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William Chris Vineyards, in Collaboration with MML Hospitality, Releases Wanderer Series Relief Project IV Benefiting Southern Smoke Foundation

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A fourth iteration of this 100% Texas-grown red blend in support of a good cause

AUSTIN, TEXAS (October 18, 2023) – William Chris Vineyards announced today the launch of its Wanderer Series Relief Project IV, featuring a new blend and benefiting Southern Smoke Foundation. Blended in collaboration with Director of Wine Programs Patrick Olds from MML Hospitality, the wine is now available on the William Chris Wine Company website for $40, as well as in select restaurants across Texas, including several of MML’s properties here in Austin.

Originally launched during the pandemic, the Wanderer Series Relief Project aims to provide support within the hospitality industry. For the last two years, that aid has extended into the general public with support going to Feeding Texas in 2021 and José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen in 2022. This year, the William Chris and MML teams decided to come full circle, choosing Southern Smoke as the beneficiary for the 2023 release, the same beneficiary featured in 2020. Southern Smoke’s focus on mental health initiatives over the past year with their “Behind You” program caught the attention of William Chris and MML.

“Southern Smoke has made a significant impact in the health and well-being of hospitality workers, distributing over $11 million since they set out in 2015,” says Chris Brundrett, cofounder and CEO of William Chris Wine Company. “Their dedication to the Texas hospitality industry makes them the ideal partner to collaborate with on this year’s Relief Project. They are just as dedicated to preserving the health of the hardworking wine industry workers in our community as we are.” 

The Wanderer Series Relief Project IV is a lively red blend featuring 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cinsault and 35% Mourvèdre, from two of the most unique growing sites in the state, La Pradera Vineyard in the Texas High Plains AVA and Fovel Family Vineyard in the Texas Hill Country AVA. This wine is food-friendly and ready to drink upon opening. Wanderer Series Relief Project IV pairs well with grilled meats or vegetables that are lightly oiled and salted and served with a vinegar-based BBQ sauce.

“We are excited and honored to collaborate with William Chris—a winery that is quickly becoming the most important wine grower and maker in all of Texas—on their newest release in the Wanderer Series Relief Project. We both call Texas home and celebrate what makes it so unique—the food, a true sense of place and unparalleled hospitality. In making this wine blend, an homage to one of the world’s great wineries, Chateau Musar, it was important to showcase the world of Texas wine and its rightful place on the world’s wine map. And, most important of all, we’re making a great wine with a purpose: to raise money and awareness for our friends at Southern Smoke (also Texas-based) and their initiatives supporting hospitality workers and their mental wellness,” said Patrick Olds, MML Hospitality Director of Wine Programs

The Wanderer Series Relief Project was launched in April 2020 in partnership with Craig Collins MS with the mission to give back to the industry and support Texas restaurant and hospitality communities, which were critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each year the project features a new collaboration partner for a new blend and together, the partners identify a worthy cause for the beneficiary.

“We’re so grateful for our long partnership with William Chris,” said Southern Smoke Foundation founding director Chris Shepherd. “Not only did they launch their Wanderer Series Relief Project benefiting us, but they’ve had a longtime presence at our annual Southern Smoke Festival, pouring wines for our attendees. Great wine has been at the heart of Southern Smoke Foundation’s mission since the beginning—our first two fundraisers were in honor of sommelier Antonio Gianola—so this partnership has always been a perfect fit. It’s also a reminder that we offer our emergency relief and mental health resources to everyone in the food and beverage industry, including vineyard workers, winery tasting room employees, and more. And these funds from William Chris will help us do that.”

For more information, please visit williamchriswines.com, and follow on Facebook and Instagram @WilliamChrisVineyards.

About William Chris Wine Company

William Chris Wine Company (WCWC) was founded in October 2020 by William Chris Vineyards’ Chris Brundrett and Lost Draw’s Andrew Sides. After many years of working closely together as partners in various projects and peers in Texas winemaking, Andrew and Chris merged 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 Wines (est. 2012), Skeleton Key (est. 2015), Grower Project (est. 2015), and Uplift (est. 2022) 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. In 2022 and 2023, William Chris Vineyards was named as a top 100 winery by World’s Best Vineyards. 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. For a full press kit and more information, please visit williamchriswines.com.

About MML Hospitality

Based in Austin, TX, McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality is a partnership between restaurateurs Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman and hotelier Liz Lambert. The group develops and manages projects spanning restaurants, hotels and retail. With a reputation for highly considered interiors, award-winning food and beverage programs, best-in-class service and an exacting attention to detail, MML’s portfolio includes 25-plus restaurants and hotels in Austin, Aspen, New Orleans and beyond. MML Hospitality is managed by an industry-leading team of 1,600 hospitality professionals spanning creative, culinary, beverage, procurement, marketing, human resources and accounting.

About Southern Smoke

Created in 2015 by chef Chris Shepherd, Southern Smoke supports members of the food and beverage industry nationwide through emergency relief funding and access to mental health care. Since its founding, the 501c3 nonprofit established within the food and beverage industry has distributed more than $11 million to people in crisis across America. Simply put, we “take care of our own.”

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