This year has started off full throttle once again! Gone are those sleepy years where the winter season was cold and wet and nothing exciting happened until spring.
We have been off to another busy, early bottling season with our 2015 Rieslings and 2015 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay taking the first two months of the year. We also received our new bottling equipment for our Fesstivity sparkling wine project and I am happy to report we disgorged it successfully! Next to bottle were the 2014 Reserve Pinot Noirs along with the extended aged 2013 Crockett. After that we will be heading right into about a month of bottling the new 2015 Parker Station Pinot Noir!
We have a very busy schedule and I am very proud of all of the hard work that the cellar crew and staff have been doing. It definitely takes a team to win games, and at this point this team is on a winning streak!
In the vineyard we are witnessing another early bud-break with another dry winter, although we have received more rain than this time last year. In fact, the 2014 and 2015 were the driest winters on record, and luckily we have dodged another record-setting bullet like that. The meteorologists are expecting a wet March, April and spring in which El Nino will hopefully live up to their expectations! Luckily the early rains filled the reservoir, so we do have water to help with irrigation and frost protection for the time being. I always cross my fingers this time of the year and hope to escape the frost season without any damage. Wish us luck!
I hope you enjoy the newly released wines, and from the whole team here at Fess Parker Winery...
Blair Fox, Head Winemaker
Begun on March 19th, every Saturday and Sunday we now have featured food and wine pairings for our guests at the Winery.
The food pairings will rotate based on seasons, regions, and Parker family favorites. Featured pairings will range from the classic French dish, cassoulet, with our syrah to chicken pot pie made with locally sourced chanterelle mushrooms, sage and acorn squash alongside one of our single vineyard pinot noirs. Approximate price will range from $12 – $20.
Above and beyond our fantastic traditional tasting we will be offering a new opportunity for winery visitors: a special thematic Enhanced Tasting. These Enhanced Tastings will be conducted by one of our wine educators in a seated format. Themes will include, but are not limited to: A single vineyard tour through Santa Barbara County, Expressions of Pinot Noir, and Big Red Wines, just to name a few. Approximate pricing will be $25/$15 for Wine Club members.
I’m proud to announce that I have a new grandson! Josh and Amanda welcomed Benjamin (Bo) Oliver White, on February 1st. He weighed in at a healthy 10lbs 4oz so some of us have taken to calling him “The Whopper” and I’m guessing that nickname might stick. His big brother, Lincoln, has really taken a shine to him and everyone is healthy and growing accustomed to the normal sleep deprivation. As the ranks of grandchildren continue to grow I am hopeful that the 4th generation will be eager to play any number of roles here at the winery and be leading the charge when we celebrate our 50th Anniversary!
Greetings from Los Olivos! We hope that all of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with friends and family! 2016 is off to a busy start with a lot of our focus being directed toward our boutique hotel project down in Santa Barbara. We were recently in front of the City Planning Commission, and have a few more hurdles to get over, but things are coming along well. We’re hopeful that we might be breaking ground in early 2017. We flagged the site just prior to Thanksgiving, and then during the holidays, Eli and I took a quick trip south of the border to tour some wonderful resorts and pick up some design ideas. We also did some research with an eye toward a signature cocktail for the new hotel, but don’t worry, wine will always be our first love! As always, we thank you so much for you support of the winery and our other endeavors. None of this would be possible without you.
If you’ve been to one of our events in the last few years, you might recognize Mr. Crandall as our very own Chef Barrett, but he’s served the winery in many different capacities since his start with us as a Tasting Room Consultant in 2005. From the Tasting Room he moved into the kitchen in 2010, cooking for events using the Culinary degree he earned from the California School of Culinary Arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, CA.
In early 2015 Barrett was promoted to Food & Events Manager and we are happy to announce that he is now our Tasting Room Manager. Barrett’s excited for what’s to come in the new year and is especially looking forward to being able to provide a variety of new experiences to each guest who comes through the door. Barrett’s favorite parts of the job are sharing the Parker family’s story, working with the talented winery staff and giving customers a memorable winery experience.
A fun fact about Barrett: he actually met his beautiful wife Ivy in 2010 while working in the tasting room, as she was visiting the winery while on vacation from her home town of Chicago. She is quite the baker herself and can often be seen behind the scenes with Barrett helping out in the kitchen.
Please be sure to congratulate Barrett on his new position next time you see him in the tasting room!
Last week here at the Fess Parker winery we celebrated our 3rd annual Wine & Swine in the Vines, a celebration of harvest. Guests were treated to live music, a family style dinner, Fess Parker wine, and a special barrel tasting with head winemaker Blair Fox.
We were very excited to have Jake Francis of the Valley Piggery back. He showed up before the sun had a chance to rise to slowly roast this locally raised pig for 12 hours.
