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. Coincidentally, Heidi spent much of her childhood riding horses in Wild Horse Valley Ranch, 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, crafting wines that achieved “cult” status. Her powerful, yet elegant Cabernets from Dalla Valle, including “Maya”, a proprietary blend, received perfect 100-point scores in two consecutive vintages (1992 and 1993) from Robert Parker. In 1992, she began making wine for Screaming Eagle. The 1992 and 1997 vintages garnered perfect 100-point scores from Parker again, which established her on a level that few winemakers ever achieve. In 2000, a 6-liter bottle of the 1992 Screaming Eagle set a US 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 Kenzo Estate wine created by Heidi is pronounced by a common thread that weaves artistry and elegance and accentuates the vineyard’s unique character.