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WINERY OWNERS

HELEN & DANIEL FERRELLI
(ELÉNI & BIG PAPA)

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 the 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.

OUR TEAM

EXTRAORDINARY TEAM OF PASSIONATE WINE LOVERS

Winemaking Team

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Principal Winemaker

Mark Fioré


Mark Fiore’s winemaking career began in Walla Walla where he had relocated for work in 2008. At the time, he was a PGA Professional and had moved to help open a prodigious new golf course. During the summer of 2009, he spent much of his free time at local wineries and befriended a few winemakers who opened his eyes to the world of Washington wine. Mark became fascinated with the artistry, science, and marketing of the wine industry and this passion led him to a career change. Continue reading >

Mark@efeste.com

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Assistant Winemaker

Michael Frank


Michael started his wine adventure by tasting wines in Woodinville, eventually venturing out to Walla Walla, Oregon, California, and Chile. His passion for tasting wine eventually led him to start his winemaking career at K Vintners under the tutelage of Charles Smith and former EFESTĒ winemaker Brennon Leighton. Now, Michael works with Mark Fiore to create exceptional wine and brings his dedication and attention to detail with him. In his spare time, he loves to climb (rock faces, not barrels), create fantastic meals, and enjoys any sport or activity near the water.

Michael@efeste.com

Sales, Marketing & Operations

Travis Wandell

General Manager

Travis Wandell


Travis Wandell has a long history with Efeste dating back to when Big Papa was making wine in his garage.  A long-time friend of the Ferrelli’s and Taylor’s he has been involved with Efeste’s crushes, bottlings, tastings, and even catering.  He is a graduate of Washington State University’s Hospitality Management program and has many years of sales experience in the food and beverage industry.  Most important to him are a quality product, outstanding client service, and consistency.  This is why he is a perfect fit as Efeste’s General Manager.

travis@efeste.com

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Marketing & Hospitality

Corey Westerhoff


A high-energy, creative perfectionist, Corey Westerhoff brings insight from nearly two decades of experience in a diverse range of industries including retail merchandising, design, recruiting, and management. Through six years of working for some of Washington’s leading wineries, Corey has developed a true passion for wine. Drawing on his unique background, he uses divergent thinking techniques to develop new strategies for growing the EFESTĒ brand. In his free time, Corey enjoys cooking, baking, spending time with friends, and putting up with the antics of his French Bulldog, Zoe.

corey@efeste.com

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Club Manager

Sophia Merlino


Sophia joined the EFESTĒ team after graduating from Washington State University with a degree in Hospitality Business Management. Sophia has recently found a passion for wine and is excited to learn and grow her knowledge of the vast wine industry. She enjoys working with others and doing hands-on work. She has a fun, bubbly, and outgoing personality that makes for a fun and exciting experience while at EFESTĒ.

Sophia@efeste.com

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Tasting Room & Private Events Manager

Heather Binckley


Heather Binckley’s career started in her teens working in restaurants her father was a chef and her mother a waitress. She has been working in the industry for over 30 years. Heather has experience in all fields of the restaurant industry and now has decided to take a new journey into the wine industry running the tasting room and booking events. She has a lot of knowledge of wines but is very excited to have the opportunity to grow with EFESTĒ.

When Heather is not working she enjoys time with her daughter, yoga and her dog, Sadie.

heather@efeste.com

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