As refreshing as the Pétillant Naturel she makes of Malvasia Bianca, many of the words used to describe Faith Armstrong Foster’s wine could be used to describe the winemaker herself. Honest, vibrant, unfiltered, true to her origins, bright, complex. To get to know Faith, taste one of her wines and then ask her a question about how it is made. Sit back and relax. You are about to be introduced to her passion.
Born on a tiny island in British Columbia, Canada, traveling to school in a little boat called the Onward, Faith could hardly have seen her future as a winemaker, even with a crystal ball.
After working in marketing and sales in the boating industry in Canada, Faith discovered her interest in winemaking by taking a position in wine promotion, marketing and sales in California. The more she learned about wine, the more her interest in grew. Her leap into production came from spending a day helping out at a winery, she shoveled her first fermentor and was hooked.
What followed was a full Regents Scholarship to the University of California at Davis, and a Degree in Viticulture and Enology with Highest Honors in 2006.
After graduation, Faith began working for Frank Family Vineyards, where she was soon promoted to Assistant Winemaker. Her husband, Sean Foster, is also a winemaker, and the demands of a growing family (four children), contributed to the decision to go into business for herself.
Purchasing her first grapes in 2009 from a Mendocino grower whose practices she admired, Faith launched her own brand. Seeking a name for her wine provided the opportunity to pay homage to her unusual childhood by choosing the name of the little boat in which she went to school every day. The name Onward equally referenced her natural approach to winemaking, honoring the history and authenticity of the grape and the vineyard site. The name and the label represent the essential philosophy of Faith’s winemaking. Passion. Care. Connection. Respect for the environment and the grape’s essence…it’s heart. This is Onward Wine and Faith is at the helm.
As the years passed Faith was overjoyed by the number of unique vineyards she had found and the character of the growers that farmed these vineyards. Onward grew and a new brand was born. Farmstrong, as always, maintains Faith’s commitment to working with growers that are true shepherds of the land.
Onward remains focused on single vineyard site driven wines. Farmstrong provides the opportunity to produce dynamic blends that showcase both California’s diversity and it’s history as a grape growing region.
Faith can be found at tasting events all over the US. It’s a great opportunity to meet with the winemaker herself and hear field stories that only enrich the wine tasting experience.
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