Taub Family Vineyards And The History Of The Wine

Taub Family Vineyards goes back. Way back. Back to the days of prohibition.

Outside of a certain wine-circle, the Taub Family isn’t exactly a household wine name.  Gallo and Mondavi, sure.  But Taub?  Not so much.

So, who are the Taub’s?

taub family vineyards

Taub Family Vineyards – A History

Martin Taub founded a brandy rectifying business on December 6, 1933.  For the history-minded, that was the day after Prohibition ended in America.  Mr. Taub was on the ball.  

After World War II, Taub launched his first wine business, Premier Wine & Spirits, with its primary focus on selling E&J Gallo wines in New York City.  

By  1977, Martin and his son, David, had founded Palm Bay International, a wine import business.

How Is This Different From Wine Distribution Today?

Hang in there with me. Or, skip this and check out our review of three Taub Family Vineyard wines.

When you buy a bottle of wine at your local wine shop, it passes through a whole bunch of different hands before it gets into your cart.  

It’s known as the American Three-Tier System of alcohol distribution.  The system was put in place after the repeal of Prohibition.  

The whole point was to keep organized crime (think Al Capone) out of the equation, and prevent one tier from gaining undue influence or control over another tier.  

Section 2 of the 21st Amendment (the one that repealed Prohibition), basically says that the power to control alcohol (and collect taxes from the sale of alcohol) resides with the states.  

Consequently, each state came up with a pile of different laws, and it’s a gaggle trying to sort it all out.

The three tiers of the system are:  Wineries/Producers (which can also include importers),  Distributors, and Retailers.  

Wineries (and importers) can only sell to distributors, who can only sell to retailers, who can only sell to consumers.  Easy peasy, right?

Over the past decade, there has been significant consolidation at the distributor level, which has kind of thrown a grenade into the three-tier system.  The ratio of wineries to distributors is shrinking.  

In 1995, the number of alcohol distributors in the US was greater than the number of wineries: 3,000 to 1,800.  

Today, only 675 distributors service nearly 10,000 U.S. domestic wineries.  It’s become a Herculean task for small producers, in particular, to get their wines into the market.

Most states now allow some form of direct to consumer shipments of wine, which means that wineries can ship directly to customers without having to go through distributors and retailers.  

Many importers actually serve as both importer and distributor for wineries.  

Palm Bay International (owned by the Taub Family) is an importer/distributor.  Palm Bay’s portfolio includes over 75 brands from 11 different countries, and Wine Spectator calls  Palm Bay, “one of the country’s most successful import operations.”  But perhaps their biggest success story lies with Pinot Grigio.

Back in the 1970s, Soave (a white wine from the Veneto region of Italy) was the most popular Italian wine import.  But the Taub’s changed that.  Palm Bay International vaulted Pinot Grigio onto the American radar through the distribution of a then little known wine from Italy called Cavit.  

At the time, Cavit was known as Ca’Vit (pronounced ca-VEET), short for Cantina Viticoltori del Trentino.  

Taub convinced American distributors to pronounce it Cavett, “like the talk-show host,” and, eventually, convinced Dick Cavett himself to appear in magazine and television ads for the wine.  

Today, Cavit is the number one Italian brand in America, and the best-selling Pinot Grigio in America.  Soave?  What Soave?

Buy Cavit Now

Taub Family Vineyards- Wine And Distribution

The Taub Family also produces wine through their brands, Au Contraire and Heritance wines.  Palm Bay International distributes them to various retail/restaurant outlets.  And then the consumer buys them.

Taub Family Vineyards Au Contraire Chardonnay

Launched in 2014, Au Contraire is the debut wine brand from Taub Family Vineyards.  The name derives from David Taub’s favorite phrase, “Au Contraire”.

100% Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley in California.  Split between stainless steel and barrel fermentation with light lees stirring.  Aged for 8 months in tank and barrel (100% French oak, 30% new).  Skews toward the lighter end of the Chardonnay scale.  Flavors of lemon, chamomile, pear, and yellow apple.  There are some minerals in there, too, which is always a plus for me.  Nicely balanced, the oak adds to the wine without overtaking it.  A very pleasant wine, with a very attractive price.  13.9% ABV.  Retail = $18.

Taub Family Vineyards Au Contraire Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast of California.  Aged for 12 months in barrel (100% French, 35 % new).  Pale ruby in color, with flavors of strawberry, raspberry, vanilla, baking spice, and pipe tobacco.  The nose is more intense than the palate, but still manages to pull off balance, with soft and integrated tannins.  Making a “good” Pinot Noir for under $50 isn’t an easy task.  This one is very approachable and, even better, affordable at $30.

Taub Family Vineyards Heritance Cabernet Sauvignon

Heritance is the cornerstone brand of Taub Family Vineyards.  According to the Palm Bay website, “the name Heritance is derived from ‘heritage’ and ‘inheritance’ signifying the start of a new tradition and the continuation of an enduring legacy.”

94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, and 2% Petit Verdot from Napa Valley vineyards located in Rutherford, Yountville, Oakville and St. Helena.

There’s really a lot going on in this glass.  Deep ruby in color, with flavors of rose petals, violets, blackberries, black cherry, cedar, cigar, vanilla toast, and pencil shavings.  Finely balanced, and slightly restrained in style, which I appreciate.  A delightful tobacco note lingers.  14.1% ABV.

Buy Taub Heritance Now

Taub Family Vineyards Final Notes

As far as I can tell, Au Contraire and Heritance wines only available Direct To Consumer through Vivino. 

Taub Family Vineyards FAQ

Who owns Taub Family Vineyards?

The Taub Family Vineyards company is now owned by Marc D. Taub, the third generation. He grew up with a deep appreciation for the art of winemaking and had a vision of one day making his own wines. Marc took over in 2013 and works along side his son Jake.

Where can I buy Taub wine?

As far as I can tell, Au Contraire and Heritance wines only available Direct To Consumer through Vivino. 

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