It is more than 25 years since we planted one of the first vineyards on the Naramata Bench. At that time we had to import the plants from France and the Agriculture Inspection was super hard on the young vines. I’m talking about a Merlot and Chardonnay block on Lower Debeck Road, where we also built the first Red Rooster Winery.
Even when winery tourism was not busy, compared with now, we outgrew the property and in 2002 we built the new Red Rooster Winery closer to town. The first vineyard property became Therapy Winery, which has changed hands many times, becoming a huge building at present. Red Rooster continued to grow drastically, which resulted in the decision to sell it to Peller Estate, who took it to the next level.
But here comes the point..... they did not purchase the many small vineyards we had on the Naramata Bench. We continued to grow grapes and I just HAD to get back into producing wine.
So in 2007 we built the third winery, Ruby Blues Winery, and now it is already more than 10 years that I enjoy running a small boutique - style winery with the goal to produce and sell locally. To this day we do not have an agency in Vancouver, on the Island or in Alberta, and we work hard , not to become big.....
There are a lot of things we do differently here at Ruby Blues. There is no tasting fee; our tasting fee is a smile! We are happy to share with you the excitement of growing grapes and making wine.
I enjoy working in the vineyards. In early summer you will see me selecting and tucking shoots. And in all these 25 years I never missed one harvest day! So wave to the vineyard workers when you drive in to our place, it might be me....
You also can meet me at the farmer’s market selling wine out of our 1968 VW bus, or especially on Saturdays, I love to entertain customers alongside our fantastic wine shop crew.
Cheers, Prudence and Beat Mahrer!