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All roads lead to...Tehachapi?

Grapevine News

In ancient Rome, all roads were said to emanate from the Golden Milestone or Milliarium Aureum, which was a golden monument considered to be the center of the empire. In our neck of the woods, regarding wine tasting, all roads within an hour's drive lead to Tehachapi. According to an August zip code report, furnished by the office of the Tehachapi Economic Development Coordinator, tourism to Tehachapi's tasting rooms largely came from within an hour's drive. Day trippers comprised 30 to 40% of the visitors to the wineries and came from Palmdale, Lancaster, Ridgecrest and Bakersfield. Tehachapi residents made up between 33 to 40% of the patrons in the report. The remainder came from further flung communities all over California and the country, the furthest recorded being Florida.

What does it all mean? It means that there is great demand for quality wine right here in our back yard. It also indicates that Tehachapi is a day tripper's dream at only an hour away, what many would consider definitely doable. Though, the AVA (American Viticultural Area) designation is only less than a year old, it should be key in a significant marketing strategy that the Wine Grower's Commission hopes to implement in the future. Overall, traffic is way up over last year and while last year was not a true representation, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is the baseline, nonetheless. It is truly hoped that as word gets out and we partner with other food and entertainment establishments here in town, we can create a highly desirable wine destination. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day, but we're laying the plans.

Jim Arnold is president of the Tehachapi Wine Growers Commission and owner of Triassic Vineyards.