The 2020 Fess Parker Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a garnet color. Aromas of black cherry, sassafras, forest floor, baking spices, black tea, vanilla, and sandalwood. Flavors of black cherry, red plum, milk chocolate, cranberry, wild strawberry, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.
Wine and Spirits Mag 91 Points
About Fess Parker Winery
When Fess Parker purchased the 714 acre Foxen Canyon Ranch in 1988 his plan was to run cattle, plant a few acres of vineyard and perhaps someday, establish a small winery. His dream was to start a family business that he could pass on to future generations. Dreams do come true.
Eli Parker and his sister, Ashley, remain involved as stewards of their father’s vision. Ashley’s husband, Tim Snider, serves as winery President and oversees the sales, marketing and day to day operations of the winery. Blair Fox assumed the role of head winemaker in 2005.
The home ranch vineyard, named for Fess’s late son-in-law, Rodney, has earned a great reputation for the quality of its Rhône varietals, while long term contracts with some of the finest vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA are the fruit sources for the winery’s Burgundian offerings.
In recent years the winery has sharpened its focus toward production of more small lot, vineyard designated and clonal selection Rhône and Burgundian varietals.
Winemaking Starts With Farming
From bud break in spring to the celebration of harvest in autumn, vineyards are a dynamically changing ecosystem that require constant care and attention. The winemaking team, together with Coastal Vineyard Care, follows best practices in sustainable agriculture in a number of ways:
Conservation of Natural Resources
Water is a precious commodity in California. It is only applied based on the needs of the vines as determined by visual inspection as well as soil and plant-based monitoring sensors. The quality of the water is also monitored to ensure that the vines are receiving the best water possible, while maintaining the condition of our irrigation infrastructure.
Treading Lightly on the LandThe biological health of soil is the key to a thriving vineyard. Over the years, we have layered in best practices around soil management, including introducing beneficial ground cover to deliver nutrients naturally.
Natural Pest Control
Not all pest control has to be met with destructive chemicals. At the Fess Parker Home Ranch, owl boxes are placed throughout the vineyards to promote biodiversity and so that the owls will hunt the gophers and ground squirrels that damage the vines by eating their roots.
Even insect control can be managed with sustainability in mind. Coastal Vineyard Care developed an innovative approach to combat harmful vine mealybug populations not with pesticides, but by setting pheromone lures, which confuse the males during breeding season and prevent them from locating partners.