Texas Winery Launches Wine to Benefit Winter Storm Recovery

In February, a week of snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures wrought havoc throughout Texas, causing widespread property damage and dangerous conditions as some residents went days without power and water. 

Texans leaned on resources like community food banks like they never had before in the days following the storm, and one Central Texas winery is doing its part to help communities support their residents with a second installment of a special project that began last year.

William Chris Vineyards co-owner and Winemaker Chris Brundrett in June announced the launch of the Wanderer Series Relief Project II, featuring a new wine benefitting Feeding Texas that was created in collaboration with Texas Sommelier Ali Schmidt, wine director for Emmer & Rye, a farm-to-table restaurant located near downtown Austin. 

The first installment of the Wanderer Series Relief Project was started in 2020 to support the chefs, Sommeliers, bartenders and servers in Texas who were hit by the pandemic.

“We created the first Relief Project wine in 2020 because we saw an opportunity to support our fellow Texans,” Brundrett said. “Last year, we focused on the restaurant community who had been completely stalled by the pandemic, and this year we’re partnering with Feeding Texas because we know that many Texans are still coming back from the curveballs that have been thrown our way this past year. Ali and I are both proud to support this great cause with our Wanderer Series Relief Project II.”

The Feeding Texas network is the largest hunger-relief organization in Texas. Working with 21 member food banks, it serves all 254 counties in the state and helps over 5 million Texans annually.

Last year’s red blend sold out online and across all retailers, enabling William Chris to raise over $45,000 for the Southern Smoke Foundation.

The Wanderer Series Relief Project II red blend features 92% Cinsault and 8% Carignan from the Texas High Plains. It’s described as juicy and bright with generous strawberry and cherry notes and a silky texture.

“This wine is meant for summer 2021, for catching up with friends and family, and for hot afternoons that turn into late nights,” said Schmidt. “The wine is best served chilled in the fridge or on ice for 20 minutes, then enjoyed on its own or with picnic lunches, barbecue, and food off the grill.”

The wine was created with a mission of supporting and nourishing Texas families in need who are working to get back to where they were before the pandemic (and ensuing winter storms).

“The pandemic already pushed more Texans than ever to access food assistance from food banks, public nutrition programs, and other sources. But the need soared even higher as our network of food banks helped Texas families recover from the impact of the recent winter storms,” said Celia Cole, chief executive officer at Feeding Texas. “We are grateful to have the support of the Wanderer Series Relief Project II.”

VIctory Wine Group is handling distribution of the wine, Austin design shop Canales & Co. handled the label design, and Berlin Glass made the bottles.

The wine is available on William Chris’s website as well as at select retailers and several independent bottle shops throughout Texas.

Photos courtesy of William Chris Vineyards

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