Tendril Cellars

130 West Monroe Street Carlton Oregon 97111 US

Tony, Co-owner and Winemaker

Tony Rynders

Tony Rynders is one of the most acclaimed winemakers in the Pacific Northwest.  In addition to Tendril Wine Cellars and his custom crush winemaking service, Tour de Force Wine Company, he owns Tony Rynders Consulting which provides counsel in winery design, vineyard design and development, wine quality improvement, brand development, and product development.

Rynders began working in the wine business in 1989 at Mirassou Vineyards in San Jose, CA. In 1992, he obtained a Master’s degree in Enology and Viticulture from University of California at Davis; then gained winemaking experience with harvests in Napa, Friuli, Tuscany, and South Australia. His winemaking positions include two years at Argyle as assistant winemaker, three years at Hogue Cellars as red winemaker and 10 years at Domaine Serene/Rockblock Cellars as head winemaker.

During his tenure at Domaine Serene, Rynders obtained more 90+ point scores from the Wine Spectator magazine than any other winemaker during this period of time. The Wine Advocate recognized Domaine Serene as one of only two “Outstanding” producers from Oregon. In addition, Domaine Serene was awarded “Winery of the Year” status five consecutive years from Wine and Spirits magazine. Over 10 years, Rynders developed more than 25 different products for Domaine Serene.

In June 2008, Rynders launched his own successful wine consulting business, Tony Rynders Consulting. Tendril launched in 2010 with just one bottling from the 2008 vintage, which has evolved into the “Extrovert” offering. Over time products have been added to highlight all the Willamette Valley has to offer and showcase Rynders’ creativity and wine-making talents.

Diane Simpson, Co-owner

Diane oversees client service, operations, marketing, sales and more. Prior to joining Tendril full time in summer 2016, Diane worked for 16 years at Pacific University, most recently as Chemical Resources and Hazardous Materials Manager. She and Tony met while studying at University of California at Davis, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. The couple has two daughters whose artwork is proudly displayed on their labels for Child’s Play, a playful younger sister brand to Tendril Wine Cellars. In addition to taking care of the winery, she takes care of the girls and Badger, the smartest dumb dog ever.

Ben Friesen, Winemaker

Ben Friesen

Ben joined Tendril Wine Cellars in July 2014 after eight years in the industry in winemaking roles. Prior to Tendril, Ben was Assistant winemaker at Helioterra Wine Cellars and Apolloni Vineyards. He also served as Cellars master for Andrew Rich for three years, where he gained experience in both Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Rhône varieties from eastern Washington, and Cellar assistant for Dobbes Family Estates. Ben is a graduate of Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Social Science and a minor in Biology with an ecology concentration.

Andrew Finver, Tasting Room & Marketing Manager

Andrew joined Tendril in March 2020, managing Tendril’s new tasting room in Carlton and the marketing of the Tendril and Child’s Play labels.

Andrew brings an array of experience in wine, food, hospitality and business management. Prior to Tendril, Andrew opened and managed a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan, ran business development for Lois Rae wines in Napa, launched a wine program for a restaurant group in Bangkok, and led custom wine tours in the Willamette Valley. He also had a 15-year career in hedge funds, but he much prefers to talk about Pinot Noir than yield curves.

He met Tony Rynders on his first trip to Willamette Valley in 2000— Tony’s wines and personality were the draw for Andrew to join the Tendril team. Andrew earned a Master in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York and a Bachelor of Arts from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. He currently lives in Portland, where he is in awe of the city’s dynamic food scene.

While you might find any of Tony, Diane, Ben or Andrew in the Tasting Room on any fine day— making our seated tasting experience one of a kind in the valley— you might also find our winemakers hard at work in the vineyards, especially with the addition of Tendril’s new Maverick Vineyard.

Our vision is “slow wine.” Everything we do is towards the best possible wines and it simply takes more time: continual interaction with vineyard, adaptive winemaking, separate small-lot fermentations, and longer aging. It is a process rather than a production, and not always successful.

We offer three different options for our wine club family, named for three of our wines: Extrovert, TightRope and C~Note.

Tendril Wine Cellars offers intimate seated tasting experiences. These are in-depth experience for all your senses tasting a minimum of five to six wines.

We are pleased to offer seatings outside on our lawn (weather permitting), on our covered terrace around our fire pits, or inside our tasting room. Reservations are highly recommended, however we welcome walk-ins when possible.

We’re happy to hear that you’re interested in purchasing our wine. We ship to adults in most U.S. states. Please select a wine to add it to your cart.

We love visitors, although it’s always best to book ahead as our winemaker-led tastings require some preparation.

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We don’t like policies as much as the next person— a handshake is bond enough in many cases. But this makes our lawyer happy because it keeps us in business, focused on the business of making wine.