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, WSET III

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. Follow Dr. Julie's wine reviews on Instagram @winesbydrjulie. 

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, Tasting Room 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 retail manager. She joined the Pedernales team in spring 2015.

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.

Joanna Wilczoch

Joanna divides her day between the roles as 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.