The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody 

Souzas pour their last wine as owners

The Loop's Local Scene


Nick Smirnoff (NPPA)

The weekend of April 7 marked the end of an era for the Tehachapi wine industry. Bob and Patty Souza, the growers who started it all in 2003, symbolically poured their last wine. The reins were passed to new owners Mike Van Atta and his wife Beth Hamilton, who have been Tehachapi residents for about 10 years. "The next time we come here, we will be on the other side of the bar," said Bob. As part of the purchase, the four will be trading houses so Bob and Patty will now be city residents. The Souzas, who sold an airplane and gorgeous 36-foot schooner (two-masted sailboat) to build their tasting room, plan to purchase another sailboat. "It won't be another schooner," said Bob, stating that they are "getting older".

Bob and Patty were the very first volunteers to man the Tehachapi Visitors Center on opening day June 30, 2016 and "we plan to get back to at least one shift a month," said Patty. Bob is also well remembered as a Loop newspaper contributor with his popular "Bob, the Wine Guy" articles.


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