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Gold Medal Wine Club
5330 Debbie Road, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93111
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Welcome to Gold Medal Wine Club. America's Leading Independent Wine Club since 1992. Celebrating 20+ Years!
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Fess Parker Winery

The star of television’s famous Davy Crockett series built a stunning family winery in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard is one of the great award-winning family wineries of Santa Barbara County. Located on the pastoral Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in the Santa Ynez Valley, the winery and family vineyard are situated on a picturesque 714-acre estate surrounded by rolling hills, vast meadows, and pristine landscapes as far as the eye can see. This peaceful environment is what enticed the late Fess Parker into purchasing the property back in 1988. The winery has since become a great success and it still follows the standards and vision originally set forth by its memorable founder.

Originally from Texas, Fess Parker grew up with a love of history and acting. Following his tour of duty in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Fess attended the University of Texas, earning a degree in history, and the University of Southern California, earning a Masters degree in drama. He began acting professionally in 1951 and landed the role of his life in 1954 when he was cast in the title role of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.

Fess then went on to star in the network television series, Daniel Boone, which was one of the highest rated shows on television. His portrayal of these men impacted millions of young viewers and he was known by many as an American icon. Fess decided to leave Hollywood in the early 1970’s and moved into his second career as a real estate developer.

Blending his gracious Texas manner and a tremendous eye for real estate, Fess opened his first resort hotel in Santa Barbara, California in 1986. Set on 23.5 ocean front acres, The Fess Parker, a Doubletree by Hilton, is situated in the heart of Santa Barbara’s waterfront and is a favorite destination for visitors to the area.While in Santa Barbara, Fess realized its potential as a premium grape-growing region and set his sights inland in the Foxen Canyon in Santa Ynez Valley. There, he discovered his next adventure - a 714-acre ranch where he initially planned to run cattle, plant a few grapes to sell to other vintners, and establish a small winery. Fess had dreamed of one day starting a family business that he could pass on to future generations and this picturesque Foxen Canyon property was bursting with potential.

He had a specific vision and knew he could achieve it.It was 1989 and Fess, his son Eli, and daughter Ashley, came together to plant an experimental 5-acre Riesling vineyard on the property. It was no surprise to anyone involved that this small vineyard project quickly became something much larger. As Fess’s daughter Ashley explains it, “Fess is from Texas, so he can’t do anything small.” The Parker family now runs a cutting edge winery and tasting room and farms over 700 acres on four vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County.

Right from the start, Eli Parker expressed a great interest in winemaking and began in the family business as assistant winemaker in 1989. After several years of learning the craft at the side of renowned and accomplished winemakers, he took the reigns as winemaker himself with the 1995 vintage. In 1996, he assumed the title and responsibilities of President, and today is the Chief Executive Officer. Eli has proven to be an exceptional leader of the Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard and continues to oversee further expansion and exciting new winemaking ventures for the winery.

Ashley Parker-Snider has been involved in all facets of the sales and marketing operations of the winery and frequently travels to trade events around the country to represent the winery. Her husband, Tim Snider, joined the Fess Parker Winery in 1999 and worked his way through marketing roles to finally being named President of the winery in 2010. Prior to working in the family business, Tim was a successful brand marketing and sales manager for E&J Gallo Winery in northern California.

The Parker family’s whole-hearted dedication to the family business has made Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard into the award-winning winery it is today. Since Fess Parker passed away in 2010, his children have made it their mission to uphold his original vision. The winery continues to garner awards for producing some of the region’s finest wines and the Parkers are very proud of their accomplishments.

The grand tasting room serves as the perfect setting to enjoy Fess Parker’s premium Santa Barbara County wines. The Australian sheep station - style building is filled with photos and memorabilia of Fess Parker, celebrating his roles not only as an actor, but also as the founder of one of Santa Barbara’s most renowned family wineries.

