Personal life and education
Kristen Barnhisel was raised in Santa Rosa, California in the United States. Her mother was a microbiologist who worked at Simi Winery. Her father made wine at the family home. Barnhisel attended the University of California, San Diego. While in school, she studied Italian literature and biology. She also attended the University of California, Davis, where she obtained her master's degree in enology.
Barnhisel worked at Ruffino in Italy, making her the first woman and first American to work there during harvest season. She has worked at wineries in California, Washington, and South Africa. In 1997, she started as enologist at Columbia Crest. She also worked at Jordan Vineyard & Winery and Belvedere. She started working at Handley Cellars in 2004. She worked as co-winemaker with Milla Handley until 2012. She is currently the Quality Control Manager for Inglenook. Barnhisel currently serves as a director for the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
- Barnhisel, Kristen. Evaluation of Five Merlot Clones in the Napa Valley Over Two Vintages. Davis: University of California (1998).
- "Kristen Barnhisel". Winemakers A-Z. Women Winemakers of California. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- Boone, Virginia (15 February 2012). "Alsace legacy". Press Democrat. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Wineglass leads winners at wine judging -- List of 1998 Central Washington State Fair Medal Winners". Yakima Herald-Republic. 17 June 1998. Retrieved 23 December 2012.(subscription required)
- Marshall, Wes (30 March 2012). "Handley Cellars: 30 Years of Great Wines". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Dr. Sara Spayd Assumes Role of ASEV President for 2011-2012". Wine Business. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- The Pioneer Queen of Anderson Valley Pinot, an interview with Milla Handley andKristen Barnhisel from Wine Spectator