About Château de Berne
The story of Château de Berne dates back to the 2nd century BC, as Romans planted vines on the ancient Via Aurelia – the road linking Italy and Spain. The Berne Wine Estate was created on this land in 1750, with the first documented vintage being 1776. The estate, located in Lorgues just 25 miles from the Mediterranean Sea, now comprises 1,235 acres, with 350 acres planted to vine, sheltered by 1,600 acres of forests and nourished by the Berne river.
The modern story of Berne begins in 1995, when the estate was purchased by British entrepreneur Mark Dixon. At that time he committed to improving the quality and authenticity of the wines by employing better, more organic methods of viticulture and re-developing the surrounding forests of Berne. Following the purchase the estate underwent a huge renovation project to become the impressive property it is today. For the last several years, Château de Berne has been the most visited wine destination in Provence, with tremendous hospitality, a 5-star Relais & Châteaux hotel and Michelin Star restaurant.
Beyond the attraction of an incredible visit, the wines of Château de Berne are the tangible representation of the estate itself. Their bottles’ unique square shape is modeled after the two towers of the original 18th-century estate, representing the history of this iconic destination.
The wine inside the bottle is crafted by highly-acclaimed winemaker Alexis Cornu. Alexis’ influence has been instrumental in the increase in quality in both the vineyard and the cellar. With his guidance, Berne has acquired property to become one of the largest vineyard owners in Provence and moved to 100% organic farming and viticulture. Additionally, Alexis has increased the winery’s focus on matching grape varieties to the most suitable plots – so the diverse limestone soils of the region can bring additional complexity to the wines, particularly for Grenache.
In the cellar, Alexis has created a house style that is known for incredible freshness and acidity balanced with a generous fruit profile. Each cuvée is produced to be a complement to the others, and can be served as an aperitif or paired with a variety of foods.
The wines of Château de Berne are very new to the U.S. market, with 2017 being the first vintage that was released . Only 3 rosés from the estate (Estate, ‘Romance’ and ‘Inspiration’) are currently imported; however, the winery intends to offer a selection of other estate wines directly from their cellar, exclusively for their U.S. mailing list.
In addition to the wines produced and released from Château de Berne, they will also be releasing exclusive wines from their three sister properties in the Côtes de Provence, all owned by Mark Dixon and produced by winemaker Alexis Cornu:
Château Saint Roux: The first estate in Provence to be certified organic in both Europe and the United States, these 40 hectares of vines sit in the middle of a sustainable estate that are high in iron, essential to producing some of the most distinct red and rosé blends in Provence. Visitors can also stay at the estate bed and breakfast or see cheese production from the 50+ goats that roam the winery.
Château des Bertrands: A 500-acre estate with 210 acres planted to vines, Bertrands borders the largest natural reserve in the south of France – La Plaine des Maures. The unique soils of this area are currently being converted to organic agriculture and are perfectly-suited to highlight wines that are primarily featuring the grape Cinsault.
Ultimate Provence: Just a short drive from the docks of Saint-Tropez, Ultimate Provence is an estate that is dedicated to the true joie de vivre of a Provençal lifestyle, this 114 hectare estate has 48 hectares of vines that are planted at the base of the Maures mountains. Syrah-dominant rosé and reds bring incredible spicy additions to Mark Dixon’s wineries.