Our Winemaking Team
The Cunat Family are involved in all facets of winemaking, from planting the vineyards, selecting final blends before bottling to designing the labels and packaging. Our winemaker, Chelsea Barrett, provides expertise and oversees the process, ensuring the wines are made to the Cunat Family's exacting standards.
Chelsea Barrett grew up in Calistoga and began working in vineyards and wineries from a young age. She attended UC Davis and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Viticulture and Enology. After college, Chelsea interned at Mayer am Pfarplaz (Austria), Two Hands (Australia), and Opus One (Napa Valley). She started as enologist at Joel Gott wines in 2012, where she was promoted to assistant winemaker a year later, then to winemaker in 2017. In 2017, she also joined Heidi as co-winemaker for Amuse Bouche and Au Sommet. Chelsea lives in Calistoga with her husband, two young daughters, and a husky-german shepherd mix. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, home improvement, cooking, skiing, scuba diving, and reading.
Caryn Harrison grew up in nearby Diablo, California. Studying at the University of California, Davis, she originally pursued a pre-med track. After taking a few introductory wine courses for fun, she was hooked. During her studies she worked under Dr. David Block in the University’s research lab, studying tannin and color development in red wines. After college, Caryn participated in a variety of winemaking internships that brought her to Australia, New Zealand, and the Napa Valley. In 2014 she began working at Joel Gott Wines alongside Chelsea Barrett. She worked her way up to Assistant Winemaker before rejoining Chelsea at Materra in 2019.
Michael's 37 years of wine industry experience include vineyard work, academic study at both The University of California, Davis and Napa Valley College, and winemaking tutelage by industry legacies like Andre Tchelistcheff, Tony Soter and Jim Allen. Michael became an assistant winemaker in 1988 and in 1991 began his first venture, launching Karl Lawrence Cellars: a brand he created to try his hand at making outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon with the very best Napa Valley grapes, crafting vintages from 1991 to 2010. Throughout, Michael was the guiding hand at Sequoia Grove, where he was President and Director of Winemaking until 2018. Picking up where he left off, today he is in full swing with Trujillo Wines. Michael shares his winemaking expertise and counsel with several Napa Valley wineries including Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards.
The wines produced under Michael’s direction consistently receive high praise and accolades in the press and Michael continues to apply his creativity to his winemaking - expanding his breadth and expertise with new blends, different techniques and the most current technology and production processes. Michael resides in the northeastern hills of Napa Valley where he is sharing his passion and love of the land and all its possibilities with his daughter, Sophia.
Luis Fuentes was born and raised in Napa. Though young in age, he has been in the wine industry most of his life due to his father's involvement with Michael Trujillo and Sequoia Grove. He recalls as a child visiting Sequoia Grove and assisting his father with cellar work. He worked on a bottling line every summer from age 15 to 18 until he took his first internship at Starmont Winery. Just like his father, Luis started officially working in the industry when he turned 20 years old. He has been mentored by his father in learning the trade. When Luis isn't working hard at the winery, he enjoys spending time with his two daughters and girlfriend and his dog Bleu.
Alex Pett was born in Vallejo and grew up in nearby Vacaville. He graduated with a BA in Business Economics from California State University of Sacramento, after a few years studying in sunny Santa Barbara. Growing up he worked at a variety of golf and country clubs, and is still an avid golfer. Alex’s mother first introduced him to wine, and he started off as a harvest intern in the Sierra Foothills. After a formative stint at Turkovich wines, he joined Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards in 2016.
In addition to golf, Alex enjoys basketball and backpacking with his wife Christianna.