Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fess Parker: Actor and Winemaker

Fess Parker Winery
Fess Parker as Daniel Boone
Remembering Fess Parker
August 16, 1924 - March 18, 2010


Fess Parker, the popular television and film star who played frontiersmen Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, died today of natural causes at age 85. The characters he portrayed inspired generations of Americans who loved the "King of the Wild Frontier."

Fess Parker enjoyed a hugely successful acting career in the late 1950s and 1960s. He surprised many when he decided to leave Hollywood in the 1970s and go into business for himself.

When the Parker family purchased 714 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, California, their dreams of creating a successful family business became a reality. They eventually opened The Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard, which includes the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and Spa, Petros Los Olivos Restaurant, a wine shop, a General Store, a busy winery and barrel room, and several hundred acres of vineyards.

In addition to award-winning wines, the Fess Parker Winery is known for selling coonskin caps and bottle toppers, inspired by the Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone characters. My parents have visited the winery many times, and gave me a set of wine glasses featuring the winery's trademark coonskip cap logo.

Visitors to the Fess Parker Winery were accustomed to seeing Fess Parker himself greeting customers and performing routine chores at the busy facility. The family tradition will continue on—Fess Parker's son Eli is both winemaker and President of the company, and daughter Ashley oversees public relations and marketing.

Fess Parker married his wife Marcella Belle Rinehart in January 1960. Sadly, his death occurred on her 84th birthday. He will also be missed by countless fans, 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson.


The Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard is located at 6200 Foxen Canyon Road, in Los Olivos, California.

Davy Crockett 60th Anniversary Collection
Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955)
Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1956)

Fess Parker
There have been several turning points in my life, but the most important one came the day I stepped before the cameras as Davy Crockett. The way I look at things, a man's life story isn't his alone, but it belongs to a lot of people who have influenced him and done things for him that he can never repay.

Fess Parker as Daniel Boone
These 8 by 10-inch images are printed directly onto a sheet of 1/16-inch thick aluminum with a high gloss finish. Each piece is lightweight, water resistant, and ready to hang on the wall. Images are actually part of the metal and won't scratch off.

Fess Parker Frontier Red Melted Wine Bottle Serving Tray
This one-of-a-kind serving tray is an upcycled wine bottle, handmade in California. Safely sealed inside the melted bottle is a Fess Parker Frontier Red wine label. Silicone stoppers on the back of the dish will prevent slipping or sliding. Use this beautiful tray to serve cheese, olives, nuts, or candies.

Local Businessman and Actor Fess Parker Dies at 85


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