History of Renegade Winery
RENEGADE Winery started as a dream of ours back in 2004, when we met and became good friends with the owners of a small winery in Amador County. We became very interested in the wine industry and would pour wine for our friends winery whenever we could. The more we became involved with the wine industry, the more knowledge and information we craved.
Mark's background was in construction, and in 2006 when the economy collapsed, so did construction. He found himself with a lot of time on his hands, so he asked our friends who owned the small winery if he could " trade his labor for their knowledge of wine making"? They agreed, and for the next two years, Mark worked hand in hand with the winemaker to learn everything he could about making good wine. Mark and I have done it all, from picking the grapes off the vine, to bottling and corking the wine and everything in between.
In 2008, Mark made his first vintage of wine by himself. Once it had aged for a while we offered to pour at any, and all, functions that would allow us to. He started getting a large group of supporters that were fans of his wines and would attend the functions simply because we were pouring the wines Mark had made. After a while I convinced Mark to enter his wines into the local county fairs "just for kicks". His wines won awards, much to our surprise and happiness. Since we now had "award winning wines", and being a Real Estate Broker, I thought we might have something here, and set out to find a location so Mark could make more delicious wine. We stumbled across a building that once housed a different small winery and thought "here's our chance, let's give it a shot". We became a full bonded winery in Jan. 2012. That means we can produce as much wine as we want, but we decided to take it slow as to not compromise quality for quantity. We opened as RENEGADE Winery in June of 2012. Mark has continued to make award winning wines, even with the growth of the winery. He continually amazes the wine judges in all the competitions he enters!
Because of the success of our winery, and the support of many loyal followers, we were able to purchase the former "Union House" in downtown Mokelune Hill located at 8345 Main Street in December 2015. After extensive renovations, we opened at our new tasting room location in January 2016. We have applied for a license to be able to sell 4 micro brews on tap, along with some upscale "Tapas" or bar food, panini sandwiches, personal pizzas, etc. We expect to be able to provide that by summer of 2016.
What once started out as a dream and a hobby, and as Mark says "a way to support my wife's habit", has successfully evolved into what it is today. The rest they say is history. we are excited about what the future holds, and look forward to many more years in the wine making industry!
Mark and Sue Rueger