About Us


The Barrel Room San Francisco is a wine bar located near Union Square specializing in small-production terroir-expressive wines from all around the world. We change our wine list every quarter, visiting a different region of the world each time.

The Barrel Room Rockridge is a restaurant with a twist: we build a complementary dinner  menu around our regional wine list. Our menu pairs rustic, traditional regional dishes with our rotating wine list to offer a unique dining experience upon every visit.

What we do:

Our flights and comparisons offer guests an opportunity to explore the world of wine while relaxing in a comfortable, intimate environment. We pour 50+ wines by the glass offering something for everyone from wine novice to the die-hard oenophiles. Owners and managers Sarah Trubnick and Carolyn Johnson are certified sommeliers and are happy to share their wine knowledge with anyone who cares to ask.

Who we are:

Sarah Trubnick – Owner/Manager

After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Laser Physics from UCLA, Sarah decided to take a leave of absence from her Ph.D. program and spend a year at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. There she fell in love with wine… in particular, the science of winemaking. She moved to New York City, obtained a sommelier certification through the Sommelier Society of America and an Advanced Certificate from the WSET, and set out with a backpack on a one and a half year journey through the wine regions of Europe, Australia, and South America. Working as a cellar hand in Bordeaux, Umbria, Coonawarra, and Barossa and a wine writer in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico supported her throughout the trip.

Upon her return to California Sarah worked various jobs in the wine industry before opening The Barrel Room in San Francisco in August 2011. Together with Carolyn Johnson she opened The Barrel Room Rockridge in December 2013. She is currently studying for the Certified Specialist in Wine, Certified Wine Educator, and French Wine Scholar exams and will be applying to the Master of Wine program for 2015.


Carolyn Johnson – Owner/Manager

Starting in New York where she received her Sommelier certification, Carolyn has been working in the wine industry for 7 years in several capacities. Her background includes several different careers including working in the music and photo industries. Carolyn’s love of wine stems from her love of cooking and making unforgettable wine and food pairings.

Carolyn moved to San Francisco in 2009 where she worked in the wine department at Chez Panisse. Carolyn helped open the Barrel Room in San Francisco in 2011 and the Barrel Room Rockridge in 2013. When she’s not working, Carolyn enjoys cycling and traveling. Carolyn currently resides in San Francisco with her amazing husband Jack, where they are patiently awaiting the arrival of their first child.


Esteban Brunello – Manager/Sommelier

Esteban’s interest in hospitality began in his home town of Buenos Aires, where he worked in hotels before moving to the United States. Esteban recognized San Francisco’s appreciation for wine and culinary culture and wanted to take part in the action. He immediately developed a passion for wine and spirits and subsequently became a bartender at Dirty MartiniCirca, and Farina Foccacia & Cucina Italiana over the following years.

It wasn’t until a move to Colorado that Esteban began his quest toward becoming a sommelier. While attending classes at the International Sommelier Guild at the Metropolitan State College of Boulder and the Court of Master Sommeliers, he began working as a sommelier at Alba Ristorante in Denver. He returned home to Argentina and applied his acquired wine knowledge as a wine consultant to a hotel in Buenos Aires. The lure of San Francisco quickly called him back, however, and he returned only a month later to work as sommelier and front of the house manager at SPQR. In 2012, he took the reins of the wine program at Oakland’s Oliveto. Esteban joined the team at The Barrel Room to open The Barrel Room Rockridge in December 2013.


Manuel Hewitt – Executive Chef

Born and raised in Colorado, Manuel Hewitt began his culinary career in his late teens working in various capacities in restaurants. He ventured the big island of Hawaii, where he began working as a sous chef.  Deciding to further his career through a more formal education, Manuel moved to the Bay Area to attend the Culinary Arts program at the City College of San Francisco, from which he and graduated in 2012.  After graduation Manuel moved from San Francisco to the East Bay to pursue his lifelong ambition of working as a head chef. Manuel joined The Barrel Room Rockridge in February 2014, showcasing his skills and expertise as Executive Chef.


Jenny Lemay – Sommelier

Jenny is a Texas transplant who has been in the Bay Area for five years. She worked in various capacities in the world of fine dining in Austin for six years before moving to Oakland. It was during that time that her interest in wine grew from a curiosity into a passion. Since moving to the Bay Area, Jenny has continued to expand her knowledge and experience in a myriad of ways, including wine sales, working in a tasting room, catering, etc. She became certified last March through the Court of Master Sommeliers and continues her studies. Jenny joined The Barrel Room in January 2014, bringing her wine knowledge and passion to the team.