Kenzo Estate is honored to work with acclaimed Winemaker Heidi Barrett, responsible for some of California's most notable cult wines and celebrated for her skill of turning grapes into sublime and magnificent wine. Having achieved tremendous success throughout the 90’s, Heidi Barrett caught Kenzo Tsujimoto’s attention as one of Napa Valley’s top Winemakers. When Kenzo set out to build his winery, he knew that it was essential for someone of Heidi’s stature to anchor the team. In 2003, having already hired Napa’s top viticulturist, David Abreu, to manage the vineyard, Kenzo completed his all-star team with one of the most respected winemakers in the business.
Beginning with the inaugural vintage in 2005, Heidi is responsible for each of the exceptional vintages Kenzo Estate has released to date. Heidi’s character and integrity are expressed in Kenzo Estate’s wines, with her philosophy to make the best wines possible with emphasis on the unique characteristics of each individual vineyard. Heidi succeeds in maximizing the potential of each vintage in a very balanced, elegant style of winemaking. Through her brilliant blending talent, Heidi Barrett transforms Kenzo Estate’s fruit into unparalleled, incredibly elegant wines.
Heidi Barrett grew up in the Napa Valley, and is the daughter of California winemaking pioneer Richard Grant Peterson. As a child, she spent many summers in the vineyards and wineries where her father worked and she seemed destined to become one of the world’s foremost winemakers. Heidi even spent much of her childhood riding horses in Wild Horse Valley, today’s Kenzo Estate. After graduating from U.C. Davis in 1980 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fermentation Science, she went to work for Justin Meyer at Franciscan Vineyards and Silver Oak Cellars.
In 1988, Heidi took her talents to the next level as Winemaker for Dalla Valle, by creating wines that achieved “cult” status. Her powerful, yet elegant, Cabernets from Dalla Valle Vineyards, including “Maya”, a proprietary blend, received perfect 100 point scores in two consecutive vintages (’92 and ’93) from Robert Parker. In 1992, she began making wine for Screaming Eagle. The 1992 and 1997 vintages garnered perfect 100 point scores from Parker as well, which, when added to the two perfect scores at Dalla Valle, established her on a level that few winemakers ever achieve. In 2000, a 6-liter bottle of the 1992 Screaming Eagle set a world record for the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of wine at the Napa Valley Wine Auction, selling for $500,000. Robert Parker proclaimed her the “The First Lady of Wine”, and TIME magazine dubbed her “The Wine Diva of Napa Valley”.
Each wine created by Heidi has the common thread of winemaking artistry and quality, but each speaks clearly of its vineyard heritage and vintage personality. She draws on her intuitive connection to Kenzo Estate, which began as a youth when honing her equestrian skills on the mountain trails.