Sonoma’s Cline Family Cellars shifts winemaking duties as Tsegeletos retires

Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker at family-owned Cline Family Cellars in Sonoma, has retired and will be succeeded by Tom Gendall, in a newly created position, director of winemaking and viticulture, the Sonoma-based company announced.

Tsegeletos started in winemaking in 1980 after graduating with a degree in agricultural science and management from UC Davis. He worked at Pendleton Winery, Hacienda Wine Cellars and D’Agostini Winery prior to joining Glen Ellen Winery, where he held the position of senior director of winemaking for 15 years. In 2002, Tsegeletos joined Cline Family Cellars and managed all winemaking, production operations, and grower relations.

At Cline he successfully grew the winery production from seven to 35 wines for the domestic wholesale, export, and direct-to-consumer channels, the winery stated.

“Charlie had a profound effect on our business in the 19 years that he had been here. His contributions have been many, with numerous accolades and awards culminating with Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2016 being ranked No. 40 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines in 2018 and being awarded Winemaker of the Year by North Bay Business Journal in 2019,” said John Grant, CEO of Cline Family Cellars.

Gendall began his career at Cline in 2016 after holding winemaking positions at Sojourn Cellars, Arrowood Vineyards and Winery, Bryant Family Vineyard as well as Pegasus Bay in New Zealand, and Weingut Keller in Germany.

“Tom played an integral role in getting our vineyards and winery California Certified Sustainable and Certified Sonoma County Sustainable furthering the company’s commitment to sustainable winegrowing and business practices,” Grant stated.

Gendall earned his bachelor’s degree in viticulture and oenology from Lincoln University in New Zealand.

Fred and Nancy Cline started Cline Family Cellars in Oakley in 1982 before moving the winery to Sonoma in 1989.

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