Bernard Van Berg - A One-Of-A-Kind Winemaker

Bernard Van Berg arrived in Meursault as a foreigner, with no experience in winemaking and no local ancestors in Burgundy. He was, for all the surrounding winemakers, the crazy Belgian guy with weird ideas and methods.

Clearly, the selection of lands Bernard purchased didn't really convince his neighbors as the plots were all located in poorly regarded areas - but with a bit of research Bernard quickly discovered that these vineyards were once listed as part of the Meursault appellation, and therefore had true potential.

Furthermore, Bernard was convinced that he could make great wines even from these rather humble terroirs by taking extreme care of the soil and the surrounding ecosystem.

On top of that, Bernard Van Berg actually decided to conserve areas, in the middle of his vines, with natural vegetation – hence bringing wildlife and creating a quite unique ecosystem. A waste of space and money for many!

Nonetheless, Bernard worked his vineyard like a passionate gardener works his garden, sitting on his stool in front of each vine to determine what to do and pampering each grape like a precious gem. Literally pushing winemaking to an art.

The plots were worked only with the help of a horse and organically, without fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides.

And yet, despite all the craftsmanship, the wines were labelled as Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, a strategy that allowed the Domaine to highlight both the geographical origin and the vintage while moving away from the standard of local production.

Till the end of his career, Mr. Van Berg stayed true to his principles, with wines resting for 24 months in the cellar, without racking and aged in new barrels. He thus produced up to ten plot vintages (or blended vintages whenever the volume produced for a plot was too low). The total annual production, depending on the vintage, was between 600 and 3,000 bottles only.

Bernard never had any ambition but to produce great wines and therefore all prices (even high) for each cuvée were carefully calculated so that he would just make enough to perpetuate his vision.

From the first harvest in 2002, Bernard and Judith produced amazing wines until they decided to retire in 2017, making these wines so rare that it's now almost impossible to find them.