It is always fascinating to me to meet a successful entrepreneur who is willing to share their story. Learning how they overcame the trials and tribulations of starting a business can be enlightening, if not downright inspirational. That being said, out of all these men and women, only a select few transcend being a mere business owner, and embody the spirit of a true artist.
Tessa Marie Parker is one of these rare individuals.
As the daughter of Eli Parker of Fess Parker Winery and Vineyards,
passion for the science and art of making wine is in her blood. Her involvement in the business of making wine began at the age of 17, and she later went on to get her degrees in viticulture and oenology from Allan Hancock College. Although she remains very humble on this point, she chose a field that is highly challenging, and dominated mostly by men. Despite this, Tessa’s persistence and inborn talent would eventually pave the way for her success.
Her zeal shines in abundance when talking about those closest to her, especially her father and his passion for family and wine-making. I spoke to him as well, and his words were a testament to his daughter’s drive and character.
“Tessa knew from a very early age what she wanted to do and she really took to the business,” he told me. “She hung in there and seemed to enjoy working in the tasting room and the not so glamorous parts of the harvest as a young girl.” “I’m proud of how well she’s done in the industry… juggling wine-making, running a tasting room, and raising my two grandsons.”
As for the wines, her tasting room in Los Olivos
offers some of the best wine to be found on the Central Coast. For me, the highlight of the lineup is Parker’s Sparkling Vermintino. It was perfectly balanced and not too sweet. What really makes it special and unique are the Lily Pearls found in the bottle. They are ingestible encapsulated yeast beads that float in your glass like festive pearls. Aside from being very stylish, they eat the sugar in the bottle and release Co2.
Tessa’s Champenois style of wine-making requires more precision and labor than most, but the end result is so wonderful she believes it’s more than worth it. It has sold out four years in a row.
Tessa Marie Wines & Tasting Room is open 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Check out Tessa Marie Wines for more information, or call 805.688.6081.
For the full article published in the Noozhawk, see Donna Polizzi: Tessa Marie Parker Continues Family’s Proud Tradition, with a Twist