Winemaker / Owner - Sean Foster
Sean is a California native, who began his path as a winemaker in 1992 as an intern in the Napa Valley. Six months and a harvest of working to assist in crafting wines inspired him to move to the Napa Valley the following year, and dedicate himself to apprenticing in the craft and science of winemaking, and the eternal quest of wine appreciation and wine’s place in our culture & society.
Sean began his career in 1993 at Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena, apprenticing and learning the craft of winemaking while making the wines of Merryvale Vineyards, along with the wines of Harlan Estate and Pahlmeyer, alongside winemakers Bob Levy, Bob Egelhoff, Steve Test and consulting winemaker Michel Roland. He spent a decade working at Merryvale, managing all cellar operations as Associate Winemaker. During this time, he had the opportunity to work with vineyard sites that would later become cult classics.
In 2002, Sean joined Peju Winery (Rutherford) as winemaker. At Peju, Sean had the opportunity to grow further as a winemaker crafting wines with estate grown fruit. He worked with the Peju family to transition their vineyards toward sustainable farming and they began farming the Rutherford estate vineyard organically. Working closely with both the vineyards and wines, and learning the complexities of a family run and operated winery deepened his understanding of wine as a craft.
In 2006, Sean returned to Merryvale, this time in the role of Senior Winemaker for their portfolio of wines (Merryvale Vineyards and Starmont Winery) and two wineries. During this time, he had the opportunity to work with Merryvale's estate vineyards along with other great vineyards sites throughout the Napa Valley. Consistently focused on sustainability, the Merryvale and Starmont wineries were some of the first wineries certified Napa Green program, as were the estate vineyards.
Farmstrong was founded in 2014, and Vintone the following vintage. Farmstrong embraces unique blends and Vintone is focused on single vineyard and varietal expressions. Both brands celebrate wines from sustainably farmed, family owned vineyards.