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.
Ben Pon, Owner
Michael Oprish, Managing Director
Rob Baker, Director of Sales and Marketing
Dean De Korth, Winemaker
Matthew Shea, Vineyard Manager
Stan Rogalsky, Tasting Room Manager
Christina Gray, Wine Club Manager