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Bernardus Vineyards and Winery

Bernardus Vineyards and Winery Owner 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. Since the early 1970's, there has been a growing awareness of the outstanding potential for Bordeaux varieties from this new viticultural appellation. 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. More than 300 live oaks have been preserved to thrive among carefully planted vines. 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. The vineyard components are then complemented by many different yeasts and oaks during the winemaking procedure. 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.


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Address Web Social
5 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, CA, US, 93924 Email:
Phone: 800-223-2533 Web:
Fax: 831-659-1676
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  Cabernet Sauvignon
This is our second varietal bottling from our estate vineyard from an underappreciated, but for us, very successful vintage. Like it’s companion, in the 2001 Merlot, this wine is a lovely example of character in balanced proportion. It is full bodied without being massive and elegant without being lightweight. It has rich plum and currant aromas. Aged for twenty months in 50% new and 50% old French oak barrels.
We blend Chardonnay grapes from several extraordinary vineyards in California. The result is a complex nose of honey, melon and hazelnut. The mouth feel is amazing with a deep, rich, creamy texture that is reminiscent of Cream Brulee. The long lingering finish seems almost endless as you enjoy the subtle notes of vanilla and butterscotch.
The beautiful weather throughout the critical months of September and October of 2005 provided us with ripe and perfectly balanced fruit. We harvested our Chardonnay from ten distinct vineyards for the differences in their microclimates and terroirs. These microclimates range from very cool climate from the north end of the Santa Lucia Highlands, to the warmer climate of the Arroyo Seco appellation in the Salinas Valley. These grapes offer a broad palate of fruit styles and acidity levels to choose from in preparing our final blend.
  Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard
From a gentle sloping vineyard at the edge of the Santa Lucia Highlands, fourth generation growers planted several chardonnay clones selected at the Dijon France research station. Moderate temperatures characterized the 2004 vintage for the entire growing season. The grapes ripened slowly and steadily, yielding a wine with great texture, and minerals without over ripening. The wines from this vineyard typically show high intensity fruit and are balanced by a crisp acidity at the finish.
Our flagship wine, the Marnius, is a Bordeaux style blend. The 2002 vintage is comprised of The final blend is: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec. A bold, rich wine with deep dark fruity notes and a rich long finish.
A varietal bottling from our Marinus estate vineyard. This Merlot has a deep rich cherry color and a lovely black currant flavor with a subtle smoky character. Done very much in the European style, this vintage shows that a Merlot can be big and bold.
  Pinot Noir
This 100% Monterey County wine has delicate notes of blueberry and plum that are rounded out with a touch of cinnamon. The lighter fruitier style of this Pinot lends it a wonderful versatility in food pairing. It’s a particularly good selection when choosing a red wine for lunch or a warm evening.
  Pinot Noir, Rosella's Vineyard -
Our 2004 Rosella's Pinot Noir has a deep ruby-red color. Aromas of ripe black cherries and plums leaps from the glass, accented by the notes of clove, and cinnamon and toasty oak. The palate is very full and luscious exuding refined flavors of ripe dark red fruits supported by gentle, velvety tannins through the lingering finish.
  Reserve Marinus
The best blocks are selected from our Marinus Vineyard to produce this small production Reserve Marinus. A Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
  Sauvignon Blanc
The 2004 season began very early with warm spring weather. This produced grapes of beautiful quality that ripened about 2 weeks earlier than usual. Our Sauvignon Blanc comes from two specially selected vineyards in the Arroyo Seco area of the Salinas Valley. The grapes are all handpicked. We began picking during the last week of August in the Griva Vineyard and finished up in mid-September in the Ventana Vineyard. At Bernardus, we like to pick our Sauvignon Blanc rather less ripe to retain a crisp natural acidity and produce bright varietal characters. 1/3 is fermented in chilled stainless-steel tanks with the rest being fermented in used French oak barrels. This technique helps accentuate the fruit flavors and enhances the wine’s rich mouth-feel without adding any oak barrel flavors.
  Sauvignon Blanc
The result is a wine with a crisp natural acidity producing bright varietal characteristics. This Sauvignon Blanc is very fruity and lightly herbal in style (grapefruit, lemon grass, plum notes). It is a full bodied Sauvignon Blanc with good balance and length.
  Sauvignon Blanc - Griva Vineyard
The Griva vineyard in the cool windswept Arroyo Seco AVA is planted exclusively with the Musque clone of Sauvignon Blanc. Combined with the sandy cobblestone soils, this grape yields wines of unique character that runs the gamut of flavors from grassy/herbal to citrus and melon. High aromatic intensity and palate cleansing acidity are always the hallmarks of this refreshing wine.


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