Santa Barbara County region
Winemaker of the Year in 2008, Blair Fox makes it happen
Coming from an important wine producing family, it is no surprise that Eli Parker, founder of Epiphany Cellars, is thriving in this industry today. Twenty-eight years ago, he and his father Fess Parker purchased a piece of ranch property in Santa Barbara County’s Foxen Canyon and planted a small vineyard there. Initially, their intent was to grow grapes and sell them, however they ultimately decided they wanted to join in on the production side. They expanded their 5.5 acre planting to over 600 acres of vineyards on four different sites in Santa Barbara County; Eli started out by working harvests while taking extension courses in enology and viticulture through UC Davis. He had various apprenticeships and eventually held the winemaking title at Fess Parker, a winery he assumed responsibility of in 1996.
Eli started Epiphany Cellars in 2000 as a creative side project, but it quickly turned into his passion. Epiphany has become Eli’s place to explore his favorite varietals from his favorite small lots in Santa Barbara County. The winery shares its production facility with Fess Parker Winery, and it has a tasting room in the heart of downtown Los Olivos, a charming, historic town in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. The inaugural Epiphany Cellars vintage was in 2005 and at the time they were producing some 3,000 cases annually. Just one year later, Eli won the prestigious André Tchelistcheff Award, given to the Winemaker of the Year at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. In fact, the Parker family swept the competition that year; Fess Parker Winery & Epiphany Cellars each took home a handful of Best in Show awards in various categories.
Epiphany Cellars eventually brought on Blair Fox as head winemaker, who went on to win the very same Winemaker of the Year award in 2008. Today, their winery has grown to about 6,000 cases annually, comfortably expanding to keep up with their increasing demand. Almost every single release sells out prior to the release of the subsequent vintage, which we trust will be no surprise to you once you’ve tasted their wine.