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Sept. 22: Meet the makers of Cougar IV wine at tasting event

By Elizabeth McManus, Brelsford WSU Visitor Center

efeste logoPULLMAN, Wash. – Angela and Kevin Taylor of EFESTĒ (pronounced F-S-T) winery, who also are Washington State University alumni, will discuss their Woodinville, Wash., winery and wines at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at the Brelsford WSU Visitor Center.

Their presentation is part of a 3:30-5:30 p.m. tasting event.

The tasting will feature 1-oz. pours of EFESTĒ’s 2015 Cougar IV — the latest edition in the WSU Alumni Association’s Cougar Collectors’ Series — as well as 2013 Ceideligh Syrah and 2014 Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc.

Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at the door. Extended tasting hours will be offered until 7:30 p.m. Those tasting must be 21 or older. Identification will be verified. Tickets include a commemorative Brelsford WSU Visitor Center wine glass while supplies last.

The event coincides with the WSU Cougars home football game on Saturday, Sept. 23, against the University of Nevada-Reno Wolfpack.

A wine for all

During the event, titled “Meet the Makers of Cougar IV,” the Taylors will share their journey as a couple to WSU and back to starting a winery with Angela’s parents, along with the honor of being selected by WSU as this year’s featured winery. Angela Taylor said she cried when she heard of EFESTĒ’s selection.

The red blend was crafted by EFESTĒ winemaker Peter Devison, who earned his bachelor’s degree in viticulture and oenology at Lincoln University in New Zealand. The concept of Cougar IV, Devison said, came from a sense of who would be drinking it.

He said he envisioned a range of people — faculty, staff, alumni, students and their families — and wanted it to be “a less demanding wine” that is enjoyable without requiring much attention.

The final blend — 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 37 percent Merlot and 13 percent Syrah — was created for balance and immediate approachability. EFESTĒ produced 892 cases of Cougar IV.

“This wine can be enjoyed immediately or after several years of cellaring,” Devison said. “It can be decanted or popped and poured. Basically, I recommend drinking it however you like to enjoy your wines.”

More about the alumni

Angela and Kevin were drawn to WSU as high school sweethearts, following in the footsteps of Kevin’s father, Paul J. Taylor, a 1964 WSU graduate and Hall of Fame pitcher. They hope at least one of their two sons continue the Cougar tradition.

“We had the time of our lives at WSU and still hold the lifelong friends we made at WSU near and dear to our hearts,” said Angela, a 1994 communications graduate. “We have hired many a Coug here at EFESTĒ winery.”

The couple work alongside Angela’s parents, Daniel and Helen Ferrelli. EFESTĒ came to be in 2001 when Daniel Ferrelli, who would make wine annually using his grandfather’s old wine press, and Kevin Taylor began bottling and labeling their garage wine.

Kevin, who graduated with a business management degree in 1992, manages the business elements, including grape contracts, equipment and land leases. Daniel Ferrelli works in the tasting room with assistance from Helen when entertaining club members and guests. Angela handles the winery’s marketing and day-to-day activities.

“There is a great sense of pride covering all areas of the business with family members,” Angela said.

 

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