Rodney’s Vineyard at Fess Parker Winery. Photo courtesy of the Parker Family.
A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
Marking the 30th anniversary of Fess Parker Winery, Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort honors the Parker Family-owned winery’s big milestone with an exclusive dinner, the “Fess Parker Wine Journey,” from 6 – 10 p.m. on Friday, March, 22 in the resort’s Reagan Ballroom.
It’s going to be a fun—and delicious—evening, kicking off with a video presentation and a Q&A with the Parker Family, hosted by yours truly. Since their first vineyard planting in 1987, the Fess Parker family has enjoyed a long, successful history in Santa Barbara County, helping to pioneer the region’s reputation as an international destination for wine, hospitality and discovery, as well as developing many of the county’s prestigious vineyards.
Marcy and Fess Parker. Photo courtesy of the Parker family
The Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard now owns and farms more than 125 acres and works with more than 700 acres in Santa Barbara County, focusing on the grape varieties best suited to the region’s unique growing conditions—Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Rhone wines—with its vintages consistently earning 90+ point ratings from top critics around the world.
Eli Parker—a founding family member and former head winemaker reflects on the occasion: “Our greatest hope is that people who have enjoyed our wines over the last 30 years will continue to enjoy them as part of their own family traditions and celebrations. Even more so, we hope that people just discovering Fess Parker wines will appreciate them as the finest expression of the beauty and bounty of Santa Barbara wine country. Continuing to work together toward this objective as a family is a real privilege.”
“We mark this anniversary with equal parts pride and gratitude – pride for the quality we have achieved with our wines in national and international markets and gratitude for the opportunity to grow our business while remaining family held. By playing to our strengths and focusing on working with the Rhône and Burgundian varietals that grow so well here, hopefully we have set ourselves up well for the next 30 years. We are fortunate to have a tremendous winemaking team under the direction of Head Winemaker, Blair Fox, who celebrates his 15th anniversary with the winery this year as well,” says winery President Tim Snider.
From coonskin cap to coonskin cap in one decade is the career of Fess Parker, shown in his costume as “Daniel Boone,” March 26, 1964. Ten years ago he played Davy Crockett in a series by the same name. (AP Photo)
Both Eli Parker and Tim Snider will be on hand at the event, along with winery co-owner Ashley Parker Snider and their daughter Greer Shull, who does marketing for the brand, which also includes the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, as well as the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn in Los Olivos, which also houses The Bear and Star restaurant, featuring refined ranch-to-table cuisine from Chef/Partner John Cox.
“Our team is honored to host a wine and culinary celebration for Fess Parker Winery’s 30-year anniversary,” says Hilton Santa Barbara General Manager Chris Inman. “Our goal is to create a memorable evening that speaks to seasoned Fess Parker Winery fans as well as a new generation of wine lovers.”
Hilton Santa Barbara Executive Chef Mossin Sugich and his culinary team will prepare a fresh and delicious culinary adventure paired with the Fess Parker’s signature wines. The five-course wine pairing dinner menu includes:
Cocktail Hour Canapes
Poached fingerling potato, caviar and crème fraiche
Foie Gras, Brioche, Fig Jam
Beef Tartare, crostini
Black Mission Fig, Mascarpone, jamon de Parma, Sicilian pistachio
Fess Parker Rodney’s Dry Riesling 2016 and Epiphany Grenache Blanc 2017
Spring Bounty Dégustation
Spring Onion Flan, pickled ramp, English pea puree, green garlic chips, pea tendril, black olive dirt
Viogner, Rodney’s Vineyard 2017
Channel Islands Treasures
Spot Prawns & sea urchins, morel mushroom crème, crispy cauliflower, lemon, Tarragon
Chardonnay, Ashley’s 2016
State Bird Roulade
Mushroom stuffed Quail, celeriac puree, celery and apple salad, almond oil
Sour Port reduction
Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills 2017
California Spring Lamb
Grilled fat on lamb loin, Pine nut coulis, minted & pickled green strawberries
morel mushroom, fava beans, lamb jus
Syrah, Santa Barbara County
Harrys Berries Strawberry Panna Cotta
Meyer lemon granita, fresh Harry’s Berries
Late Harvest Semillon 2009
All menu items are locally sourced and subject to change based on seasonal quality and product availability.
I hope some of you will join us on March 22 for this very special night honoring the Parker Family and Fess Parker’s legacy.
“Knowing that a career in Hollywood wasn’t necessarily a long-term proposition, creating a family business that all of us could participate in for generations was important to my dad,” says Ashley Parker Snider. “Before he passed in 2010, he was incredibly proud of how far we had come.”
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort is located at 633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara. For more information or to purchase a ticket, please call 805/884-8518 or email SBAFP_SpecialEvents@hilton.com.
Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.
When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life!
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 1, 2019.