Tony, Co-owner and Winemaker
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, Associate Winemaker
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.
While each of Tony, Diane and Ben are present in the Tasting Room to make our seated tasting experience one of a kind in the valley, they have also been hard at work in the vineyards, especially with the addition of Tendril’s new Maverick Vineyard.