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OUR story

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A Family Affair

When Fess Parker purchased the 714-acre Foxen Canyon Ranch in 1988, he planned to run cattle, plant a few acres of vineyard, and perhaps, someday, establish a small winery. His dream was to start a family business that he could pass on to future generations.

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fessparker portrait a man standing in a vineyard a photo of ashley parker with a glass of wine on her hand a man standing in a vineyard

Time Well Spent:Our Family’s 30+ Year

Adventure

1988

Fess Parker purchases a 714-acre ranch on what is now known as the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, just down the street from his winery in Los Olivos.

1989

The first vines planted on the ranch are Riesling, and the first Fess Parker wine is bottled at Wente Brothers.

1991

Fess Parker wines are exclusively poured at Elizabeth Taylor’s 8th wedding reception and at the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

1992

A makeshift tasting room opens to the public inside the barrel room and Fess Parker hosts the first Celebration of Harvest at the estate vineyard.

1993

Marcella’s Vineyard is acquired, and Jed Steele, one of the most celebrated winemakers in the United States, is hired by Fess Parker Winery. Fess Parker is invited to the International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon and paired with Beaux Freres in a symposium dedicated to domestic Pinot Noirs of exceptional merit.

1994

Official winery tasting room opens to the public, the first bottling of Fess Parker wines at Foxen Canyon facility, and Fess claims ownership of a forklift! The winery runs a bold advertisement in Wine Spectator magazine, announcing high points from Robert Parker for various Fess Parker wines.

1995

Eli Parker takes the reins as head winemaker, Ashley’s Vineyard is planted, and the Fess Parker family becomes pioneers of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation.

1997

Marcella’s Chardonnay receives 92 Points from the Wine Enthusiast and Camp Four Vineyard is planted.

1999

Snow falls on winery grounds March 15th and Marcella’s 1999 Pinot Noir receives enthusiastic reception from numerous leading wine critics nationwide.

2000

Eli Parker launches a boutique Rhône house that he names Epiphany, the first “Release Day” party is held for Fess Parker Wine Club members, and the family launches Frontier Red. Ashley Parker weds Tim Snider in November with a beautiful reception in the Barrel Room.

2001

The White House serves Fess Parker Santa Barbara County Chardonnay at George W. Bush-hosted luncheon for Baseball Hall of Fame inductees.

2002

Disney launches 100 Years of Magic: a Fess Parker Chardonnay, available only at Disneyland.

2003

The family acquires the Santa Barbara County Wine Center in Santa Maria.

2004

Fess Parker celebrates his 80th birthday, the film Daniel Boone celebrates its 40th anniversary, and the film Davy Crockett celebrates its 50th anniversary. Fess Parker co-founds Buffalo Gap Wine & Food Summit, held annually outside Abilene, Texas.

2005

Fess Parker receives his window at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, Eli Parker’s son, Kristopher, marries Michellene, and the winery donates money to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

2006

Eli Parker named André Tchelistcheff Winemaker of the Year, with an Epiphany Grenache Blanc named Best White of Show, at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

2007

Michellene and Kristopher Parker’s son, Braden Elisha Parker, is born.

2008

Blair Fox is named André Tchelistcheff Winemaker of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition and the winery donates specially labeled cases of Syrah for Direct Relief International’s 60th Anniversary fundraising gala.

2010

Family patriarch Fess Parker passes away, surrounded by family, at the age of 85. Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s ranks Fess Parker 2008 Bien Nacido Chardonnay (96 pts) its #2 wine in its Top 100 Wines for 2010.

2011

The VIP Barrel Room opens at Fess Parker Winery.

2012

Renovations are completed at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn.

2013

Epiphany debuts its new tasting room in the heart of Los Olivos and Eli’s daughter, Katie Parker, buys Bubba, a Wagyu bull with direct bloodlines to world-class Japanese Wagyu cattle.

2014

The Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2015

Siblings Eli Parker and Ashley Parker Snider launch Fesstivity, a sparkling wine program featuring grapes from the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills AVA.

Eli Parker’s daughter Amanda weds Josh White (kids Lincoln in 2014, Benjamin in 2016, and Samuel in 2019.) Eli Parker’s daughter Katie weds Rocky McDonald (kids Jalyn in 2003, Lem in 2005, Krysten in 2006, and Gracie in 2014.)

2016

Together, Katie and Rocky launch Fess Parker Ranch, a premier cattle ranching operation in Santa Barbara County.

2017

Fess Parker Winery launches Addendum Wines, an exciting portfolio of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from some of the region’s most heralded vineyards.

2018

Fess’s wife, Marcella, celebrates her 90th birthday among family and friends. Eli Parker’s daughter Olivia weds Jonathan Swift on the Fess Parker home ranch. Ashley Parker Snider’s son, Spencer Shull, joins the Fess Parker Winery Sales Team and her daughter, Greer Shull, joins the Fess Parker Family Portfolio in a strategic marketing role.

2019

Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard celebrates 30 years of excellence in Santa Barbara County.

2020

Epiphany celebrates 20 years of discovery with its Rhône winemaking program.

2021

The Fess Parker family releases its first vintages of SIP-certified wines from Rodney’s Vineyard, independently recognized for sustainability in practice.

a man crushing grapes for wine
horses roaming on fess parker property