Fess Parker Winery is without a doubt, an important name among wineries in Santa Barbara County and especially within Santa Ynez Valley for a few reasons.
To start, the Fess Parker Winery is one of the larger and more complete wineries in Santa Ynez Valley. There’s the winery, an outstanding tasting room, but also a hotel and restaurant. When you travel to Los Olivos, or the Valley itself, there aren’t a terribly high number of places to stay-Fess Parker ends up pretty high on everyone’s list.
Secondly, Fess Parker has long been a providing and training ground for winemakers in the region. Just among those that I’ve personally met I know the winemakers behind, Kaena, Blair Fox Cellars, Tercero and Municipal Winemakers all have worked at Fess Parker, in some cases all at the same time.
You might be wondering about the name, yes the winery is named after it’s founder and yes, Fess Parker was an actor in Hollywood. He is most famous for having played Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone on television in the 50’s and 60’s. Here’s where I’ll give you a bit of look into Santa Barbara-it’s been a favorite living spot for those whom work in Hollywood, but don’t want the lifestyle on a daily basis for quite some time. From downtown Santa Barbara, you can easily be at a film studio in under an hour, so from the large Fess Parker ranch it would have only taken an hour and a half or so, hardly a difficult commute when you only do it for a few weeks a year and only 1-2 times per week right? In an era before the Kardashian’s made Calabassas famous, Santa Barbara was the first choice of the Hollywood elite to get away. There’s still a ton of that, Oprah has a Santa Barbara home as an example.
Lastly, I think it’s interesting to share a bit of Fess Parker’s personal story. He was an only child and wanted to build a winery, as part of a wider ranch and farm, to pass along to his kids. I’m an only child myself and this is a sentiment that I feel immensely as well. There’s something perhaps even more appealing about passing on a winery were the very product itself is made to be passed from one generation to another.
How Fess Parker Winery fits with Uncorked Ventures: Quite frankly, I don’t see a perfect fit, but if I ever did a Hollywood history wine gift basket or something similar, Fess Parker would be a nice fit.