J. J. Huber grew up on a remote ranch in southern Saskatchewan, Canada. The small community of 300 was dominated by ranching, grain farming and ice hockey. Learning from his father, he grew a deep appreciation from working and nurturing the land.
He ventured west to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and met Gianni Seminari, oenologist and Winemaster from the University of Milan, Italy. After crushing grapes for two years under the tutelage of Gianni, J. J. began to source and crush his own grapes employing his new learned Italian winemaking techniques. Upon crafting his own winemaking style, he began to win prestigious awards as a hobby winemaker. That led to his first winery with his brother in the Vancouver area in 1993, then built a second with his family in 1996. Wanting to be near the famous vineyards of California, J.J. made preparations to build a third winery in Laguna Canyon, naming the winery after the picturesque divide that separates Laguna Beach from the inland sprawl of Orange County.
True to the Canadian urban winery concept, grapes are shipped from the Napa and Sonoma Valley vineyards to Laguna Canyon for processing. J.J. describes his winery as an Italian themed, satellite Napa/Sonoma winery as his mentor, winemaking methods and winemaking equipment are all Italian. This includes grape crusher, wine press, bottling equipment, tasting machines and steel tanks.
Continuing his wine science education from UC Davis professor, “Clark Smith”, J. J.’s style has evolved over the years and his philosophy of “blending is better” adds layers of complexity to all of his wines. Each year the winery has been awarded prestigious medals from the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition, the largest competition of California made wines in the world.
Although he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University in Business & Communication, his passion remains in winemaking. He is one of 83 professional wine judges at the OC Fair Commercial Wine Competition. He notes, “it is a real pleasure to be included as a judge in the largest California wine competition in the world”.
We look forward to welcoming you for a visit and tasting at one of Orange County’s hidden gems in Laguna Beach, CA. Whether you book a corporate or private event, visit us for a daytime wine tasting or join the wine club, we hope you will savor the aroma and flavor of our expressive, crafted boutique wines.
J. J. Huber