About Berardo Vineyards & Winery
For A. John Berardo, growing grapes and making wine are a celebration of his Italian heritage. He has fond childhood memories of his father and uncles making wine at his grandma's house and storing barrels under his family's home. He hopes to continue the richness of that family tradition with Berardo Vineyards and Winery. The winery and vineyard are located on Township Road just five miles west of Highway 101 off Highway 46 West in the foothills of the Templeton Gap. The property has a rich local history as part of the Mennonite community that had settled there over a century ago. The original house still exists and all of the new structures are built to reflect the original farm-style.
The original vineyard site, a 16.5-acre parcel, was chosen for its gently rolling, south-facing slopes, its westside microclimate, and its lovely historic buildings with the promise of country living. Unbeknownst at the time, the property is also blessed with one of the world's best soil types - limestone - capable of producing the world's best wine grapes.
The first blocks of AJB Vineyards were planted in 1993 and consisted of Viognier and Syrah. The remaining acreage was planted from 1994 to 1996 and include Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Zinfandel. In 2010 some of the Nebbiolo grapes were grafted over to Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Lagrein. This adds to the Italian vareitals which John is currently focusing on.
The winery opened in October 1999. Beginning with the 1999 harvest, all of AJB Vineyards' wines are estate grown and produced.
In the summer of 1999 the Berardos purchased an adjacent 23.5 acres, which gives them a total of 40 acres. This will allow them to reach their ultimate goal of a 5,000 case winery where the wines are completely estate grown and produced.
In the summer of 2005 John planted an olive orchard of a mix of five Italian varietals that are a blend for the traditional Tuscan olive oil. His first production will be in the harvest of 2010.
Currently, John is working to craft full-bodied, premium wines that realize the full potential of the Paso Robles area. Like most Italians, John enjoys wine with food, and hopes to produce wines that can either be drunk with tonight's dinner or cellared for that extra special occasion.