Widely traveled and endowed with impeccable taste, Founder Bernardus (Ben) Pon could have chosen anywhere in the world to establish his namesake Bernardus Winery, with the intention of cultivating premier class wines. He selected Carmel Valley, with its west-facing orientation, hot days and chilly nights, and stunning beauty, confident his vineyards there could produce wines to rival the greatest on the globe. More than a quarter-century later, he accomplished that not only with his estate Bordeaux blend, called Marinus (after his middle name), but with a powerhouse portfolio of single-vineyard-designated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Fortunately for wine lovers and fans of Bernardus, Mr. Pon also had the foresight nearly 20 years ago to open the first tasting room in Carmel Valley Village, purchasing and converting the former Bank of America building into a venue for sipping and learning. Today, the Village is home to more than 20 tasting rooms. The Bernardus Tasting Room not only offers wines for tasting and purchase, but a beautiful and sunny outdoor patio, a private room suitable for wine dinners, and a comfortable lounge.
With Ben’s passing in September 2019, Bernardus Winery will carry on with his business partner at the helm. A fellow dutchman and champion of quality, Mr. Robert van der Wallen. He understood Ben’s vision and the importance to keep producing wines with the same passion. Robert created and built Bernardus Golf (see link) and that encompasses the same philosophy as Ben, with innovation and quality at the forefront. With his love of fine art, golf and wine, he will continue to keep the Bernardus legacy moving forward long into the future.