The Fess Parker family has officially unveiled its renovated tasting room in Los Olivos, California, which they say pays homage to the family’s roots and supports the winery’s more elevated tasting experiences.
Since opening its expansive tasting room and winery in the early 1990s, Fess Parker Winery has remained a top destination in the region, welcoming guests to its picturesque location along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.
Looking to create a more contemporary experience for guests while incorporating the family’s history, the Parker family embarked on a tasting room refresh that would become the next evolution of the presentation of the brand. To bring their vision to life, 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-plus years, it was definitely time for a refresh,” explains 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 robust 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 stunning 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 for the role of Davy Crockett with 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 their 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,” says 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.”
About The Fess Parker Family Portfolio
Since the late 1980s, Fess Parker and his family have cultivated a world-class hospitality portfolio around the beauty and bounty of Santa Barbara County. The Fess Parker Winery is focused on the grape varieties best suited to the region’s unique growing conditions – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rhône wines – with its vintages consistently earning 90+ point ratings from top critics around the world. In addition to a waterfront hotel in Santa Barbara, the family honors their late patriarch’s legacy by hosting guests at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn in Los Olivos, the heart of Santa Barbara wine country. For more information, please visit www.fessparker.com.