Prior to making high-quality wines in the Walla Walla Valley, Chuck Reininger could be found high atop mountains as a senior climbing guide for a Tacoma-based company. When Chuck met and married Tracy Tucker, a Walla Walla native, he hung up his ice axe and moved to the valley to begin a new chapter in his life. Prior to moving to Walla Walla, Chuck helped long-time friends with crush at Waterbrook winery. He began experimenting with home winemaking in 1993 and officially caught the “wine bug.” His weekend hobby quickly turned into a dream to produce super-premium wines of his own: “I became obsessed with starting my own winery,” he admits. In 1997, Chuck and Tracy Reininger launched their dream—owning a premiere winery in the Walla Walla Valley.
From 1997 through 2004, REININGER Winery was located in a small but functional facility located at the historic Walla Walla Regional Airport. The “shack-teau,” as Chuck and Tracy fondly nicknamed it, was originally designated as a WWII Army Air Corp runway “crash house” and “base theater” where old time crooners and classic films entertained troops.
In 2003, REININGER Winery purchased seven acres of land, located six miles west of Walla Walla, adjacent to Highway 12, and began renovating two pre-existing potato sheds into a remodeled 15,000 square foot winery, complete with production facility, administrative offices and a spacious new tasting room. “We worked closely with architect, Jon Campbell, to create a modern production facility incorporating rustic design elements,” said Chuck Reininger. “This resulted in a unique atmosphere for events and entertaining.”
In that same year, Chuck and Tracy partnered with Jay and Cyndi Tucker and Kelly and Ann Tucker, Tracy’s two brothers and sisters-in-law. Kelly Tucker serves as general manager and oversees sales and marketing. Jay Tucker functions as tasting room director, plant manager, and grower relations contact. The addition of both brothers as full-time working partners allows Chuck to focus his activities on the art of making wine.