Ben Pon appreciates wine as an art - a form of art that transcends the ordinary.
His dream with Bernardus is to make a red wine equal to the finest from Bordeaux.
To achieve this purpose, Ben, a Dutchman who could have planted vineyards anywhere
in the world, has chosen the Carmel Valley for his estate vineyards and winery.
The Bernardus estate vineyards of Jamesburg and Featherbow Ranch are located in
the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley. We have been told that Cachagua is the
Spanish word Native Americans used for deep or hidden water. It has been said
that Native Americans believed that all things in nature were sacred and interrelated.
Their respect for balance in nature is carried on in the vineyards of Bernardus.
Of the 220 acres, 50 acres have been planted to vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Bernardus ventures
forth as the fifth winery to establish vineyards in this sacred valley. While
growing Bordeaux-style varieties in our estate vineyards, at Bernardus we are
committed to cultivating Chardonnay in cool coastal climates, specifically the
Monterey County growing region. Grapes from other superior coastal appellations
in California are used to add nuances to the Bernardus blend.
Winemaker Mark Chesebro integrates his experience working with the methods and
practices of Bernardus winemaking with his own personal intuition and technical
expertise. Mark's reverence for wine stems not only from the role that it played
growing up with his family, but also from working "hands-on" at almost every facet
of the Bernardus winemaking process, including cellar operations, and research
and development. Promoted from chief enologist to winemaker in January 1999, Mark
Chesebro continues to bring forth the authenticity of old-world winemaking techniques,
while maintaining an open mind toward the progression of technology.
At Bernardus the textural element-"the mouth feel'-is the most important expression
of wine. It is the goal of Ben Pon to create wines from the promising viticultural
region of Carmel Valley that will rival in style and quality the finest traditional
wines. With an unequaled commitment and the resources and talent to support this
commitment, Bernardus is embarking upon the next frontier in American winemaking.
Bernardus Winery & Vineyard / 5 West Carmel Valley Road / Carmel Valley,
CA 93924 / 800-223-2533