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Laurie Jervis: Fess Parker Family Business Brings in Another Relative

In other Wine Country news and notes, breweries collaborate on cacao-orange ale while SLO Wine Country benefit makes RISE the occasion

Greer Shull, granddaughter of the late Fess Parker, has joined the Fess Parker Family Portfolio in a marketing role.

The company includes the flagship property, Fess Parker Winery, as well as the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and The Bear and Star restaurant, all in Los Olivos.

Shull is a member of the third generation of the Parker family, and was raised around the family business. She is a graduate of Westmont College, and previously worked in public relations in the wine industry, and in an account executive role at Yelp in San Francisco.

“The best people to tell the story of a family-owned and operated business are the family members themselves,” said Ashley Parker Snider, daughter of Fess Parker and co-owner of the portfolio with her brother, Eli Parker.

“Greer has sharpened her knowledge and skills outside our organization, in the broader wine industry, and in the business world at large. We’re thrilled to have her join the portfolio to support us in bringing to life a team of brands that are fun, and uniquely compelling, in the marketplace.”

Shull is among the third generation of family members who have joined the family business: Her brother, Spencer Shull, fills a sales and development role for winery; Katie Parker McDonald is the owner of KAP Land & Cattle; Kristopher Parker is the owner of Third Window Brewing Company; and Amanda Parker White oversees catering and events for the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn.

Wine Institute Summarizes Santa Barbara County Harvest

Winemakers throughout California are calling the just-barreled 2018 vintage one for the books. In Santa Barbara County, the recent vintage followed six years of earlier, warm harvests.

This year’s temperatures in late summer and early fall were more “normal” conditions based on long-term standards, the California Wine Institute noted.

Temperatures during bud break and flowering were cool, and were followed by a hot July and a normal-to-cool ripening period during August and September.

The harvest just under wraps had the latest start since vintage 2011. Overall, yields were average, but the chardonnay crop was lighter across the board.

Fig Mountain, Firestone Release Collaboration

A special wild ale, Feliz Nibs & Orange, is the second collaboration of the year between the Figueroa Mountain and Firestone Walker breweries, and features the teamwork of Fig’s Arroyo Grande brewer James Parrish and Jim Crooks of Barrelworks.

All Central Coast Figueroa Mountain and Firestone Walker taprooms released the draft-only beer on Dec. 13.

Feliz Nibs & Orange is a golden wild ale brewed with cacao nibs and aged on Valencia oranges. Alcohol by volume is 5.7 percent.

The beer utilized freshly roasted Tanzanian cacao nibs, supplied by Santa Babara’s Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolate.

After fermentation in stainless steel, this ale then rested on Bolivian cacao nibs to develop even more complex aromatics. The Barrelworks crew secured 600 pounds of Valencia oranges, grown by Friend’s Ranches of Ojai, to create a lively, citrusy tart beer, which then matured in stainless steel for four months.

Wine Event, Auction Raises Funds for Nonprofit

More than 1,300 people contributed to the success of SLO Wine Country’s annual “Harvest on the Coast” weekend in early November.

One particular auction lot at the grand tasting raised $30,000 for RISE, a San Luis Obispo nonprofit organization that serves victims of partner violence and sexual abuse by providing services and resources.

“It was exciting to see the enthusiasm that our attendees showed for SLO Wine Country and our ‘Archie McLaren Fund-A-Need’ auction lot, which is a key part of our annual event,” said Heather Muran, executive director of the SLO County Wine Association.

The auction lot was named after the late wine enthusiast and philanthropist Archie McLaren to honor his three decades of work with the Central Coast Wine Classic, an event that benefited more than 130 nonprofit organizations throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties and raised several million dollars.

— Laurie Jervis blogs about wine at www.centralcoastwinepress.com, tweets at @lauriejervis and can be reached via [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.

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