Majoring in drawing and photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Todd’s love of wine began the very day he returned to the Pacific Northwest in 1997 after art school. It was then he learned his father, Rich Bernave, had just been hired to help make the wines at one of the newest wineries in town, Walla Walla Vintners. Eventually Todd would follow in his father’s footsteps, working under Walla Walla wine legends Myles Anderson and Gordy Venneri, and their talented winemaker, Bill von Metzger. For almost a decade, their knowledge and guidance helped forge his love of wine, and for that he will always be thankful.
After pursuing a career in fine art for over 15 years, Todd found winemaking to be another potent outlet for his creative drive. For him, making wine and making art are almost one in the same; both are tactile, interactive mediums where science and creativity are blended in a very personal way. Where you decide to source the grapes, when and how you choose to pick the fruit, how that fruit is then crushed, fermented and pressed; these are just a few of the brushstrokes that make up the art of winemaking.
For Todd, every lot of fruit that comes into a winery is a work of art, and what you make of it is entirely your own.