Fess Parker Winery unveils newly renovated tasting room
Revealing a more modern design that pays homage to the family’s roots, the newly renovated tasting room at the Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos has reopened to the public.
The winery, which was established by the late Fess Parker in the 1980s and is multigenerational family owned and operated, has built a reputation for crafting Rhône and Burgundian wines from Santa Barbara County.
Since the opening of its tasting room and winery in the early 1990s, it has been welcoming guests to enjoy wines from its picturesque location along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in Santa Ynez Valley.
To create a more contemporary experience for guests while incorporating the family’s unique history, the Parker family embarked on a tasting room refresh that would become the next evolution of the presentation of the brand.
The family hired Oliva Villaluz of Oliva Villaluz Design, who worked closely with siblings Eli Parker and Ashley Parker-Snider to conceive and execute the new look, which included updates of both interior and exterior spaces.
“After 30+ years, it was definitely time for a refresh,” said Ms. Parker-Snider. “We knew we wanted to create an environment that would feel a little bit grand, yet still welcoming and comfortable — all while giving visitors a sense of place and meeting the needs of our elevated hospitality experiences.”
The floor-to-ceiling fireplace remains the centerpiece of the tasting room interior, which is now surrounded by comfortable chairs and a communal table to give the room a lounge-like setting.
Beside the Fireplace Room are two semi-private tasting areas catering to more intimate wine experiences, including those showcasing the family’s library collection of wines, going back over two decades.
Additional decorative touches in the tasting room include a mural of the Fess Parker Home Ranch, showcasing the 714-acre property founder Fess Parker purchased in 1988, as well as a Kodiak Greenwood photograph of Mr. Parker’s favorite spot on the ranch, which is printed on metal and hung as a tryptic above the fireplace.
Memorabilia from Mr. Parker’s acting days, including the guitar he auditioned with for the role of Davy Crockett and an original copy of the lyrics from “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” with edits in the margin, are also included in the space as a nod to the late patriarch’s roots.
Outside, tasting areas are reconfigured to further accommodate the winery’s shift towards more elevated, private tasting experiences while taking advantage of the area’s picture-perfect weather.
New outdoor tasting bars were added to maximize usage of the spacious grounds, while new shade sails, outdoor furniture and plants create a comfortable, appealing environment in which to enjoy the wines year-round.
Finally, the existing prep kitchen was updated with state-of-the-art appliances, allowing the winery to enhance its hospitality programming and accommodate a variety of special events.
“With the redesign, our goal was to create a warm space that invites guests to make lasting memories but one that also allows them to connect to the people behind the wines and place,” said Ms. Parker-Snider.
“We feel like the end result will stand the test of time. It’s something our folks would be proud and excited about and something we hope the next generations will be excited about for years to come.”