Heidi Peterson Barrett

Heidi Peterson Barrett

Amuse Bouche (Winemaker and Co-Owner)

Au Sommet (Winemaker and Co-Owner)

Barrett & Barrett (Co-Winemaker and Co-Owner)

La Sirena (Winemaker and Proprietress)

Fantesca Estate & Winery (Winemaker)

Kenzo Estate (Winemaker)

Lamborn Family Vineyards Co. (Winemaker)

Paradigm Winery (Winemaker)

Heidi Barrett grew up in California’s Napa Valley in a winemaking family and has become one of California’s leading winemakers. It is said that winemaking is a combination of science and art. With a scientist-winemaker father and an artist mother, Heidi was perhaps drawn naturally to the wine industry.

Throughout high school, Heidi spent her summers in wineries and vineyards, taking on jobs from sorting vine cuttings to bottling-line work. She continued her winemaking education at the University of California, Davis, where she was an assistant to Dr. Ann Noble, the developer of the aroma wheel. While still at UC Davis, Heidi did an internship at a large co-op winery in southern Germany that produced many red and white varieties. There she learned the art of making balanced wines, no matter what the variety.

After graduating from Davis in 1980 with a B.S. in Fermentation Science, she began working for Justin Meyer at Franciscan Vineyards and Silver Oak. In 1981, after subsequent crush jobs at both Lindeman’s Wines in Australia and Rutherford Hill, Heidi became assistant winemaker to Jerry Luper at Bouchaine Vineyards. In 1983, at age 25, she became winemaker at Buehler Vineyards. It was there that she first attracted critical acclaim by greatly improving the wine quality and taking the production from 6,000 cases to 20,000 cases. Heidi considers her wide range of experiences crucial to her development as a winemaker. “You can’t just step in and be the winemaker unless you have a lot of experience in the cellar. I wanted to make sure that when I finally had the title of winemaker, I had earned it.”

In 1988, she left Buehler to become an independent, freelance winemaker for a number of small wineries. Since that time, Heidi has developed a stellar client list of super and ultra-premium wineries. Currently she is Winemaker/Proprietress for La Sirena where she focuses on the wines that she personally loves best—Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Moscato Azul. Heidi is also the winemaker for Amuse Bouche, Vin Perdu, Pret a Boire, Paradigm Winery, Au Sommet, Lamborn Family Vineyards, and Fantesca Estate & Winery. Other past clients include Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, Jones Family, Rubicon, Grace Family, Vineyard 29, David Arthur, Revana Family Vineyards, and Showket.

Among the many accolades she has received as a winemaker, Time Magazine named Heidi “The Wine Diva of Napa.” Heidi lives in Calistoga, California with her husband, Bo (winemaker at Chateau Montelena). They have two daughters, Remi and Chelsea.