Helen and Daniel Ferrelli, Owners

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.

Kevin & 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.

Mark Fiore Winemaker

When asked about where he trained to become a winemaker, Mark laughed, and informed me that this was his second career. He first began working as a Golf Professional and ended up moving to Walla Walla where he spent time building and opening a new golf course in the area.

Throughout that process, he started hanging out at local tasting rooms and befriended a few winemakers who opened his eyes to the world of Washington wine. Mark was instantly hooked, and ended up leaving the golf world behind to work the harvest season at Balboa & Beresan winery where he spent 2 seasons. As he learned the ins and outs of life as a cellar hand, he knew that he had found his passion.

In 2011, Mark came upon an opportunity to work for Charles Smith Wines, where his winemaking career would be kicked into overdrive. At the time, their production was around 9 – 10,000 cases per year. A couple of years later, Smith would be named winemaker of the year by Wine Enthusiast, and explosive growth came fast and furious.

Mark worked tirelessly during his time at Charles Smith Wines as Assistant Winemaker to Brennan Leighton, formerly of EFESTĒ, and helped the winery pack up its’ entire production in Walla Walla and move across the state to their new Headquarters in the Georgetown neighborhood, where they are now producing upwards of 35,000 cases annually.

As we talked about what he sees for the future of the EFESTĒ program, he expressed excitement of having the opportunity to step out on his own, and work hard to take our already fantastic wines to the next level