After falling in love with wine and each other in California, Shirley and Gail Puryear moved back to Washington, where they had originally met. They settled in Yakima Valley and planted their first grapes in 1980. On somewhat of a whim, they planted their first vineyard in 1980 and by 1984 they had their first harvest. The following year, they formed the Bonair winery. In 1992, they decided to make winemaking a full time gig.
Bonair Winery is situated in the heart of the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. It consists of 35 acres of estate-grown grapes on silt loam soils, known for their ability to produce premium wine grapes. With an average of 2800 growing degree days, the region compares favorably to the Napa Valley with warm days and cool evenings perfect for ripening Bordeaux reds, Chardonnay, and Riesling. The winery uses state of the art stainless steel equipment for processing as well as French and American oak for aging. Red wines are produced in traditional methods in small one-ton lots. Fruity wines are cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks. Bonair’s emphasis is on creating outstanding wines at affordable prices.