Bernd grew up in Edenkoben, Rheinland–Pfalz, Germany at his parent’s vineyards and winery located 25 miles north of the French border in the Palatinate. As a child, Bernd assisted his father in the vineyards and winery through each year’s harvest. In 1975 he began his formal wine training and apprenticeship earning his “Journeyman in Viticulture and Enology” in 1977.
He continued to work at several wineries in the Palatinate while studying at the LLFA Neustadt and LLVA Bad Kreuznach. In 1979 he earned his “Wirtschafter in Weinbau und Weinbereitung” degree; 1980 “Techniker in Weinbau und Weinbereitung” degree; 1981 “Winzermeister” degree.
From 1981 to 1983 he worked as interim winemaker and/or viticulturist in several German wineries. In 1983 he returned to his family winery making white wines and some sparkling wine. In 1984 he became Winemaker and Vineyard Manager at Weingut Schmid in Ballrechten-Dottingen, South – Baden. In 1986 he was made Winemaker and Production Manager at Wein- und Sektgut Menger-Krug, Gau-Odernheim, Rheinhessen.
In 1991 he decided to take an overseas Sabbatical in Michigan hosted by Chateau Grand Traverse through a one-year work-study program. In 1992, he was offered the position of Vineyard Manager at Chateau Grand Traverse and became the Winemaker at CGT in 1993. As the saying goes…the rest is history.