Bernardus Pon’s goal is to achieve a red wine equal to the finest from the Bordeaux region of France. To achieve this, Pon – a Dutchman who could have planted vineyards anywhere in the world – chose the promising viticultural region of Carmel Valley for its soils, climate and unrivaled scenery. Bernardus’ Bordeaux-style varieties are grown in the estate vineyards, while it’s Chardonnay is grown in the cooler, coastal Monterey County growing region. This careful attention and craftsmanship has paid off. The 2009 Sierra Mar Chardonnay was awarded 91 points by Wine Spectator, and the 2009 Marinus received 92 points in Wine Enthusiast.
Bernardus offers limited bottling of small production and vineyard designate wines, which are available exclusively through the tasting room and wine club. The wine list at Marinus and Wickets Restaurants has been given the “Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator since 2000. We know you’ll find something you’ll love.
There is a $12 Tasting Fee or Mr. Pon's Reserve pour for $20. Your wine tasting fee is refunded with a purchase of $75 or more. It is recommended that groups of 8 or more make a reservation.
Address: 5 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, CA
Hours: 11am-5pm everyday
Toll Free: 800-223-2533
Reservations & Info:
Stan Rogalsky, Tasting Room Manager
Welcome to Bernardus Winery
The focus of Bernardus is to create wines that flatter the palate and stimulate the imagination.
Click here to visit Bernardus Winery website >
Born and raised in Amersfoort, Holland, Ben inherited a European appreciation of wine. His company owns the oldest “wynköper” distribution house in Holland, for which he annually visits the finest chateaux in Bordeaux. From this inspiration, he collects wines for his cellars, and adds fuel to the fire of his own passion for the best, which he brings to the Carmel Valley.
“Carmel Valley is one of the most beautiful places in the world,” says Ben, a man who divides his time between Amersfoort, Holland, Somerset, England and the Carmel Valley.
As a year-round traveller and citizen of the world, he ought to know.
A professional sportsman, Ben was a racecar driver for Porsche for many years, racing six times in the Le Mans. Ben was also an athlete for Holland in skeet shooting during the 1972 Olympics.
Dean De Korth, Winemaker
French-style wines have emerged in Carmel Valley with the wines of Bernardus. Dean De Korth an American, is a French winemaker. All of his early impressions about wine came from his education and apprenticeship in France. A very important part of Dean's Burgundian training was focused on distinguishing aromas and flavor qualities, as well as textural elements in the wine. With this old-world sense of taste, Dean seeks to make wines that flatter the palate.
No one has ever heard Dean describe his wines in terms of numbers. He strives for something well beyond chemistry. He strives to create wines that express the noblest characters inherent in each grape variety; wines that balance both power and finesse. Dean studied the French language in France for two years at the Faculty of Letters at the University of Nantes, a city in the Loire Valley.
He and his wife then moved to Burgundy where Dean earned degrees in Viticulure and Enology at the Lycee in Beaune and the University of Burgundy in Dijon. After working a summer for Jean-Marc Pavelot in Savigny-les-Beaune, he completed his apprenticeship at Domaine des Comtes Lafon in Meursault, and began honing his cellar skills working for Olivier Leflaive in Puligny Montrachet. Dean worked for Olivier for three years before being offered the position of Cellar master with Pierre Morey in Meursault.
Nearly ten years had past before Dean and his wife decided to return to his native Monterey Bay area, to be closer to his family. For the next twelve years Dean worked as the winemaker for several of the Central Coast's most prestigious wineries, including Morgan, Talbott, and David Bruce. "I feel like the years of hard work and dedication have brought me to this place, to the terroir of the Carmel Valley, to share in Ben Pon's dream of creating the world's best wines in this most beautiful place on earth."
The appellation of Carmel Valley, with its unique microclimate and stunning beauty, has already proven consistent with the vision of Ben Pon. Winemaker Dean De Korth feels he is ideally suited to continue the Bernardus philosophy of implementing Old World winemaking techniques in our New World setting.
A viticulturalist, enologist, scholar, craftsman, and artist, Dean De Korth brings to his winemaking a time-honored knowledge of wine and an endless passion - a passion labeled Bernardus.
Matthew Shea, Vineyard Manager
Matthew Shea’s roots in the Carmel Valley go back two generations. The son of a Master Gardener, Matthew grew up with an inherent understanding of the valley, its horticulture, and ecology. This natural interest led him to Oregon State University, where he earned a degree in Horticulture. During his last two years at OSU, he focused his education on viticulture, and he participated in a residency program living and working on a large vineyard. After graduation from OSU, Matthew managed vineyards throughout Oregon’s Willamette Valley with A.R.E.A. Inc., working with over twenty different owners. Matthew was involved in the planting, growing, and harvesting of all major grape varieties in Oregon.
In 1999, Matthew joined Croft Vineyards to pursue growing ultra-premium grapes for a smaller, more quality-oriented operation.
For five years, Matthew produced the grapes used to make many award-winning wines. Matthew then leveraged this experience into a senior management position with Northwest Vineyards Service, Inc., the largest Oregon Management company, where he directed the new installation and expansion of six premium Pinot Noir vineyards, and managed the harvest for fourteen vineyards, coordinating the grape delivery to more than 20 wineries.
Matthew understands that viticulture is as much an art as it is a science, and he never loses sight of the essential reason for producing beautiful wine. His personal philosophy is centered on wise stewardship of the land. “Farming for me is a never-ending process of trying to return the land to the condition it was in before being disturbed.
The Carmel Valley and Cachagua areas are a natural place still untouched by large development and urban sprawl. Vineyards and other agriculture, using sustainable practices, are ideal ways to maintain the beauty and wildness of these areas while providing a benefit to the residents.”
After 17 years away from the Carmel Valley, we are proud that Bernardus is the reason for Matthew’s return to his roots. “ I was looking for an estate vineyard situation that was dedicated to quality and growing premium grapes.”
Matthew’s goal at Bernardus is to create a world-class vineyard that grows the best wine grapes possible while expressing the Carmel Valley terroir and the characteristics of each individual vintage. “Working with our winemaker, Dean DeKorth, and Bernardus staff I hope to make Bernardus wines the most sought after wines from Monterey County.”