It is always a pleasure to have the KBT jazz trio play at our events. With a mix of piano, drums, and stand-up bass it was the perfect rhythmic backdrop to the evening.
Before sitting down for dinner, Blair Fox had a special barrel tasting planned for our guests of the 2015 Ashley's Clone 115 Pinot Noir.
With the sun setting behind the hills we all sat down to an intimate family style dinner. It was a great evening with the crackling fire, flowing wine, a bounty of food, and good conversation.
If you would like to attend next year's Harvest Pig Roast or any of our events, you can find them on our website under the events tab. We hope to see you here at the winery soon.
This harvest season we are trying something new at the Fess Parker Winery, Friday Harvest Lunches. Guests get a behind the scenes look at the Fess Parker Winery harvest with our winemaking team, followed by a family style lunch with members of the Parker family, tasting room staff, and winemaking team.
Themed harvest lunches have included a shrimp boil, beef bourguignon, and jambalaya; served alongside Fess Parker single vineyard, estate, and clonal selection wines.
October 16th will be the last of this year's Friday Harvest Lunches featuring cassoulet, a specialty of southwestern France.
Tickets are limited so get them soon, as this event will sell out.
Upcoming events for October also include:
October 17- Fess Parker Wine Club Pick-Up Party
October 24- Wine & Swine in the Vines Harvest Pig Roast
For details and to get tickets for any of these events contact Elena by phone at 800-841-1104, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
On August 16, we celebrated our 2nd annual SummerFess here at the winery. On what would have been Fess Parker's 90th birthday, the 25th anniversary of the Fess Parker winery, and the 50th anniversary of the Daniel Boone show, we had good cause for celebration.
To kick off the festivities we did a special retrospective tasting of Fess Parker benchmark wines from the past 25 years. The tasting took place in our estate barrel room and was led by Head Winemaker, Blair Fox, Winery President, Tim Snider, and Winemaker Emeritus, Eli Parker. The wines poured were all rated 93 points or higher by notable publications such as Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
As early evening approached, the festivities moved out onto our lawn where we had live music from the highly talented Ventucky String Band, barbecue from gourmet food truck, Georgia's Smokehouse, and artisan wood fired pizzas prepared by our winery chef.
As the Ventucky String Band cleared the stage it was now time for a very special Daniel Boone reunion and panel discussion. Actors Darby Hinton, Ed Ames, Rosey Grier, and Veronica Cartwright, along with producer Barney Rosenzweig shared stories and memories from there time on the Daniel Boone show.
As day turned into night, it was finally time to turn our attention to the big screen. Two Daniel Boone episodes were viewed by family, friends, and fans on this warm summer evening. It was a great way to end a very special day here at the winery.
We wanted to say a big thank you to the Ventucky String Band, Georgia's Smokehouse, Darby Hinton, Ed Ames, Rosey Grier, Veronica Cartwright, and Barney Rosenzweig for taking part in SummerFess and helping to make it a great and memorable day.
This past Saturday we had the chance to celebrate dad for Father's Day with our Syrah & Sliders event that was held in our estate barrel room and VIP room.
Guests who attended were able to enjoy an assortment of Syrah's from Fess Parker Winery and Epiphany Cellars which included our flagship wine, Rodney's Vineyard Syrah, along with our premium red blend, Crockett. From Epiphany Cellars we featured two single vineyard Syrah's, Stagecoach Syrah along with Hampton Vineyard Syrah.
Guests were also able to pair their Syrah's with a trio of sliders that were being cooked up throughout the event. All three sliders were made with local grass-fed beef from Dey Dey's Best Beef Ever located about 20 minutes away in the Sta. Rita Hills.
Slider #1: House-made brioche bun, grilled onions, tomato, arugula oil, Muenster cheese.
Slider #2: King's Hawaiian roll, roasted garlic aioli, roasted red pepper, parsley.
Slider #3: House-made brioche bun, bacon jam, sharp cheddar cheese, green leaf lettuce.
We want to thank all the dad's and everyone who attended Syrah & Sliders and hope that you had a great time. Also a big thank you to Dey Dey's Best Beef Ever for supplying us with such great beef for our sliders.
This year we celebrated our 15th annual wine club release day barbecue. It was a fun weekend filled with great food served up by Plemmons Catering, fantastic music provided by the Ventucky String Band, a special Saturday night barrel room dinner prepared by the Wine Cask, and plenty of Fess Parker new release wines to be enjoyed all weekend long.
This year we were thrilled to have Fess' grandaughter, Tessa Marie, pouring her Tessa Marie Wines for our members.
We want to say a special thank you to all of our wine club members who attended this year and in years past for making our annual barbecue such a special event. We look forward to seeing you all next year!