris Wine Company is vineyard-driven, taking a farming-focused, low-intervention approach to winemaking. WCWC is the parent company of the William Chris Vineyards (est. 2008), Lost Draw (est. 2012), Skeleton Key (est. 2015), Grower Project (est. 2015), Yes We Can (est. 2017), Uplift Vineyard (est. 2022), and Wine for the People (est. 2010) brands, and is the leading producer of 100% Texas-grown wines. Throughout the years, William Chris Wine Company properties and wines have won countless awards, including William Chris Vineyards being named as a top 100 winery by World’s Best Vineyards in both 2022 and 2023. They also have had wines selected in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 Texas Monthly Vinters Cups. In 2022 the William Chris Wanderer Series Relief Project III made R.H. Drexel’s Top 50 Wines Of 2022, and the William Chris 2020 Roussanne, La Pradera Vineyards was awarded 92 points from Decanter Magazine.