Rockin’ Sips Supporters and Donations for 2017

Rockin’ Sips is a fun event with a serious story behind it and the goal of raising funds for the Washington/Alaska Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We are so grateful to be part of such a generous community, as the success of this event depends on the support of local businesses, friends, and Wine Club members in and near Woodinville Wine Country. We raise our glasses to all who are helping us create more stories of survival.

In order to maximize fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the businesses listed here have made generous donations. Please return the favor and show your support of their kindness with shout outs on social media and by giving them your business.

Tickets for the drawing will be available for purchase – and items on display in the tasting room – starting the weekend of February 18, and through the Rockin’ Sips event.

Note: this list is still being refined and updated.

Drawing Prizes

Item 1
Wine with Benefits
Winner gets to live the life of an EFESTĒ Wine Club member. Includes a fantastic case of library wine selections and attendance for 2 at one of the Spring 2016 Wine Club parties.
Value $615
– Thank you EFESTĒ Family

Item 2
3 Liter Tough Guy
Value $375
– Thank you EFESTĒ Family

Item 3
Magnum Mania
Value $265
Magnum of William Church Cabernet Sauvignon
Magnum of William Church 2 Spires
Magnum 2013 Amavi Syrah Walla Walla Valley
– Thank you William Church Winery, Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars

Item 4
Dreaming of Woodinville Wine Country
Value $515
Memories of Woodinville Retail Collection
2 Passports to Woodinville Wine Country – your ticket to 60+ Woodinville tasting rooms
20 Corners Brewing Gift Card
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar Gift Card
Barrel Stave Platter
– Thank you Woodinville Wine Country, Stuart Butler of Butler Seattle, 20 Corners Brewing, Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, and Greg Poulsen

Item 5
Romance in Kirkland Getaway
Overnight Stay at Heathman Hotel with complimentary valet parking. Shuttle to and from Woodinville Wine Country available.
Gift card to BeachHouse bar + grill.
– Thank you Heathman Hotel Kirkland

Item 6
Sip, Savor, and Sleep
Value $700
Enjoy a luxurious overnight Stay at Willows Lodge and decadent dining at Barking Frog.
– Thank you Willows Lodge and Barking Frog!

Item 7
Dinner and a Detail
Value $465
Redmond Auto Spa Full Service Detail
Kingsgate Car Wash
Gift Card to Thai Ginger Restaurant

Item 8
Kenneth Cole Women’s Leather Bag
Value $475
– Thank you Alicia Molitor and Kenneth Cole

Item 9
TV Fan with a Plan
Value $331
Signed Script from Criminal Minds
EFESTE Game of Rhones wine set for Game of Thrones fans
– Thank you Vernon Cheek and CBS and EFESTĒ Family

Item 10
Spa/Beauty Package
Value: $360
Beehive Salon (an Aveda Salon) Gift Certificate for salon/spa services
Gift Card for Envy on Alki Skin Boutique
Seattle Suntan
– Thank you Beehive Salon and Shannon West

Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors

Ann Molitor and Zuri Hector
Michael and Ellenore Angelidis
Teresa Lawrenson

Cheers to our in-kind donors and supporters

True Fabrications
20 Corners Brewing
Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars
William Church Winery
Willows Lodge, Barking Frog, and Bobby Moore
The Beehive Salon
Purple Café and Wine Bar
Butler Transportation
Green Apple Events & Catering
The Heathman Hotel Kirkland
Sip Northwest
Washington State Wine and Beer
Woodinville Wine Country
Woodinville Wine Update

Press Release: EFESTĒ Steps Up Fundraising

Woodinville, January 26, 2017 –

EFESTĒ hosts its largest event of the year, Rockin’ Sips, on Saturday, February 25. For this popular fundraiser attracting 300 guests annually, the winery’s cellar transforms into a stage for premier party band, Soul Siren. Guests at the event will enjoy premium wines from EFESTĒ, Pepper Bridge and William Church Wineries, and refreshing microbrews from Woodinville newcomer 20 Corners Brewing.

This 21 and older event is $55 per person and takes place at EFESTĒ on Saturday, February 25th from 5-8pm. Tickets and the Tough Guy wine can be reserved online at Proceeds from each benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

A popular highlight of the event includes a drawing featuring fantastic prizes from the wineries and other compassionate businesses such as Beehive Salon and Purple Café and Wine Bar.

