Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Bitter Tasting at Fess Parker

Bob and I were excited about visiting the Fess Parker Winery. Our destination manager had arranged for our tasting there and we'd enjoyed the chardonnay back home. We were right in the middle of wine country and wishing we'd had more than one day to explore!

This winery is one of the most beautiful we'd seen so far. It was nothing like the Italianate pretentious structures of other wineries we'd visited. This was more like a ranch house and something that looked right at home in the rolling hills and ranches of the area.

Bob and I both grew up watching Fess Parker play Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett on TV, so it was great fun to see his picture in the tasting room. Even more fun were the little coonskin cap cork-toppers for sale!

It's hard to imagine being in a more beautiful setting and having such a terrible tasting experience. Our hostess was rude, snobby, and unwilling to volunteer any information about the wines or the ranch unless we asked pointed questions. And followed up with pointed questions. She really was irritated, I believe, that she was in such a demeaning job as a sales person for this winery.

I am absolutely sure that the performance of this hostess had a great impact on our opinion of the wines. We tasted the chardonnays and pinot noirs for which they are famous, and found all to be overpriced for their quality. That equals not a good value. This was the first winery we visited where we didn't purchase a thing, not even those cute little coonskin caps. We couldn't wait to leave, as a matter of fact.

If you want to see a truly beautiful winery and vinyard in the California style, you can visit Fess Parker at 6200 Foxen Canyon Rd. Los Olivos, CA 93441. Call them at (805) 688-1545, (800) 841-1104 if you have any questions. If you visit for a tasting, be sure to request someone other than the gal from New Zealand.

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Debbie


Lisa Brisch said...

Wow, Deb! That's ashame that she ruined the experience for you. Good for you for posting! I've enjoyed your trip through wine country. Thanks for sharing.

Chef Debbie said...

Gosh Lisa, it was so much fun! And we still have to go to Napa and the Carneros AVA and the Santa Maria valley....I'm sure there are more, too! It's just so beautiful out there. I'm glad you have enjoyed my wine country posts!

tercero wines said...


I'm sorry you had a less-than-stellar experience at our winery. I am on the winemaking team at Fess Parker and would love to personally invite you to come up again anytime and join me for a tasting . . .I'm hopeful you'll have a better experience!

We are very proud of the wines we produce and feel strongly that they do offer great value for the money - so I'd love the opportunity to 'prove' that to you . . .