Gondak Cellars

Will Gondak '07 at Gondak Cellars strives to make elegant, low-intervention wines that showcase the distinct characteristics of the vineyards involved. Will has been chasing the winemakers dream since graduating from Redwood in 2007. Experiences making wine in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Cruz, Australia, New Zealand, France and South Africa have broadened his knowledge of what is possible. His worldwide hands-on winemaking experience accompanied by his formal education in business, winemaking and viticulture has yielded one curious wine nerd. Will has been calling Sonoma County home since 2015 and is looking forward to his 17th harvest in 2024.

According to Will, “It's all about the vineyard”. Each vineyard brings its own terroir, microclimate, grape varieties and challenges. The potential for the quality of a wine is ultimately created in the vineyard. It’s the winemaker's challenge to guide the expression of that quality and to shape the style of wine.

Gondak Cellars was established in 2015 and has grown to become what Will calls “a full time side hustle”. Will actually spends the majority of his work time helping make wine for several other Sonoma county based brands. He has been slowly and carefully building Gondak Cellars’ reputation and production. According to his plan… “Gondak Cellars will always remain a small brand, focused on producing high quality, small batch wines”.

Another of Will’s Winemaking ventures is a partnership with fellow RHS Class of ’07 alum, John Mulroy. It’s little x little wines (read little by little). Together as childhood friends, RHS classmates and now Winemakers, Will and John joined forces in 2020 to form little x little wines. Their vision with little x little is to produce approachable and delicious wines with minimal intervention. “We're doing it our way, little by little”. People often ask them, "What's up with your name?" Fair question. There are a couple of reasons they chose the name, little x little. The fun answer is that they met in kindergarten, when we were literally little. To that point they wanted a name that would reflect their decades-long friendship. But they say that “little by little” “also reflects their winemaking philosophy. ‘We take things slowly. One step at a time. We give each stage in the winemaking process its due consideration”. Importantly, that philosophy extends to their lives as well. Taking adversity and accomplishment each in turn. “Putting one foot in front of the other until you arrive at a destination you may not have thought possible”.

The best place to purchase Gondak Cellars and little x little wines is and directly from Will and John. If you don’t live nearby they can ship to you in 39 states. Their wines are also available at a limited number of high quality establishments in and around California that are listed on their websites. You can find more about their wines on their websites; www.GondakCellars.com and www.LittlexLittleWines.com. While there, join their mailing list or wine club to keep in touch and enjoy what’s next.

Will and John are a regular and generous contributors of their wines for Redwood Alumni and RHS Foundation events. Gondak Cellars is also an annual contributor to the Redwood Trails Alliance. The Redwood Trails Alliance is an advocate for NorCal’s diverse community of trail users. Check out their hard work