Joe Taylor, youngest son of winery owners Kevin and Angela Taylor and grandson to Daniel ‘Big Papa’ and Helen Ferrelli, was diagnosed with Leukemia at age five. Following this experience, the family established Rockin’ Sips and Tough Guy wine to celebrate Joe’s successful treatment and to contribute to more stories of survival. Proceeds from both the event and the wine benefit the Washington/Alaska chapter of LLS. Through these fundraising catalysts, and with the support of the community, over $114,000 has been raised for LLS to date via the winery.

Angela says of Joe, “We continue to be thankful for his health as well as the amazing and unique person he’s become. He’s proud of that Tough Guy bottle of wine.” That gratitude has EFESTĒ taking its fundraising for the cause to the next level this year by sponsoring The Big Climb Seattle which takes place on March 26, 2017.


EFESTĒ, pronounced F-S-T was founded on the Ferrelli family tradition of winemaking. Founded in 2005, EFESTĒ has amassed an impressive list of accolades, including Wine Enthusiast Top 100 in 2015 and 2014 and Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2011 and 2008. The winery and tasting room are located in Woodinville, WA just 2 blocks north of the Warehouse District at 19730 144th Ave NE.

Please visit for event information and updates. Follow EFESTĒ on Instagram: @efestewines, Facebook: efestewinery, Twitter: @efeste and the conversation at #rockinsips. Hi definition images are available for media upon request. Email

EFESTĒ: A Woodinville Winery Rooted in Family Tradition

The winery traces its roots back to before Angela and Kevin Taylor were born. It goes back to Prohibition, when the production and sale of wine was illegal.

Russell “Big Papa” Salvatore Ferrelli

Prohibition did not prevent Russel “Big Papa” Ferrelli, Daniel’s grandfather, from making wine. With dogged determination, a family trait that has served them well over generations, the Ferrellis made and sold jug wine out of the basement of their Chicago brownstone during the Great Depression just to get by.

The Ferrellis’ nearly century old family tradition would collide with Kevin’s ambitious and entrepreneurial ethos. The resulting chemistry would birth EFESTĒ. The Taylors would also give birth to two active boys, Joe and Paul.

The Taylor Family at EFESTE’s Prohibition Party: Paul, Angela, Joe, and Kevin

Kevin and Angela met as childhood neighbors, later dating in high school. During their courtship, Kevin gained an interest in his future father-in-law’s family tradition of making wine. They would meet trains as they arrived from California in order to pick up Zinfandel grapes, and use Daniel’s father’s old wine press.

Before he knew it, Kevin was accompanying Daniel to The Italian Club of Seattle, where a yearly winemaking contest was held. “Dan and I never won, and to this day we’re convinced that the contest was fixed,” Kevin jokes. “When we started out in the garage we had Dan’s grandfather’s hand crank crusher and wine press. Each year we refined it a little more and bought new equipment.”

The high school sweethearts would marry in 1996. With the entrepreneurial Taylor on board, the family tradition of making wine accelerated. By 2001 Daniel and Kevin were bottling and labeling their wines with state-of-the-art equipment.

Kevin recalls prioritizing the acquisition of great Washington fruit to build a strong foundation for the winery. “When we started out, it was important to us to purchase the highest quality fruit that we could. We were fortunate to get contracts on some of the oldest vines in Washington. Since that time we’ve purchased and planted three vineyards, two on Red Mountain and one in the Yakima Valley. Our goal is to incorporate all of our estate fruit into the business. This summer we released Oldfield Estate Rosé, our first 100% estate wine.” Continue reading

Surviving Leukemia: a Tough Guy’s Story

Winemaking is a Ferrelli family tradition, dating back generations to before some of its founders were born. Giving back and taking care of the community has also been part of the Ferrelli family tradition.

The Ferrellis and Taylors at EFESTĒ

In 2005, Helen and Daniel Ferrelli founded EFESTĒ, a winery in Woodinville, along with their daughter Angela Taylor, son-in-law Kevin Taylor, and a family friend. Their idea to make 2 barrels of wine based on the Ferrelli annual tradition of winemaking has since evolved into a family label.

In 2007, just as EFESTĒ was releasing its first wines from the 2005 vintage, the lives of its founders would be rocked, and winemaking and charity would take on a more personal and heightened turn. The Taylors’ youngest son, Joe, was diagnosed with Leukemia at age five.

Helen “Eléni” Ferrelli and young Joe “Tough Guy” Taylor

The Taylors would find a symbiotic relationship between their caring and passion for their children and wine. To borrow from Dickens, it was simultaneously the best and worst of times for the Taylors and Ferrellis.

