More About Us
EFESTĒ, pronounced F-S-T, is an acronym for the winery’s founders: Daniel and Helen Ferrelli, Patrick Smith, and Kevin and Angela Taylor. All share a passion for finely crafted wine and the art of vinification.
The idea for EFESTĒ emerged one night over dinner and a discussion of making a family label to enjoy with friends, family, and anyone else who would appreciate a glass of wine, a meal, and a good laugh.
In the beginning Chris Upchurch came on as consulting winemaker and helped select winemaker Brennon Leighton, a UC Davis graduate with years of Washington winemaking experience, to oversee production. EFESTĒ became a melting pot of ideas, ambition, and talent. Recently, Peter Devison joined the team as winemaker.
Today EFESTĒ offers a premium selection of wines we are proud to call our own. And we still take the time to gather with friends and family over a meal and a bottle of wine.
We at EFESTĒ support a cause close to our heart, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). EFESTĒ supports the LLS through our Rockin’ Sips Event, Tough Guy Merlot and various LLS events throughout the city. We are a small case production winery, so we need to allocate to charity as modestly as possible. We hope someday to give to a broader base of charitable organizations. We are very proud to be a part of one of the most giving communities in the nation! For more information contact email@example.com.
Helen and Daniel Ferrelli
Daniel, with Italian roots, and Helen, from Greek heritage, have long had a great appreciation for gathering with family and friends over food even before they married as high school sweethearts.
Daniel’s father, the original “Big Papa” faced many challenges living in Chicago during the Great Depression and prohibition. His family sold jug wine out of their brownstone basement just to get by. Over the years, even when Daniel and Helen were running their own business and raising three children, Daniel always maintained the yearly tradition of making wine with his grandfather’s old wine press. His winemaking partners included his son-in-law and EFESTĒ partner, Kevin Taylor.
In 2001, Daniel and Kevin started a new tradition of bottling and labeling their garage wine. With state of the art wine making equipment they imagined, “We could just make a couple of barrels.” Making a couple of barrels spiraled into EFESTĒ winery.
Back in Chicago, Daniel’s family cooked for the neighborhood every Sunday requesting that each guest bring his or her own fork since there weren’t enough to go around. Today Daniel and Helen carry on the tradition of cooking for gatherings by preparing amazing feasts for EFESTĒ wine club events. No fork required.
Patrick is a Board member for Woodinville Wine Country, working on the organization’s strategic plan designed to move the association from an events-oriented group to a community-based marketing organization focusing on Washington wine tourism.
You may also find Patrick in the EFESTĒ tasting room on Saturdays and Sundays.
Kevin and Angela Taylor
How did parents of two young boys get involved in a winery? When Kevin and Angela (daughter of Daniel and Helen Ferrelli) were sweethearts at Redmond High School, Kevin took part in the Ferrelli family tradition of winemaking.
At the tender age of 5, Kevin and Angela’s son, Joe, was diagnosed with leukemia. This adverse event became their inspiration for the wine Tough Guy as well as the Rockin’ Sips event hosted at the winery each year that helps raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Happily, Joe completed his treatment in March of 2011.
When Angela isn’t driving her two boys around to all of their sporting activities you can find her on the tennis court. Although work keeps him busy, from time to time Kevin can be spotted on the golf course, hunting, or trying to reel in the big one while fishing.
Married in 1996, Kevin and Angela see the winery as an opportunity to spend time together during harvest, crush, bottling, and various wine events throughout the year.
Most people with a passion for the vine have a “wine epiphany.” For Brennon it happened while working at a restaurant when tasting an ’85 Cheval Blanc. His epiphany later blossomed into a full-blown passion for wine – he knew he had to become immersed in the wine industry. Brennon mulled over the idea of becoming a sommelier or a Master of wine, but ultimately recognized his love demanded he labor knee-deep in the physical process of making wine. At 26, he went back to school and never turned back, earning his degree in Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. He feels blessed to have worked with so many fine winemakers, at EFESTĒ, and at Chateau Ste. Michelle where he produced the award winning wine Eroica.
Peter Devison is a Nova Scotia native who discovered his love for wine early in life. Working in restaurants as a university student in British Columbia he found he was not fulfilled by simply pouring wine and talking about it. So, he set his sights on winemaking.
An opportunity to learn about vineyard selection, wine exporting, and making wine for different taste profiles lured him to New Zealand for six years. Having developed a solid foundation upon which to build his career, Peter relocated to the Pacific Northwest and began crafting award winning wine.
Peter’s winemaking philosophy embodies native fermentation, low oxidization and a commitment to crafting quality wines, making his move to EFESTĒ a natural progression.