  1. Fess Parker
    2011 Pinot Noir
    Fess Parker
    Santa Ynez Valley


    93 - Tasting Panel magazine
    id: 2308
    Pinot Noir
  2. Fess Parker
    2010 Pinot Noir
    Fess Parker
    Santa Ynez Valley


    92 - Wine Spectator
    id: 2267
    Pinot Noir

Blair Fox - Andre Tchelistcheff Winemaker of the Year

Blair Fox assumed head winemaking duties at Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard in 2005, bringing with him an extraordinarily diverse background and incredible winemaking experience. Graduating from U.C. Davis in 1999 with a combined degree in Viticulture and Enology, Blair has held winemaking positions at Sunstone Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, at Haselgrove Winery (a custom-crush winery in McLaren Vale, Australia), and at his own namesake winery, Blair Fox Cellars, where he uses on Rhone-style wines. He has traveled extensively through France, and continues to be inspired by the country’s exquisite wines. Blair is pleased to have his wine in the hands of our Pinot Noir Series Wine Club members.

At Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard, Blair Fox continues the stylistic direction set by Eli Parker when capturing the terrior of the vineyards and he aims to continue raising the bar for the award-winning wines. Blair Fox’s wines have garnered countless awards and he has even achieved the great honor of being named the Andre Tchelistcheff Winemaker of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. He is widely considered to be one of the Santa Ynez Valley’s top winemakers.

About The Region

The Fess Parker 2010 ‘Ashley’s’ Pinot Noir was produced from Ashley’s Vineyard, located in the Santa Rita Hills appellation. The vineyard was originally planted by Fess Parker in 1997 and was named after his daughter. Ashley’s Vineyard has since been sold to Foley Winery, where it is known as Rancho Las Hermanas Vineyard, but Fess Parker continues to source fruit from the location and keeps the designation as ‘Ashley’s.

Ashley’s Vineyard property covers a total of 213 planted acres and is the western-most property in the Santa Rita Hills AVA. The site thus benefits from the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean. Ashley’s Vineyard is planted on over six different soil types and a range of slope exposures, creating an ideal microclimate for each varietal to express their full potential.

The Santa Rita Hills AVA was established in 2001 and overall is a very unique, ultra-cool climate growing area that is perfectly suited to the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Glazed Pork with Asian Slaw


2 pork chops or cutlets
1 Tbs ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. sweet chili sauce
1 Tbs. honey
1/4 shredded green cabbage
1 small carrot, grated
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
1 long red chili, de-seeded & finely sliced
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 lime
1 Tbs. peanuts, finely chopped
Pinch of sugar
2 large potatoes, cleaned & scrubbed


First, marinate the pork with the ginger, 1 garlic clove, 1 Tbs. soy sauce, sweet chili and honey. Set aside for at least 30 min. In the meantime, heat the BBQ and place the two potatoes (individually wrapped in foil) on the grill. Leave with the lid down. Rotate potatoes after 20 min. The potatoes will need approximately 45 min. all together. For the Asian Slaw dressing, put the rice wine vinegar and pinch of sugar in a small saucepan and heat gently over a low heat on the stove top. Swirl the vinegar around the pan until the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat to cool. Once cool, add the sesame oil, 1 Tbs. soy sauce, juice from 1/2 lime, and 1 crushed garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper and leave aside. In a bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, grated carrot, sliced onion and chili together. Place the sesame seeds and chopped peanuts in a fry pan and cook gently until toasted and golden brown. To cook the pork, place the chops on the BBQ (high heat) and leave for 5 min. Turn and cook for another 5 min. Whilst the pork is resting, toss the cabbage mixture with the dressing and top with the peanuts and sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

Bacon and Mushroom Risotto


8 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 oz. Arborio rice
1 medium white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 oz. Chardonnay
1 quart chicken stock, warmed
6 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
10 oz. portabello mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 oz. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste


In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until browned and just started to get a little crispy. With slotted spoon, remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 3 Tablespoons of bacon fat from skillet. Add garlic, onions, and mushrooms to skillet and saute 4 to 5 minutes, until onions start to soften. Add Arborio rice, stir until all the rice is coated in bacon fat. Cook until pearled, about 1 minute. Add Chardonnay, stirring often. Cook until the wine is absorbed into the rice. Once absorbed, start adding the chicken stock. Add 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. When stock is almost absorbed into the rice, add another cup. Continue this process until stock is gone; should take between 20 to 25 minutes. When done adding stock, stir in the cooked bacon, cheese, and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!