History at a Glance - 1883 to present
1883: John Byron Tucker and his wife, Susan, travel the Oregon Trail and settle near Weston-Athena, Oregon. The couple begins acquiring land to farm on the lower slopes of Weston Mountain, Oregon.
1885 : Susan gives birth to son, Ed Tucker.
1906: Ed Tucker marries Rosa Gould, and they begin farming in the Weston/Helix, Oregon area.
1909: Marvin Tucker is born to Ed and Rosa Gould Tucker.
1926: Marvin graduates Griswold High School in Helix, Oregon.
1934: Marvin marries high school sweetheart, Erva Piper, and begins farming with his dad and brother, Conrad.
1936: Terry Tucker is born to Marvin and Erva.
1956: Terry marries Ronnie Nalder in Walla Walla, Washington.
1959: After graduating Washington State University, Terry and Ronnie begin farming in Helix and Pendleton, Oregon. They have three children: Kelly, Tracy, and Jay.
1985: Jay Tucker manages the Tucker family farms in Helix and Pendleton, Oregon for the next 18 years.
1987: Kelly Tucker receives his MA in Agricultural Economics and begins a job with Hogue Ranches/Hogue Cellars in the Yakima Valley. For the next 16 years, he works there as CFO. During this time Hogue Ranches produces wine grapes, concord grapes, hops, apples, asparagus, and spearmint; at the same time, Hogue Cellars grows from 30,000 to nearly 500,000 cases per year.
1989: Terry Tucker joins a local group of investors to create Canoe Ridge Vineyards. Located on land operated by Terry’s cousin, Pat Tucker, the group of 52 shareholders initially plants 44 acres of Bordeaux varietals on the site located in the Horse Heaven Hills. Other investors include Norm McKibben of Pepper Bridge Vineyard, Gary Bergevin of Bergevin Lane, Jim Abajian of Forgeron, Mike Dunham of Dunham Cellars and Rick Small of Woodward Canyon. Within a year, Canoe Ridge Vineyards partnered with Napa-based Chalone Wine Group, and substantially increased the size of the vineyard.
1993: Terry and Ronnie's only daughter, Tracy, marries Chuck Reininger, and the newlyweds move to Walla Walla, Washington. Chuck goes to work for his good friends Eric and Janet Byerley at Waterbrook Winery. Chuck falls in love with winemaking and begins making wine from home under the name Rose Street Winery.
1997: Chuck and Tracy establish REININGER Winery – Walla Walla’s 10th bonded winery out near the airport.
2002: Chuck Reininger buys fruit from outside of the Walla Walla Valley for the first time. These grapes, sourced from the Wahluke Slope, are destined to become the first Helix wine. Although Chuck wanted to showcase the Walla Walla Valley in his winemaking, as a family, we were acutely aware that the greater Columbia Valley had wonderful vineyards offering super premium grapes.
2003: Kelly and Jay Tucker, along with their parents, Terry and Ronnie, and spouses, sell one of the family wheat farms near Helix, Oregon and partner with Tracy and Chuck at the winery. The Columbia Valley label “Helix” brand is born. This same year, construction begins on a new REININGER Winery production facility and tasting room six miles east of downtown Walla Walla on the Old Highway.
2004: The first Helix wine is released: our 2002 Helix Pomatia. Pomatia is Helix’s flagship blend of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. 2004 went on to become the year of the "big freeze" in the Walla Walla Valley, so the introduction of our Helix label was indeed timely, as grapes from the Walla Walla Valley used for the REININGER label were mostly nonexistent due to crop damage caused by severe winter temperatures.
2009: A new tasting room and winery for both the REININGER and Helix labels opened, and since then our Helix label has grown to include 12 different wines.