Laura Barrett

Laura Barrett

Clif Family Winery (Winemaker)

Laura Barrett is a native of Southborough, MA, and was inspired to pursue a science-based career by her high school AP chemistry teacher. This led her to earn a B.S. in 1999 at the University of Vermont with a major in chemistry. She started her winemaking career at Stony Ridge Vineyards, a boutique winery on Waikeke Island in New Zealand and then returned to the U.S for a Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, which she completed in 2003. While at UC Davis, she received the La Reve Foundation scholarship and the International Wine and Food Society Global Internship Award, which funded her traveling to the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia and completing an internship there.

Laura was named the associate winemaker at Fisher Vineyards in 2003, a position she held for over four years working under the direction of consulting winemaker Mia Klein, whom she regards as her mentor. This position allowed her to learn to appreciate and understand the nuances of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. She then moved on to Casey Flat Ranch in 2008 as its winemaker, leaving there in late 2015. Prior to that, she was appointed winemaker at Clif Family Winery in late 2014.

Her responsibilities with Clif Family Winery include oversight of all aspects, from vine to bottle, of the winery’s two estate vineyards in the Howell Mountain Appellation. Under Laura's stewardship, Clif Family is producing a stellar line-up of wines, including Bordeaux varieties from their organically farmed estate on Howell Mountain.

Laura’s home is in St. Helena, where she enjoys hiking in her free time and spending time with her two children. Her advice to individuals aspiring to enter the wine industry is, “Set a goal, figure out what you need to do to get there, find a mentor, and get started – from the bottom!”