Fess Parker Wine Journey
Updated: Nov 10, 2019
Sprawling east-west, 30 minutes away from the “American Riviera”, an oceanic oasis that is Santa Barbara, California, lies the Santa Ynez mountain range. A beautiful confluence of cool climate and mountainous terrain frame this stunning, yet lesser know wine region. The east-west ocean wind funnels through hillside vineyards providing ample playground for growing unique Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as Rhône and Bordeaux varietals as cool ocean breezes give way to dry warmth in the eastern areas.
Using the town of Los Olivos as the epicenter to launching into this stunning wine region, you immediately experience the presence that is Fess Parker – with the “Fespar” owned Wine Country Inn and accompanying Bear and Star restaurant. Delightful would be a gross understatement for this town of just a few block, sprawling with tasting rooms, breweries, restaurants and shops and just a short jaunt to the Fess Parker winery. I was fortunate to visit during March 2019 where the hillsides seemed more like Ireland – lush, green and dancing with poppies and other wildflowers. A welcome site given the close proximity of the Thomas Fire that ravaged Santa Barbara County the year prior.
After packing a sandwich lunch from local Panino, a quick scenic drive landed this wine nerd at the Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard. The beautifully appointed property and sunny California day, welcomed me into the tasting room for an experience not soon forgotten. I was fortunate to have the tasting counter all to myself and the undivided attention of Adriana, who curated for me a delectable wine journey. Adriana was herself like a fine wine: smooth, velvety, toasty with a lingering finish. She was incredibly fun, interactive and filled me with a plethora of information and additional bottle samples.
Tasting notes were all over the map with the gorgeous selection of classy wines composed of great depth and character – from an elegant Chardonnay to an expressive Port. The symphony of flavors was pervasive from one beautiful swirl in the glass to the next. Put this on your list. Adventure awaits! (Ask for Adriana and tell her I sent you)