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Tehachapi Winery opens

On the weekend of September 18, Tehachapi Winery became the newest local tasting room to open to the public for tastings. Owner Mike Chan and winemaker Marc Nail announced that their 2017 and 2018 red varietals are available for tasting and bottle sales. They include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

Chan began growing grapes soon after retiring from CCI as his retirement project. He started by planting two acres of red wine grapes. It was not long before he knew he wanted a larger vineyard and a commercial winery. He now has nearly 20 acres planted in only red varietals. He partnered with expert winemaker Marc Nail from Bakersfield and together they hope to create the best wines in Tehachapi.

A tasting room is already planned for the winery and the plans have been prepared for Kern County approval. Chan and Nail hope to have the 1,750-square-foot space completed some time next year. In the meantime, an inviting tasting tent is located in the front of the winery with tables and chairs placed at a safe social distance to make for a comfortable tasting experience. Winemaker Nail is sometimes available to answer questions about their wines and the wine-making process.

According to Nail, starting with the 2020 harvest, all of their wine will be made and barreled at Tehachapi Winery. Their very first crush was September 23 with two tons of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a vineyard west of Paso Robles. Their own local grapes will not be ready to harvest until sometime in October.

Tehachapi Winery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. It is easy to find. From Cummings Valley Rd., turn right at Bailey Rd., onto the dirt road and follow the signs. You can reach them at (661) 821-9587.