Olek Bondonio

Olek Bondonio is certainly not your typical Italian winemaker. He loves surfing, snowboarding and has a penchant bordering on the obsessive for Vegemite.

After studying oenology he embarked on a few years of travel where he traversed the globe doing as many vintages as he could. This exposure to different soil types, various traditions and diverse approaches in both the cellar and vineyard resulted in his fascination with a sense of place and a drive to best express that through his wines. His production epitomizes the saying that great wine is made in the vineyard, where he works tirelessly to grow healthy fruit without synthetic additions or chemical input. He continues to cultivate grapes that have long been planted in that zone such as Barbera, Pelaverga, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo.

Even if Olek has been making wines under his own label since 2004, his farm, La Berchialla, has been in the family for over 200 years and is a remarkable property sitting atop the hill of Cru Roncagliette (which incidentally is the same vineyard of Gaja Sori Tildin).

As with everything Olek touches as Raf aptly puts it ‘…all wrapped in Olek’s charm’.

I wrote a little retrospective published with the Swinney Release about the evolution of a winemaker and the understanding of the elements required to make great wine. I feel like I should put a picture of Olek’s mug on that page.

He get’s it and it shows in his wines.

Olek wines as Raf aptly puts it, are ‘…all wrapped in Olek’s charm’.

The consistency he is achieving year after year with whatever the harvest offers is a sign of this greatness.

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Olek Bondonio Barbera 2021

Barbera | Piedmont, Barbaresco

This is how you do Barbera! My note is a replica of the last: Dark, brooding. Lovely élévage, well-developed pre-bottling. Yes, it’s still young, of course. Where so many Barbara’s are raw at this point there is a sense of togetherness. It’s a pure expression of the grape without interference from oak. It looks to have spent reasonable time on skins, the extraction and flavour development adding the earthy, skin contact/maceration character, and quality tannin wrapping quality frui
$78ea in any 3+
$74ea in any 6+

Olek Bondonio Rosso Guillietta Pelaverga 2021

Pelaverga Piccolo | Barbaresco, Italy

Very pale colour. Olek's hallmark harmony & development, complexity & balance. Together & composed. Stylistically you could argue that it's a light red or bold Rosé. Either way it's delicious. A core of vibrant strawberry fruit & musk with a slatey pop & earthy layer. Charming, energetic with loads of zippy, crunchy acid and fine tannin combining into a pleasantly chalky mouthfeel. Thirst quenching with a very complete feel to it. I shall be seeking more Pelaverga Picc
$79ea in any 3+
$75ea in any 6+

Olek Bondonio Langhe Nebbiolo 2021

Nebbiolo | Piedmont, Barbaresco

Well, well, well. The young vine Roncagliette that grew up and went into Olek's Barbresco may no longer be here, this could come from Timbuktu as far as I'm concerned. What is in the glass deserves far more than a Langhe Nebbiolo classification. The most important part of Raf's note '...all wrapped in Olek's charm'. If you've had his wines before you'll know exactly what this means. Beautifully composed, energetic, complex, a layered flowing winey of superb harmony! Do not dally! This Neb
$81ea in any 3+
$77ea in any 6+

Olek Bondonio Barbaresco ‘Starderi’ 2020

Nebbiolo | Piedmont, Barbaresco

Olek has incredible touch. The man understands textures and tannins, creates wines with insane perfumes and layer after layer of diving flavours. I can't wait to hook one of these when it hits the warehouse! Starderi is in the center north in the commune of Nieve. Check it out in the map below.
$168ea in any 3+
$161ea in any 6+

Olek Bondonio Barbaresco ‘Roncagliette’ 2020

Nebbiolo | Piedmont, Barbaresco

From the same vineyard that offers us Gaja's Sori Tildin, we have Olek's Roncagliette! Tasting the 2020 (Oct 2023) 6 months after it's Oz release again demonstrated Olek's incredible touch. The man understands textures and tannins, creates wines with insane perfumes and layer after layer of divine flavours. On release it was quite bold. Now, everything is dialing into the right levels. The fruit has pulled back a little and the perfume is building. The shape and flow I've come to expect from
$168ea in any 3+
$161ea in any 6+