October 3, 2012 – Ruby Blues Winery
“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity,” is a quote attributed to Joseph Addison, English essayist, poet, playwright and politician.
This quote is the first thing that comes to mind for me when I think of the gorgeous greeting I received the first time I met Prudence Mahrer, who along with her husband Beat, owns Ruby Blues Winery. I was attending the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs: Vine Forum in Penticton, June 2011, where she talked about why after selling one highly successful winery (Red Rooster), she convinced her husband that they should open another.
From 1997 they put heart and soul into Red Rooster Winery, which they sold to Andrew Peller Ltd. in 2005 fully intending to retire beyond tending their vineyards and selling their grapes. Despite enjoying a full slate of recreational pursuits, Pru found herself missing the personal connection of the winery tasting room and people. In a nod to the free-spirited Ruby who pursued her dreams in the Rolling Stones’ song Ruby Tuesday, they opened the second winery and vowed to keep production to small case lots.
When the American-based restaurant chain called Ruby Tuesday formally objected to their name selection rather than entering into a long legal discussion, they simply changed it to Ruby Blues. Fans and followers get the connection and slow learners pick it up quickly when they visit the wine shop. Through the decor and ever present art, the vibe of the sixties is alive and groovy. The flower power Volkswagen van that graces the driveway on Naramata Road as the winery’s sign is evidence enough.
Outside in the spectacular setting, you’ll find bold art, bright colours and unusual functional features such as the benches made from truck tailgates.
Yes, and the philosophy about smiles extends to the wine shop where ‘the cost of a tasting is a smile”. If the wagging tail of the Head of Security dog doesn’t brighten your day immediately, the good-natured teasing of the staff will take care of it. Soon strangers are friends because as another old saying goes, “all people smile in the same language.”
Inside you’ll find funky art, styling stilettos, designer sneakers, cool jewellery and chic t-shirts. More importantly, you’ll find great wines. Just check out the website for all the awards Ruby Blues has earned.
Mother Teresa said, “Joy is prayer – Joy is strength – Joy is love – Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. She gives most who gives with joy.”
Be sure to visit. Let your soul and palate be at peace with the joy netted.
Located at 917 Naramata Road, Penticton, BC V2A 8V1