“These are the moments, nurturing the vines, the excitement of the crush, and sharing the bounty of nature, that make crafting fine wine exhilarating.”
Along with attending winemaking courses at University of California – Davis, Chuck began his informal training at the early age of six. Chuck’s family planned and took annual summer vacations to various national parks around the country. These summer excursions seeded in Chuck, a deep connection and fascination with the outdoors. Seeking a way to harness his passion for nature and adventure, Chuck spent many years as a mountaineering guide on Mt. Rainier. Chuck sees several parallelisms between winemaking and climbing. Both require patience, the ability to assess the medium and the environment, anticipation and in Chuck’s vision, both have a common goal- “To experience the journey and to reach the top.”
Hard Work and a Gifted Palate
Chuck is convinced that his early exposure to nature taught him to pay attention to the unique details that make up the whole. It is his gifted palate and past experiences that make Chuck the very intuitive winemaker he is today. He strives at all times to ensure that his wine is the best that it can be. It is this dedication that has made Reininger one of Washington’s top wineries.
A Philosophy of Winemaking
Chuck’s goal is to capture and enhance the essence of each vintage by exposing its terroir – that is, the physical and non-physical elements of the vineyard habitat. The true concept of the meaning is not easily grasped by most. The French define it as the vine, the subsoil, siting, drainage, microclimate as well as the spiritual aspects of the vineyard’s history. Chuck feels that you must always be aware of these factors when making wine. “Wine is a reflection of everything that’s happened to the grapes, a time capsule, I enjoy bringing out the flavors locked in the grapes and making them shine.”