Every grape that grows in this valley tells a story of the massive forces that shaped our land thousands of years ago. Every barrel aging in our cellar is infused with these forces, as well as the spirit of Walla Walla—a spirit that has shaped our families for six generations.
The Reininger story begins with Chuck’s early exposure to the great outdoors, sparking a deep connection to the natural world and a passion for adventuring among the elements of Earth. He loved the journey to the summit, the camaraderie, the thrill of discovery... the underlying connection always being the land itself. After spending years as a mountaineering guide on Mt. Rainer, Chuck developed a unique intuition about the environment that made him thirsty to find a new way to “bring the outside in.”
After deciding a brewery wasn’t the right avenue, Chuck began experimenting with home winemaking and advancing his wine education with courses at UC Davis. He officially caught the “wine bug” when he literally got his feet wet crushing grapes for long-time friends at renowned Waterbrook Winery. Sharing the bounty of nature and the excitement of crush solidified a desire to become a part of the winemaking world, in a place where Chuck recognized amazing potential.
After following Tracy—now Chuck’s wife—to Walla Walla, they launched their dream of owning a premier winery in a promising AVA. They ran Reininger Winery together for five years, successfully growing the business as team of two before joining forces with Tracy’s brothers and parents, fourth and fifth generation wheat farmers in Washington and Oregon.
Today, Chuck attributes his winemaking philosophy to those early adventures. A patient palate and a trust in the terroir have ensured that every glass poured is perfectly representative of where it came from. It is this dedication that has made Reininger one of Washington’s top wineries.
PARTNERS OF REININGER
Founder and Winemaker
A Bellevue, Washington native, Chuck and his wife Tracy Tucker founded Reininger Winery in Walla Walla in 1997. Prior to becoming a winemaker, Chuck worked as a professional mountain guide and climber. Chuck graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a B.A. in Business and Marketing. Chuck oversees winemaking for the wineries’ three brands: REININGER, CPR, and Helix.
Partner and General Manager
A fifth generation farmer, Kelly was raised in Walla Walla, Washington and began working on the family wheat farm at age 12. Kelly went on to earn a Masters in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University. For fifteen years, Kelly worked as General Manager of Hogue Ranches, including seven years as Treasurer of The Hogue Cellars, in Prosser, WA. Kelly and his brother, Jay, joined REININGER in 2003 and co-founded the Helix brand with their sister, Tracy Tucker, and brother-in-law, Chuck Reininger.
Partner and Operations Manager
A fifth generation farmer, Jay was raised in Walla Walla, Washington and began working in agriculture at an early age. For eighteen years, Jay operated a 4,000 acre Tucker family wheat farm near Helix, Oregon. Prior to that, he attended the University of Idaho, and received an AA degree from Walla Walla Community College. Jay oversees the Walla Walla and Spokane Tasting Rooms and general operations and joined REININGER in 2003. Jay and his brother, Kelly, joined REININGER in 2003 and co-founded the Helix brand with their sister, Tracy Tucker, and brother-in-law, Chuck Reininger.
Ronnie & Terry Tucker
With lifetime careers in dry land wheat farming as owners and operators near Pendleton and Helix, Oregon and Clyde, Washington, Terry and Ronnie Tucker have been actively involved in the Washington wine industry since 1989, when they joined with a local group of investors to create Canoe Ridge Vineyards. Terry subsequently served as President of the Canoe Ridge Board. They were also early partners in Forgeron Cellars in Walla Walla. Terry and Ronnie joined REININGER and Helix in 2003. Although they no longer participate in day-to-day operations, their contributions in the Valley's wine industry are far-reaching.