Meet the Panther Creek Team
Tony Rynders, Winemaker
Tony Rynders has spent the past 20 vintages developing his winemaking skills in some of the best wineries in Oregon, Washington, California, Italy and Australia. He is recognized as one of America’s most highly acclaimed winemakers. Tony works with many varietals, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot, Sangiovese and Viognier, plus sparkling wines and aromatic white varieties. “In every wine I create, my goal is to express each vineyard's unique personality,” comments Tony.
Tony obtained a Master’s degree in Enology and Viticulture in 1992 from the University of California at Davis. He has worked harvests in Napa, northern Italy, Australia and Tuscany and held winemaking positions at several wineries; Tony was the head winemaker at Domaine Serene Winery/Rockblock Cellars for 10 years, during which he obtained more 90+ point scores from the Wine Spectator than any other winemaker during this period of time.
Michael J. Meluskey, COO
Michael is currently COO for Panther Creek, as well as VP of Operations for DeLille Cellars located in Woodinville, WA. Utilizing his financial, operational and sales experiences in the wine world, Michael provides both operational and fiscal management to both brands.
The two years prior to joining the Bacchus team, Michael was the President of Compli, Inc., the premier full-service Licensing and Compliance company for the alcohol beverage industry. He oversaw a team of 25 compliance specialists with hundreds of clients that included many of the largest companies in the industry.
Michael began his wine career in 2001 when he joined Clendenen Lindquist Vintners, the umbrella corporation that handles wine production and management for Qupe, Au Bon Climat, Verdad and a number of other labels produced by either Bob Lindquist or Jim Clendenen. In his role as CFO, Michael oversees all the business activities of the various brands, vineyards and tasting rooms.
His professional career began at Senior Tour Players, Inc., an entrepreneurial focused company who capitalized on the growing popularity of the PGA Senior Tour to market, promote and acquire golf courses. Michael’s focus was on the due diligence of potential acquisitions, and then to oversee the operations of all the golf courses, driving ranges, and management contracts. To finance the development of The Badlands Golf Course in Las Vegas, the company Senior Tour Players Development, Inc. was formed and subsequently issued an IPO.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northeastern University in Boston.
Madelaine Morford, Tasting Room & Assistant General Manager
Madelaine has over 13 years of experience in the wine industry and is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Masters and holds the Advanced Certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. She is responsible for the daily operations of our tasting room, in addition to the wine club and our to consumer base. She provides our guests with in-depth wine knowledge and hospitality, focusing on education and information of our wines and wines from around the world. Madelaine holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in French Literature & Linguistics from the University of Washington. Madelaine’s family was in the wine business and has naturally followed in their footsteps to pursue her own career in wine. She’s traveled to many wine growing regions in France and has a great passion for Bordeaux and Champagne. When she’s not thinking about wine, she enjoys hiking with her husband and practicing yoga.
Photo by Richard Duval
Leslie Glassman, Marketing Manager
Leslie Glassman has over 13 years of marketing, event planning and social media experience. She has been with Panther Creek since Bacchus Capital’s acquisition of the winery in 2013. Leslie is also the Marketing Manager for Bacchus Capital Management.
For Panther Creek, Leslie is responsible for managing digital platforms as well as social media communications. Leslie has worked as the Marketing Manager for Gordian Group, a leading independent investment bank, for 13 years. She began her career in Financial Operations at Citibank.
Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences degree in International Spanish for the Professions with a Minor in Business from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Leslie became interested in wine at her first winery tour at a vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa while traveling around the world on Semester at Sea during college. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at home with her husband and two young sons.
Kurtis Wright, Brand Ambassador
Kurtis Wright is Panther Creek Cellars’ Brand Ambassador for the state of Oregon. He will bring his knowledge of sales and event planning to our winery as we focus more on consumer and wine club events in the Portland area. Kurtis has been in the wine industry for the past 4 years, first finding his passion for wine at a local wine shop in Phoenix; eventually moving up to Seattle where he worked as a sales representative for a local winery. His customer service skills and knowledge of wine are a great asset to Panther Creek for years to come.