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Tehachapi's first wine tour bus

A bus load of students from the Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning and Bakersfield College became the first tour bus to visit our Tehachapi vineyards. The group was lead by instructor Mike Stepanovich who is current wine and food editor for Bakersfield Magazine and who was affiliated with Bakersfield College for many years until his retirement in 2014. The tour was the culmination of his wine tasting class at the college and was called Exploring California Vineyards and Wineries. Stepanovich said that he usually takes his class to Paso Robles but this year he wanted to explore Tehachapi. Most of his students had no idea that great wineries were so close to Bakersfield.

The group started their day at Souza Family Vineyard, tasting Souza's award winning wines plus several others available at the Vineyard. Bob Souza explained how he and Patty started winegrowing in the Cummings Valley. Moving on to Triassic Vineyard, Jim and Sally Arnold explained how the soil at their Vineyard is a contributing factor to their many award winning wines.

The last stop on the tour was Veritas Tapas and Wine Bar in town where grower Cliff Merdith and his wife Lisa introduced the group to their wines and those of Dorner Family Vineyard. Veritas owner Terry Gardner and her family provided a buffet lunch for the group before they boarded the bus for their trip back to Bakersfield.

The trip was so successful that it is hoped to be the first of many wine tours to Tehachapi.