As the winemaker behind the Fringe Collective, Sebastian Donoso sees the incredible promise of sites with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He knows any vine that has to work a little harder will focus its limited energy on flavor development, earning every bit of depth and character imbued in the fruit.
Years spent crafting small-lot wines from out-of-the-way sites proved to be a priceless education for the Chilean-born winemaker. He earned his bachelor’s degree in enology and viticulture at California State University at Fresno, and worked at two respected Mendocino County wineries early in his career, focusing on small, challenging vineyards.
An avid student of astronomy, Sebastian has the mentality of an explorer whose natural curiosity pushes him to seek beyond traditional boundaries. He chose Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from unique vineyards, because these varieties have an inimitable capacity to translate terroir. Sebastian’s wines are an interplay between what the vineyards give him and his personal interpretation of each site.
Ben Byczynski has spent his career searching for uncommon vineyard sites. The kind that nature pushes in untold ways, yielding complex fruit with nuanced layers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in plant science and viticulture from California State University at Fresno and quickly established himself as a North Coast vineyard expert with Vimark-Trione Vineyards, where he managed 700 acres of vines.
As part of the Fringe Collective, Ben is instrumental in finding unique vineyards that flourish under harsh conditions. It’s not just the terroir that captivates Ben; it’s the people who till it. He has an uncanny ability to find the right vineyard caretakers. Passionate people who know how to cultivate depth and complexity from extreme sites. Ben’s experience and longstanding relationships give us access to remarkable fruit that upends preconceived notions about what a California wine can be.
Extreme vineyard sites challenge grapes to thrive and develop nuanced flavors. These places compel us to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the glass, giving us wines of incredible character and complexity.Learn More