Kristen Barnhisel grew up surrounded by the world of wine, with her father being a home winemaker and her mother a microbiologist at Simi Winery in Healdsburg, California.
Kristen attended the University of California, San Diego, where she studied biology and Italian literature. She was the first American and the first woman to work harvest for Ruffino Winery in the Tuscany region of Italy. After receiving a master’s degree in winemaking at the University of California, Davis, she worked at several prestigious wineries in California and Washington. In 2004, she joined Handley Cellars in Anderson Valley Mendocino County and moved on to Inglenook in 2013, where she is charged with ensuring that the Cabernet Sauvignon produced there is of the highest quality and most elegant style.