The road forward
December 19, 2020
Now that the long-awaited AVA designation has been approved by the federal Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau, it is important for us all to understand the significance of this achievement.
The designation signifies that the Tehachapi Mountains AVA has demonstrated that our area is distinctive and unique. Grapes grown here at a 4,000-foot elevation, the individual chemistry of the soils and specific climate conditions combine to create wines that are different from any other California wines. The Tehachapi Mountains AVA produces wines that are totally individual and unique. This specific, singular quality enables us to market not only our wines but also our community. We now have greater visibility.
Tehachapi will now not only be known as The Land of Four Seasons or a place to Live Up, but also as an important wine region. The revenue in 2019 from California wines in worldwide retail sales was $43.6 billion and California tourism topped $140 billion in 2018. Tehachapi is, of course, only a microcosm of the aggregate wine economy, but we can benefit from the burgeoning wine tourism. While 2020 has been a challenging year across the country, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will bounce back. Perhaps now is a good time to anticipate the great opportunities that await us.
Tehachapi will be a destination for tourists from California but also for tourists across the country and abroad. We need to think big picture. We need to plan, strategize and anticipate. The Tehachapi Wine Growers Commission is a member of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council and together we will look forward to exploring opportunities in 2021 and in the future. Onward.
Jim Arnold is president of the Tehachapi Wine Growers Commission and owner of Triassic Vineyards.