Using his newly acquired knowledge, Huber and his brother Darren in 1994 bought a winemaking store in suburban Vancouver, taking the opportunity to make and market their own wine. Improving the product dramatically, sales quadrupled in 18 months.
His entrepreneurial nature led him to leave this first store to his brother, while he and his family built a second location. After a time, he persuaded his father to come out of retirement to manage this establishment. Now he was free to pursue his "American dream."
While exploring business opportunities in San Diego, he met and married an Orange County girl. She showed him Laguna Canyon and his entrepreneurial instincts told him that, "with the art culture so strong here, wine would fit in well." (The zillion-dollar homes didn't hurt either.)
When he saw a large available space in the canyon next to Wyland Gallery, he knew he'd found his American location. A do-it--yourself kind of guy, he gutted the building and with the help of his brother and computer software from Costco, they redesigned the space. His father built all the cabinetry and trucked it down from Canada.
There are three wineries in Orange County, but Huber's is the only one with a public tasting room. Surrounded by beautiful oak barrels and handsome dark wood wine racks, it almost feels like a wine cave. It's a lovely place to taste wine.
The wines are made on site, but the grapes are purchased elsewhere. Most of his Cabernet grapes come from Paso Robles from the Allegresse Vineyard, owned by Jan Pierini of Laguna Beach.
We asked him if he ever had plans to own a vineyard himself.
"Oh, but I do," he said. "I just planted four vines to frame the sign out front. In a few years, I plan on getting one bottle from each vine, and I will then be able to print a label that says 'Estate Bottled.'"