“The minute we released our wine was the time (Joe) was diagnosed,” Angela recalls. “It was an incredible vortex of emotions.”

It was the youngest Taylor, Joe, whose fearlessness in facing Leukemia, would be the rock the family leaned on. Joe’s fight against Leukemia was the inspiration for the Taylors’ and Ferrellis’ civic and charitable work. Their winery has been the vessel to deliver much of their charity.

EFESTĒ donates a portion of proceeds from the sale of their “Tough Guy” red wine, named after Joe for the nickname he earned during his fight against Leukemia. The first vintage of “Tough Guy” was 2008.

Stylistically, the wine “Tough Guy” is an expression of Joe’s disposition. The wine is a muscular blend with firm tannins classic to its fruit source, Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain. EFESTĒ produces less than 200 cases of the “Tough Guy” red wine retailing for $55 a bottle.

Daniel and Helen Ferrelli with grandson Joe Taylor at Rockin’ Sips

EFESTĒ also hosts Rockin’ Sips every February. The winery has raised over $114,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since the inception of Rockin’ Sips and the sale of “Tough Guy”.

“It’s really rewarding to share the winery through the causes we’re passionate about,” Angela said.

After three and a half years of treatment, Joe’s Leukemia has been in remission since 2011 and he is thriving.

“Joe is a happy and healthy kid,” Angela said. “When someone goes through so much at a young age, it’s fitting that they gain strength and perspective far beyond their years. We continue to be thankful for his health as well as the amazing and unique person he’s become. He’s proud of that Tough Guy bottle of wine.”

This is a portion of an article written by Chris Nishiwaki that was originally published in The Points Living. We thank Chris and the publisher for helping us shed more light on fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a cause very near and dear to us at EFESTĒ.

Eight Great Party Ideas for Wine Lovers

New Year’s Eve Party

If you’re ringing in the New Year by hosting friends, here are some of our most popular recipes and wine pairings to kick off the evening. Any other time of year, consider this an “Appy Hour” party!

Gougères with Salmon Cream via Eat Seattle with Evergreen Riesling or Lola Chardonnay

Smoked Duck with Cherry Chutney on Crostini with Nana Bordeaux Style Red Blend

Flaky Herb and Cheese Filled Phyllo Triangles with Sauvage

Great Gatsby Party

To add some glam to a New Year’s Eve party, or any other night for that matter, take a look at our Great Gatsby inspired décor from our Prohibition party. Include a “secret password” in the invite that allows guests to gain entry at the door, play some jazz, and you are golden. Continue reading

Cheese Fondue for Entertaining

In the dark and gloomy nights of winter, one of the easiest ways to warm up is over a pot of melted cheese. That’s right – ooey, gooey, stringy, golden goodness. Swiss fondue is not only classic comfort food, it is an easy way to entertain. Just melt the cheese, put out a selection of items to plunge and swirl in it, and open up the wine. Honestly, it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Food and Wine has a straightforward Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue recipe. Be sure to use top quality cheese, and cook with the same wine you’ll be drinking. If you feel so inclined to deviate from tradition, consider a variety of items for dipping in the cheese. Offer a mix of different breads. Roasted Brussels sprouts are the perfect size for dipping. Apple slices with their sweet crisp flesh provide a nice contrast to the savory cheese.

The Wine

Dry Riesling is the classic wine for cheese fondue, making Evergreen Riesling the perfect match.

Braised Beef Short Ribs from Cook + Cork

Anyone who has been to one of our Wine Club dinners knows how well our wine and short ribs go together! What makes it work? A new book by Chef Harry “Coach” Mills and Sommelier Chris Horn from Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Seattle aims to help wine and food lovers figure that out. The book is titled, Cook +  Cork:  A Chef and a Sommelier Spill the Secrets of Food and Wine Pairing.

Photo from Cook + Cork

Cook +  Cork is a resource offering a fresh perspective on selecting a bottle of wine – the right bottle of wine – with your meal. It’s about making dinner a better experience, taking anxiety out of purchasing a bottle of wine, and how to approach cooking in a way that complements said bottle. It’s also a cookbook. The authors have been kind enough to share this recipe from the book with us. By the way, we happen to have copies of the book available for purchase in our tasting room, so come get a copy!

Photo from Cook + Cork

Serves 4


2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
Flour, for dredging (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bottle full-bodied red wine
1 yellow onion, cut into large dice
1 carrot, cut into large dice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 ¾ cups to 2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns Continue reading