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   

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 marketing director, oversees the winery’s graphic design and marketing 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.

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.

Ginger McCullough

Ginger McCullough has experience as an educator, working in senior management positions in newspaper corporations, and owning her own small business. Originally from Louisiana, she loves spicy foods and Cajun music. She brings her business skills and knowledge of excellence in customer service to our company. 

Veronique Cecilia Barretto

A San Antonio native, Cecilia Barretto joined the Pedernales Cellars team in September 2014 as Brand Ambassador and Outside Event/Sales Coordinator. She has also overseen the wine education programs here at the winery since 2013.

Cecilia spent three years in France obtaining her Masters (MSc) in Wine Business from the Burgundy School of Business. During this time she also achieved her Level 3 Advanced Certification of the Wine, Spirits & Education Trust (WSET). She is currently in the exam process for the Level 4 Diploma Certification of the WSET. Once achieved, this certification will allow her to sit for the Master of Wine exam (MW), which has been achieved by less than 350 people in the world.

Cecilia is also known to make appearances at various wine club pick up parties here at the winery as her comedian persona known as “The Wine Snob."

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.

Demi Matar

Demi Matar, assistant 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.

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 is the Vineyard Manager of Kuhlken Vineyards. 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.