James Halliday's Best New Winery in his 2017 Australian Wine Companion
Started 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 new home is the Rayner Vineyard on Chalk Hill Road in McLaren Vale, where the oldest vines date back to the 1950s. 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 we are sure will 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.
“Marquee McLaren Vale vineyard now in the hands of some really good people, really good winemakers. It’s a very exciting proposition. The resulting wines, so far, short as the tenure has been, have been great.” Mike Bennie, The Wine Front