Heidi Peterson Barrett grew up in the Napa Valley in a winemaking family. She was destined to become one of the world’s foremost winemakers. It is said that winemaking is a combination of science and art. With her father a scientist-winemaker and her mother an artist, it’s no surprise that Heidi’s natural-born talents led her to the industry. With great enthusiasm, a love for what she does, and an abundance of experience, Heidi’s instinctive gift of integrating the art and science of winemaking is unparalleled.
After graduating from U.C. Davis in 1980 with a B.Sc. in Fermentation Science, she went to work for Justin Meyer at Franciscan Vineyards and Silver Oak Cellars. In 1983, at age 25, she became winemaker at Buehler Vineyards. Wearing the title of winemaker for the first time, Heidi attracted critical acclaim by integrating her unique style of winemaking. Demand for the wines grew, allowing Buehler to more than triple their production to 20,000 cases.
In 1988, she left Buehler to become an independent winemaker, consulting for a number of small wineries. Within a week she was hired by Gustav Dalle Valle at Dalle Valle Vineyards where she remained as winemaker until the spring of 1996. It was there she took her talents to the next level, creating wines of “cult” status. Her powerful-yet-elegant Cabernets from Dalle Valle Vineyards include the famous proprietary blend “Maya” which received perfect 100 point scores in two consecutive vintages ( ’92 and ’93) from Robert Parker and record-breaking bids at the Napa Valley Wine Auction. In 1992 she began making wine for Screaming Eagle, her most celebrated and, undoubtedly, her most successful project to date. The 1992 and 1997 vintages garnered another set of perfect 100’s from Parker. These coveted accolades coupled with her philosophical approach have earned her such great respect from Robert Parker, Jr. that he tipped his hat by proclaiming her the “The First Lady of Wine”. TIME magazine dubbed her “The Wine Diva of Napa Valley”.
Heidi, who loves the ocean, began making wines under her own label, La Sirena, in 1994. “I was looking for a name for my wine which would be fun and magical. La Sirena, which means “The Mermaid” in Italian and Spanish is a lovely expression of my two great passions.” Heidi’s winemaking style lends itself seamlessly to the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, proprietary Pirate Treasure Red blend and dry Muscat Canelli (Moscato Azul) she hand-crafts for La Sirena. The La Sirena Cabernet Sauvignon follows the same winemaking style and blend that she made in the past for Screaming Eagle.