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Tough Guy

A wine with a cause

Help fund cures today!
Proceeds of Tough Guy sales benefit
the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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A wine with a cause


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.

Kevin and Angela Taylor learned that their young son Joe, grandson to ‘Big Papa’ Daniel Ferrelli and Helen Ferrelli, was diagnosed with A.L.L. Leukemia. He was 5 at the time. The winery, licensed in 2005, was also in its infancy.

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.

Already a “Tough Guy”, Joe’s strength of spirit and personality allowed him to endure the exhaustive treatments while maintaining a brush-off attitude, continually empowering those around him with his insistence, “Come on! I’m fine! Let’s go!” We are so proud of Joe for his courage, toughness, and inspiring attitude.

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


— Angela Taylor

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

We are ever so grateful for the treatment and cure he received as a result of the people before us who donated to organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


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 in 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 $60 a bottle.

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

“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.


EFESTĒ also hosts Rockin’ Sips every March. The winery has raised over $$228,298 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since the inception of Rockin’ Sips and the sale of “Tough Guy”.

Through our annual fundraising event, Rockin' Sips, we can donate directly to the life-saving blood cancer research that benefits patients diagnosed with the disease Joe suffered through!  Consequently, the wine Tough Guy, as well as the Rockin’ Sips event, hosted at the winery helped raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Thanks to the support of the community, over $228,298 has been raised for LLS to date through the winery. We are very proud to be a part of one of the most giving communities in the nation.

2018 Tough Guy Red

Buy Wine, Do Good

Help fund cures today! Proceeds of Tough Guy sales benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

A portion of the proceeds from every glass and bottle purchased benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Washington & Alaska.

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