Pedernales Cellars

 

Our Team

Pedernales Cellars is a family owned and operated winery.  The sixth generation Texas family feels a deep connection to the landscape and values of the area.  The team that makes up the staff of Pedernales Cellars collectively has decades of experience of the wine industry in Texas. If you wish to join our team, please contact us at tastingroom@pedernalescellars.com.   

David Kuhlken

David Kuhlken is co-founder, President, and Winemaker of Pedernales Cellars. He is a sixth generation Texan and graduate of Rice University and the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.  He studied oenology and viticulture at the University of California at Davis. His involvement in the Texas wine industry goes back to the early 1990s, when he and his family first planted the vineyard carrying his family name, Kuhlken Vineyards. Follow Dave on Instagram at @winemakerdave. 

Julie Kuhlken, PhD

Julie Kuhlken, co-founder and Chief Marketing and Hospitality Officer, oversees the marketing and hospitality operations and is artistically responsible for the Pedernales Cellars brand. A graduate of Stanford University, Julie received a doctorate in Philosophy and has taught at universities in Europe and North America. She is a regularly published author, passionate about wine, art, and philanthropy – those loves have come together in Pedernales Cellars’ partnership with the Hill Country Film Festival.

Fredrik Osterberg

Fredrik Osterberg, co-founder, has an extensive background in entrepreneurial ventures, having served as an advisor to clients in the consumer sector. Originally from Sweden, Fredrik is the inspiration behind the much loved traditional Swedish holiday wine, Glogg, that is available at the winery in the late fall and holiday season. 

Heather Kuhlken

Heather Kuhlken, co-founder, helped oversee the interior design of the tasting room, and plays a key role in developing our sustainability programs. As a freelance photographer, she produced the photography found in our tasting room. Her background is in teaching and ecology, and currently runs Families in Nature.

Marissa Contreras

Marissa Contreras, Marketing Manager, is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, she built her leadership skills as a facilitator at a non-profit community organization in Austin, then as a manager in a fast-paced retail environment. She joined the team in spring 2015 to assist with business development, event coordination, and leadership support.

Jodi Freeze

Jodi has over twenty years in sales, public relations, and customer service.  She has previously served as Tasting Room Manager and Wine Manager at Saracina Vineyards and Tasting Room Manager at Pacific Star Winery, both in California.

Demi Matar

Demi Matar, Winemaker, grew up in the greater Houston area which is where she got her start in the wine industry. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Horticulture, and while she was there she interned at West Sandy Creek Winery. After graduation she moved to the Hill Country to work in the cellar at Pedernales Cellars, during which time she completed the winemaking certificate at Texas Tech University in the Hill Country. She loves her job and hopes to be involved in the wine industry for the rest of her life.

Keri Petersen

Keri Petersen graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering.  Upon graduating, she worked in San Antonio as a Project Manager for a technical research company.  During that time, she specialized in customer service and computer support.  She also has extensive experience in public speaking and delivering presentations.  Keri now brings these analytical skills to the Pedernales Cellars as the Wine Club Manager.  She is excited to be a part of the growing Texas Wine Industry and looks forward to expanding the Pedernales Cellars Wine Club.

Clem Villars

Clem is Cellar Master at Pedernales Cellars and was born and raised in New Orleans. One month after 911, he joined the US Air Force. During his service he worked for the NSA as a SIGINT analyst. His interest in the beverage industry started in 2008 when he began home brewing. He started Hop To It Homebrew LLC shortly thereafter, and worked at Real Ale in Blanco. He has a BA in General Studies with an emphasis on Communication Studies. He loves moonlit walks, his wife and son, and being a part of the growing wine industry.

Joanna Wilczoch

Joanna divides her day between the roles as Assistant Winemaker and Business Development Manager. Her passion for wine developed through several years of working part-time in wine sales, which she says gave her access to all the wine necessary to support a full-time nonprofit career. Joanna has a Sommelier Certification through the International Wine and Spirits Guild and continues a formal education in wine making and evaluation at TTU.

Rachael Wolz

Rachael Wolz, Event Strategy Coordinator, received degrees from Southern Illinois University in Public Relations and AgriBusiness Economics. Upon graduation, Rachael moved from Illinois to the Texas Hill Country in 2012 and started a career in the Texas wine industry serving as a Wine Club Manager, Events Coordinator and Marketing Director for other area wineries before joining the Pedernales team. She is excited to bring new light to Pedernales Cellars events.