Established in 2012, Bondar is the vision of husband and wife team Andre Bondar and Selina Kelly. Andre, with a history as a winemaker in the Adelaide Hills and Selina with a background in marketing and law, have planted roots (literally) in the north of McLaren Vale, on the border of Blewitt Springs and the Beautiful View (Seaview) subregions.
Their home is the iconic Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale, where the oldest vines date back to the 1950's. Plantings of bush vine Grenache are up to 50 years old and Shiraz up to 65 years are already in play, while newer, more close planted Counoise (one of the 13 Châteauneuf varieties) has been recently planted, and Mataro, Carignan and Cinsault are on the horizon.
The vineyards are in the process of transitioning to progressively more organic management, which will undoubtedly see quality hit even greater heights. There will always be purchased fruit as well but ultimately, it seems likely that Bondar’s finest wines will come from their own sites.
In a relatively short period of time, Bondar has already made a big impression on the Australian wine scene. Named James Halliday's 'Best New Winery' in his 2017 Australian Wine Companion, they were also named one of the Top 50 Young Guns of Wine in 2018, along with collecting several trophies at the McLaren Vale Wine Show.
Fruit sourced from a single vineyard in Echunga in the Adelaide Hills. Hand-picked and lightly pressed straight to barrel sans sulphur, the juice was allowed to ferment naturally in french oak barrels (about 25% new) and two ceramic eggs for about ten months. 2018 was a great year for Chardonnay in the Adelaide Hills. It was generally warmer and drier than the last couple of years and the resulting fruit was in great balance - full of flavour but with great acidity. The resulting wine shows the same - power of flavour but retaining finesse.
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