Napa Valley AVA
An incredibly special artisan producer with substantial ratings
Founded by Ken and Teresa Bernards in 1992, Ancien Wines follows the quest to make the best Pinot Noir possible from a wide range of high quality vineyard sites and terroirs.
Although the winery is located in Napa Valley, this quest has taken Ken and Teresa from the Santa Rita Hills to the Willamette Valley – and even as far away as Burgundy, France (remarkably, Ken is the only winemaker to import grapes whole from France and then vinify them in California).
Over the years, Ancien Wines has become an incredibly special artisan producer with plenty of substantial ratings and press that validate the entity’s twenty five years of existence and progress.
Growing up in Oregon, Ken Bernards was inspired by the handful of pioneers who embraced the challenging and romanticized grape of Pinot Noir – even while little wine culture existed there. He pursued a degree in Chemistry at Oregon State University, and took time off to work his first harvest in Napa Valley in 1986. The experience led Ken to spend his last years in school researching the complexities of flavor development in hops and wine.
After college, Ken furthered his wine studies by working as a research enologist at Domaine Chandon and taking a life-changing trip to Burgundy, France where his passion for Pinot Noir was solidified. When he returned home, Ken set to work on his own winery brand and in 1992, made his first five barrels of Ancien Pinot Noir – marking the beginning of an ongoing quest for great Pinot Noirs. Ken is joined by his wife Teresa, who grew up in Napa Valley and naturally became interested in the region’s ever-present wineries and local vineyards at a young age. She has hand-harvested grapes for notable Napa wineries, served as a lab director at Domaine Chandon, and worked as the associate winemaker for Domaine Carneros.
Since 2000, Teresa has focused her efforts full-time on growing Ancien Wines and is involved in all aspects of winemaking and the day-to-day operations. The name of the winery, Ancien, was chosen to honor those who have toiled the land in pursuit of vinous perfection over the last 8,000 years.
The beautiful label artwork (painted by artist Jim Hubert) reflects these simpler times and the rich traditions in winemaking that should not be forgotten. Each label is inspired by some aspect of the vineyard or the appellation of origin and incorporates a reference to ancient wine culture.
Please enjoy this latest achievement from Ancien Wines. Cheers!