The Forty Year Dream
Ron Rubin has experienced several incarnations relating to different specialized beverage segments. It began in 1972, when Rubin worked for his family’s owned and operated Central Wholesale Liquor Co., in Mount Vernon, Illinois. Always dreaming of buying a vineyard one day, Rubin stayed with his family’s company for the next 22 years. Here, he managed the distribution of wine, liquor, and beer in 48 countries throughout Central and Southern Illinois. As an innovator, this was where Rubin began to develop and introduce numerous new line extensions into their portfolio.
One of those innovations was created in 1990, when Rubin formed New Age Beverages, in Mount Vernon. This company became the master licensee for Clearly Canadian Sparkling Water in the Southeastern United States. In a 10-state region he created a network of over 100 distributors, who sold over 3-million cases of Clearly Canadian.
Four years later, Ron Rubin read the book The Republic of Tea, written by the Mel and Patricia Ziegler. Rubin was so inspired, and made an offer to the Zielglers and Bill Rosenzweig to purchase The Republic of Tea, a Novato, California-based tea business. Since then, Rubin has been on a mission to seek and procure the most exquisite teas from world premier tea gardens, making them accessible to everyone.
Having earlier studied viticulture and enology at UC Davis, Ron’s education came full circle in late 2011, when he purchased River Road Family Vineyards and Winery. Located in Green Valley of Russian River Valley, discovering this vineyard and winery was a dream that he had held close to his heart for 40 years. Finding himself in prestigious Green Valley made this “dream come true” even more meaningful.
Ron Rubin had dreamed of producing exceptional wines at a great value, producing A Beautiful Experience for everyone, he likes to call it. Ron’s vision for Ron Rubin Winery is to offer the most outstanding wines available from Sonoma County and beyond.
Philanthropy is a major role in Ron Rubin’s general make-up. He is the current President of the Board of Directors for Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute, advising on the University’s curriculum. In 2015, Ron Rubin became a major donor in support of the Wine Spectator Learning Center’s state-of-the-art education complex, and home of the Wine Business Institute.
In 2016, due to his innovative spirit, Ron Rubin was honored by North Bay Business Journal, when he received their 2016 Innovator of the Year Award.
In the spring of 2017, Ron funded The Maynard Amerine Wine Label and Menu Collection, at U.C. Davis, by It providing the seed funding to create a crowdsourcing web app, featuring Maynard Amerine’s extensive menu collection, allowing the public to extract valuable data from the menus and enabling the library to transform them into a searchable online database—making the collection usable by researchers and historians around the world.
In the fall of in 2017, Ron Rubin began the Ron Rubin Winery TRAINED FOR “SAVING LIVES” program. In collaboration with the American Red Cross and ZOLL Medical Corporation, Ron Rubin Winery is covering the cost of one ZOLL AED PLUS (Automated External Defibrillator) unit, to 450 qualifying, California wineries. This sustainability and safety plan is designed to keep visitors to California’s wine country safe and saved, if necessary. Each day, California becomes more heart safe, in the possible event that CPR or an AED would be necessary. All of these 221 wineries are now TRAINED FOR “SAVING LIVES,” with over 1,300 newly trained staff members ready to take action, if and when necessary.
Ron Rubin awards for the TRAINED FOR “SAVING LIVES” program:
- Sonoma County Vintners Association bestowed upon Ron Rubin their 2019 Innovator Award. Presented to Ron, this award is due to Ron Rubin’s outstanding commitment to the community, by virtue of its broad support of vital, sustainable community needs, through its AED TRAINED FOR “SAVING LIVES” program.
- LuxeSF (formerly the Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco) named Ron Rubin’s TRAINED FOR “SAVING LIVES” program worthy their 2019 Rising Wine Stars Award, “Service to The Community.”
- The Sonoma County Winegrape Commission’s 2018 Spirit of Sonoma Award, honoring individuals who contribute to the economic development and enhancement of the communities in which they live, work, and conduct business, through donations of their time and expertise in support of local business and in helping others.
- North Bay Business Journal’s 2018 Wine Industry + Spirits Awards; a special award specifically given to Ron for his outstanding commitment to the wine community, by donating these AEDs.
Ron Rubin is a current member of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation; and, he participates in Sonoma County’s philanthropic outreach program through Food for Thought.