THIS YEAR'S HARVEST,
AS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, was very similar to 1998. Harvest began about five
weeks later than normal and yields were down (although they were relatively higher
than in "98") due to cool weather throughout the spring and early summer. The
cool growing season led to extraordinarily low yields for all our Burgundian and
Rhone varietals. The caliber of fruit we received, however, was excellent and
we are confident that we have produced the quality ultra-premium wines that you
have come to expect from our winery.
We thanked Mother Nature in October when she blessed our vineyards with an Indian
Summer. The intense heat created a rapid accumulation of sugar levels while retaining
higher than usual acid levels in the grapes. While this unique harvest will be
somewhat challenging and test the creativity of the winemakers, everyone has high
hopes that 1999 will prove to be a vintage of outstanding quality. The finished
wines should be very interesting and food friendly with increased complexity,
structure and aging potential.
1999 was a year of growth for our
vineyard operations. We currently have approximately 450 acres under vine between
Rodney's Vineyard (the estate), Marcella's Vineyard (Santa Maria) and Ashley's
Vineyard (Santa Rita Hills proposed AVA).
We are also pleased to announce that we have recently purchased 1400 acres in
the Santa Ynez Valley and have started land preparation on 250 acres to be planted
this coming spring. Varietals there will include Syrah, Grenache, Grenache Noir,
Grenache Blanc, Mourvedre, Counoise, Cinsaut, Carignane, Roussanne, Viognier,
Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. We look forward to sharing these exciting new
varietals (for us) with you in the coming year!
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard / 6200 Foxen Canyon Rd. Los Olivos, CA 93441
/ (800) 841-1104