Answers from Our Experts (1)
The winemaker at Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley is Dean De Korth, a French-trained enologist who brings a devotion to Old World techniques to create balanced and complex wines. Though De Korth has spent 20 years perfecting his craft in the Central Coast, all of his early winemaking study and experience comes from France.
De Korth was a professional musician in Los Angeles when he took a wine-tasting class on a whim. He fell in love with pinot noirs and chardonnays from Burgundy and dreamed of being a winemaker; not long after he also fell in love with a Frenchwoman from Brittany. The pair decided to sell everything they owned and move to France so De Korth could study wine. He spent two years learning French and then took viticulture classes at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune and the University of Dijon. He next worked as an apprentice for Domaine des Comtes La Fon. After graduation, De Korth was a cellar man for Olivier Leflaive and a cellar master for Pierre Morey, who is famous for his chardonnays from Mersault.
“All the best people I ever learned from had no chemistry background, and they were making some of the best wines in the world,” De Korth says. “I always wanted to emulate that.” In that vein, the winemaker uses his senses to decide when to pick the grapes, and much of the wine production at Bernardus Winery is done by hand. At Bernardus Winery, you’ll find the best Central Coast fruit crafted into balanced wines with a subtle French accent.