138 Years & Counting
Named in honor of the family farmstead in Helix, Oregon, where our grandparents met, married, and farmed, Helix represents a long and storied family history in the Washington and Oregon wine and agricultural industries.
As fifth generation farmers who settled in the Pacific Northwest via the Oregon Trail, Helix is our dedication to the Columbia Valley distinctive terrain, climate, and soil type; and after almost 140 years of our family livelihood intertwined with this land, we can think of no better way to honor the land and our history than with wine.
The story of Helix begins with our pioneering ancestors - John and Susan Tucker - who traveled the Oregon Trail from Colorado, settling in the Weston and Helix region of Northeastern Oregon in 1883. They found fertile land to farm and raised 11 children. When J.B. Tucker died in 1898, he'd accumulated nearly 1,000 acres of land on the lower slopes of Weston Mountain. Like many early homesteaders in the region, the family connection to the region was established and generation upon generation continued to farm, all the while expanding the notion of what is possible in the region's fertile soils.
From Wheat to Wine
In the early 1980's, while continuing to raise and produce wheat, various family members became active in the early stages of the Washington wine industry. After 15+ years of independent involvement, the four Tucker families joined together to create a wine project born from a shared love of the region. In 2002, Helix wines was established as a sister brand to REININGER.
Helix wines are produced with the intention of discovering what is possible in the vast Columbia Valley. Unlike our REININGER wines which are produced solely from Walla Walla Valley fruit, Helix allows us to extend our geographical reach and produce wines that are stylistically different from REININGER. With access to the diverse and unbounded Columbia Valley, Helix is an exploration of Washington State and an opportunity to introduce a new group of wine enthusiasts to what Washington has to offer.
Winemaker and Partner
A Bellevue, Washington native, Chuck and his wife Tracy Tucker founded REININGER Winery in Walla Walla in 1997. In 2003, they partnered with Tracy’s brothers and their spouses, along with Tracy’s parents, Terry and Ronnie Tucker, to launch Helix. 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 & 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 & 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 the 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 at the winery. 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, OR, and Clyde, WA, 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 Board. They were also early partners in Forgeron Cellars. 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.
Marketing & Sales
Ann began working in the Washington State Wine Industry in 1987 as a marketing associate for The Hogue Cellars. In 1995, she transitioned to the non-profit sector in fundraising with a focus on wine auctions. After a few years working in interior design, she and her husband Kelly joined REININGER in 2003 and co-founded the Helix brand with the Tuckers and Reiningers. Born and raised in Walla Walla, Ann initially worked in distribution then expanded her focus to marketing, eCommerce and Direct to Consumer sales. Ann graduated from Washington State University with a BA in Fine Arts.
Born in Michoacán, Mexico, Raul started with us before he even liked wine when he was only 19 years old. He drove past Ash Hollow Vineyard, where we were planting vines and pulled over to ask if we needed help. Once harvest hit, Raul bounced back and forth between helping us out at the airport with harvest and our neighbors, Tamarack Cellars, before working for us full-time. In 2002, Raul became our Assistant Winemaker. During his tenure with us, Raul helped found and produce the wines for El Corazon Winery for 14 years.
Director of Marketing & Administrative Services
An East Coast native, Abbie moved to Walla Walla in 2015 to work for the winery in marketing and events management in our tasting room. Today Abbie oversees marketing for REININGER, Helix and CPR, as well as ecommerce and digital communications including two websites and social media. Abbie graduated from Champlain College with a B.S. in Professional Writing, and previously worked in higher education marketing, as well as Vermont’s wine industry.
Wine Club Manager
Raised in Scottsdale, AZ, Kristen began at REININGER in 2018. With a strong background in technology, she plays an important role at the winery by keeping our wine clubs up to date in software and industry advancements, while providing excellent and detailed customer service to our many club members. Prior to working at REININGER, she dabbled in wine at another Walla Walla tasting room after taking a career change from Whitman College’s Marketing Department where she worked for over 4 years. Kristen graduated from Northwestern with a B.A. in Computer Studies and received her JD from Loyola School of Law in Chicago.
Walla Walla Tasting Room Manager
Born in Sonoma County, CA, Brad began at REININGER in 2020 as our Walla Walla Tasting Room Manager. Prior to this, Brad worked for 7 years in operations and supply chain management for Precept Wines brands, where he managed bottling and canning crews around the clock. Brad graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Financial Economics. His hobbies are brewing beer, gardening, fermenting just about anything, drinking wine and playing with his dogs!
Distribution & Spokane Tasting Room Manager
Raised in Spokane, Steve became interested in wine where there were only five wineries in Washington State. Steve moved to Seattle to start a career in wine distribution and worked with wholesalers selling to key accounts in western Washington. Along the way, Steve was recruited by a CA winery to manage sales and distribution for the northwestern US and western Canada for multiple brands. Eventually, Steve made his way back to Spokane through the distributor side of the industry. In 2020, Steve began managing the Spokane Tasting Room and in 2021, assumed the role of Distribution Manager for REININGER and Helix.