At its core, the story of Reuling Vineyard is a love story 60 years in the making — a story about following passions, stewarding the land, and creating wonderful wines. Cheers from all of us at Reuling Vineyard — Tim, Jackie, Joshua, Whitney, Marika and Ruthie (our blue heeler)!
Tim and Jackie Reuling, Midwesterners by birth, first met at pre-school in Morton, Illinois and dated in junior high school. They parted ways for college, with Jackie attending the University of Iowa to study special education and psychology, and Tim attending Colorado College and then Virginia for his MBA.
A serendipitous reconnection in 1978 while both Jackie and Tim were back in Illinois visiting their families re-kindled an old romance, resulting in their marriage the following year. As they made their first home together in Tucson, Arizona, Jackie delved into her life-long passion for cooking. She received a culinary diploma, worked in catering, and owned a restaurant with partners. While in Tucson, Tim was active with real estate syndications and in time moved to pension fund management. The two shared a love of travel and would regularly take trips to Latin America and Europe.
It was, in fact, one of their trips, to a culinary course in Provence, France that would inspire the Reulings to move to California. Encouraged by the slow food culture of France, Jackie realized that her dream of having a large garden, surrounded by a beautiful countryside, farmers markets and an artist community, could all be a reality in Sonoma County. Her parents had retired nearby, and it was the perfect place to raise the couple’s young children, Josh and Whitney. The two moved to Sonoma County in 1990, and in 1998, purchased the property in Forestville that is now home to Reuling Vineyard.
Jackie and Tim’s partnership is at the root of Reuling Vineyard. Committed to creating a thriving vineyard on the 16-acre property, where they also live, Jackie and Tim worked to
restore and revitalize the soil. The two started with a neglected apple orchard and, through the use of historic clones and organic farming methods, transformed it into one of Sonoma’s great vineyard sites.
Today, Jackie attends to the farm animals, her garden, and manages the farming plan. Her large organic garden provides inspiration for her culinary endeavors (peruse some of Jackie’s favorite recipes) and provides produce for Food for Thought, the Sonoma County AIDS food bank. Whether painting in her studio or cooking in her professionally designed kitchen, she expresses herself through a broad palate. The art and relics in her home chronicle a lifetime of travel and exploration, and her love for life leaves an impression with anyone who enters her home.
Tim shares Jackie’s sense of adventure, and is an avid fly-fisher and outdoorsman. His years of business experience prepared him well for shouldering the risk and responsibilities of developing and managing a world-class vineyard. Tim carefully monitors the vineyard on a daily basis, which is an important aspect of organic farming.
The Reulings sought out select clones, and from the outset, believed the vineyard held great promise—the soil, the gentle north/south exposure, and its climate. Over the past ten years, the fruit from Reuling Vineyard has produced some of the most critically-acclaimed Chardonnays and Pinots in the country by Aubert and Peter Michael.
The Reuling’s commitment to the vineyard is steadfast. Jackie and Tim have raised their own children on the property, along with a few pigs, sheep, and more produce than they could ever imagine consuming. When searching for their winemaker, Matt Taylor was the perfect fit. Matt understands that the entire vineyard is a living organism and works with organic farming methods to ensure the vineyards’ health.
Jackie and Tim feel their greatest accomplishment in life is to have parented two young people who are happy, healthy, and contributing to life, and who share in Reuling Vineyard and the winery. Josh is a juvenile public defender in Boston and was married in the vineyard to Marika Beaton, chief of staff at Harvard University. Whitney has followed her mother’s passion for food and community and is Program Manager for The Sylvia Center, a NYC food education non-profit.