Sonoma County region
Traveling the world and chasing his dream, Will Gondak landed in Sonoma County.
Founded in 2015 by winemaker Will Gondak, Gondak Cellars focuses on Syrah and Grenache from two unique vineyards in Sonoma County - the Lawer Vineyard in Knights Valley and the Campbell McKinney Vineyard in Russian River Valley. This under-the-radar producer crafts wine in extremely limited quantities and overall releases less than 200 cases each year - talk about a true Garagiste winemaker.
Will Gondak got his start by studying Winemaking, Viticulture, and Agribusiness in college, both at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Napa Valley College. It instilled in him an immediate fascination with all aspects of the wine industry and it wasn’t long before he was traveling the world, chasing the dream, and working for various wineries where he gained valuable hands on experience. Over several years, Will found himself making wine in Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz, Australia, New Zealand, Bordeaux (France), and South Africa, which only enriched his passion and broadened his view into what is possible.
In 2015, Will settled in Sonoma County and began his own winery brand, Gondak Cellars. He loves Sonoma for its wide variety of microclimates, which allows winemakers to make great wines from so many different varietals. The opportunities are seemingly endless. For Gondak Cellars, Will strives to make elegant wines that highlight the unique features of the vineyards involved. According to Will, it’s all about the vineyard. “The potential quality of a wine is created in the vineyard. It is the winemaker’s task to guide the expression of that quality and to shape the style of the wine. This is where I see the true skill of winemaking.”
Will’s ‘Collective Efforts’ Syrah comes from a little gem of a vineyard that sits on a south facing slope of the Franz Valley in the southwestern Knights Valley - Lawer Vineyard. Here, the well-drained soils coupled with the surprisingly cool microclimate of the Franz Valley make for an ideal location to grow both Syrah and Viognier. Plus, the vines are nurtured with certified sustainable winegrowing practices. Will co-ferments the Syrah and Viognier together since the varietals naturally complement one another so well, just as it is done in the Northern Rhône region of France.
We are happy to share this rising star producer with our Garagiste Wine Club members. We know you will enjoy this fabulous wine!