Fess Parker was a successful actor portraying Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone for Walt Disney but his biggest legacy might be for the wine industry in Santa Ynez, California. His son, Eli, continues to produce very good wine in this beautiful, unheralded region. His latest release of Frontier Red Lot 131 Barbecue Edition is one of the best field blend reds we tasted. Only 5,200 cases of this dry wine comprised of Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Sangiovese and a dollop of four other varietals were produced. Seventy-five percent of fruit was sourced from Santa Ynez, twenty-one percent from Paso Robles and the remaining four percent from Monterey producing a lush wine that tastes more expensive than priced. One third of the fruit comes from their 1400 acre Camp 4 Vineyard purchased in 1999. Their interactive website, the most detailed we’ve ever seen, lets you click on the different vineyard blocks detailing the number of rows, number of plants, clones and purchasers of fruit. Also check the website www.fessparker.com or back label for a complete list of eight varietals.
|Fiddlehead Cellars was founded in 1989 by owner and winemaker, Kathy Joseph. Kathy produces three wines: a Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Ynez Valley and two Pinot Noirs, one from Sta. Rita Hills and the other from Chehalem in Willamette Valley, Oregon. Each wine is handcrafted in her small winery located in Lompoc, California's "Wine Ghetto." Fruit for Pinot Noir Seven Twenty Eight is sourced from Fiddlestix, Kathy's 96 acre, sustainably farmed vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. She retains the top 15% of fruit for her label and sells the remainder to prestigious wineries. Oldsville Reserve is Kathy's Oregon Pinot, which is made using grapes from the 70 acre Alloro Vineyard. Happy Canyon is her homage to Loire-styled Sauvignon Blancs. The fiddle has become a contiguous theme for the winery, linking Kathy's own nom de plume, the "Head Fiddle,” with "Fiddlefest,” her annual event that celebrates the wines from that year's harvest.