Heidi Barrett

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Heidi Barrett
Heidi Peterson

Berkeley, California
EducationB.Sc. in Fermentation Science, 1980
Alma materUniversity of California, Davis
Years active1983 - present
EmployerBarrett & Barrett
Spouse(s)Bo Barrett
ChildrenRemi and Chelsea 2[1]
Parent(s)Richard and Diane Petersen

Heidi Peterson Barrett is a winemaker and entrepreneur who has been responsible for some of California's most notable cult wines.[2] Her career has included stints at Screaming Eagle,[3] Dalla Valle Vineyards, Paradigm Winery, Grace Family Vineyards, Amuse Bouche, Lamborn Family, Showket Vineyards, Revana Family Vineyards, Vineyard 29 and Fantesca. Barrett is a consultant for Diamond Creek Vineyards and Niebaum-Coppola, Kenzo Estate, and has her own wine label, La Sirena.[2]

Early Years and Education[edit]

Heidi Barrett was born in Berkeley, California. Her parents are Richard and Diane Peterson. Her father was an influential winemaker who worked for several wineries including E & J Gallo Winery in Modesto, California and Beaulieu Vineyards in St. Helena, California where he worked under Andre Tchelistcheff. Barrett attended grade school in Modesto before her family moved to the Napa Valley.[4] and graduated from UC Davis in 1980 with a B.Sc. in Fermentation Science.[5] She was one of only four women in her graduating class of 30.[6]


Following internships in both the German and Australian wine industries, she became head winemaker for Buehler Vineyards in 1983 at age 25.[7][8]

In 1988, at age 30, Barrett left Buehler and struck out on her own as a winemaker consultant.[6] Her first consulting client was Dalla Valle, and she worked with her proprietor Gustav Dalla Valle to earn her first two 100-point scores from Wine Advocate's Robert Parker.[6]

After achieving success with Dalla Valle, Barrett began working with Jean Phillips of Screaming Eagle.[6] Phillips was the realtor for her first client Gustav Dalla, and began working with Barrett on a casual, hourly basis.[6] This brand took off in the early 1990s, and following the 1992 vintage of Screaming Eagle, Barrett became a "winemaking star".[9][10]

Barrett then began working as winemaker for Ren Harris of Paradigm Winery, and continued to grow her career from there. As Barrett's children grew up, she was able to devote more time to her winemaking career.[6]

Wine critic Robert Parker has awarded her wines 100 points five times and called her "The First Lady of Wine".[5][7]

Personal life[edit]

Heidi Barrett is married to Bo Barrett, the winemaker at Chateau Montelena [11] Barrett has two daughters; Remi and Chelsea.[8] She is an avid scuba diver and painter. She's also a pilot.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Winemaker Profile". Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b Laube, James, Wine Spectator (October 9, 2003). "Merlot for Your Amusement".
  3. ^ Glynn, Amy. "Decanted: A Winemaker's Journey". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  4. ^ Intardonato, John (September 16, 2004). "Barrett passion shines from vineyard to studio". Napa Valley Register. Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  5. ^ a b amusebouchewine.com Heidi Barrett bio
  6. ^ a b c d e f Orbison, Willie (2015-11-03). "Napa's Most Famous Winemaker Rides a Helicopter to Work". Munchies. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  7. ^ a b Calwineries. "Heidi Peterson Barrett".
  8. ^ a b Lander, Jess. "Heidi Barrett of Calistoga: Napa Valley's queen of cabernet". Napa Valley Register. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  9. ^ Laube, James and Sogg, Daniel, Wine Spectator (March 21, 2006). "Screaming Eagle Sold".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Heidi Barrett: Napa Valley's queen of cabernet reflects on wine, pirates, helicopters and what 100-point scores really mean". Napa Valley Register. Napa, CA: Lee Enterprises, Inc. March 16, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  11. ^ Franson, Paul, Vines & Wines (October 2007). "Winemaker Interview: Heidi Peterson Barret".