Woman of wine, Heidi Barrett

Heidi Barrett can easily be recognized as the most successful female winemaker in the world. As the daughter of California wine pioneer, Richard Peterson, and with 35 years of professional experience herself, Heidi has managed to create numerous 100-point wines. Robert Parker has even dubbed her the “First Lady of Wine.”


Barrett is primarily known for her contribution to Screaming Eagle, where she started winemaking in 1992. The ’92 vintage as well as the ’97 both scored 100 points. Even more, the ’92 vintage set a world record for the highest price ever paid on a single bottle of wine at the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction. It sold for an incredible $500,000, and a vertical offering of the cult wine went for $650,000 at the auction in 2001.

“I like the challenge of working with so many different wines. My philosophy is to make the best wines possible with emphasis on the unique characteristics of each individual vineyard. I try to maximize the potential of each vintage in a very balanced, elegant style of winemaking.” – Heidi Barrett

Prior to gaining her reputation in perfectly balanced, elegant, and age-worthy Cabernets, Heidi graduated from UC Davis in 1980 with a BSc in Fermentation Science. We would imagine she passed this program with flying colours after growing up on vineyards and under her father’s wing. Heidi Barrett was born to make wine, and so it is no surprise that she is known as a “winemaking star.”

In 1983, at the age of 25, and right after graduation, Heidi became winemaker at Buehler Vineyards, where she took production from 6,000 to 20,000 cases.


Apart from Screaming Eagle and Buehler, Heidi has worked at Revana, Kenzo Estate and Lamborn to name a few. She is also currently working with husband of 26 years and winemaker Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena (Judgment of Paris) for a new project, La Sirena.

“I think it is important to have a wide variety of experience to draw from. You can’t just step in and be the winemaker unless you have a lot of experience in the cellar. I wanted to make sure that when I finally had the title of winemaker, I had earned it.” – Heidi Barrett

Vintage after vintage, Heidi continues to establish herself as the First Lady of Wine. And so, it is with great pleasure that Tannic will be featuring select wines from Heidi’s projects.

The first, which will be featured tomorrow on Tannic, is the 2011 Au Sommet. The Cabernet Sauvignon based wine is sourced on Atlas Peak in the Western Vaca Mountain of Napa Valley.


“This inky blue/purple-colored 2011 Cabernet is chewy, spicy, lush and filled with blackberry, graphite and floral notes. Composed on 97.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.5% Petit Verdot, it reveals a pleasant underlying earthy/terroir component, but the fruit dominates and this full-bodied wine is rich, textured and impressively endowed. Possessing the best of both worlds — the finesse, terroir and earthiness of France, and the sumptuous fruit, texture and lusciousness of Napa — it will keep for at least two decades. A noteworthy success in this difficult vintage.”

– Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, October 2013

Following the Au Sommet, over the next two weeks, Tannic will be featuring Heidi’s 2011 Pharoah Moans Grenache and the 2011 Amuse Bouche. We strongly suggest for Tannic members to try one if not all of these fantastic vintages.

Tannic members can also use the coupon code LADYOFWINE over the next several weeks for $10 off their Heidi Barrett order.

For any questions about Heidi Barrett wines, or how WineCollective members can access them, contact us today! With extremely limited supply, we suggest you act fast!