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.”