Fairbanks’s connection to wine runs deep. He can trace his ancestry to Don Jose de la Guerra, who won a gold medal at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Fair for Santa Barbara wine. He’s also related to Pam and Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and his cousins are the Hydes of the eponymous vineyard. “In nine years, I evolved from cellar rat to president,” says Fairbanks, a fervent believer in the region’s potential. “I hope that my work with Dierberg and Star Lane Vineyards will leave a lasting impact, but the bigger picture must also include working with vintners from the entire Santa Barbara region.”