Author photo

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

New wines coming to Tehachapi

 

March 30, 2024



Pat Doody.

Andreas and Marc Saar show off a bottle of their imported Saar Riesling, which is now available at Kohnen's Bakery.

In the spring of 2023, a new vineyard appeared in Cummings Valley with the planting of Hochland Wines, a Saar Family Vineyard located on Cummings Valley Road across the street from Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company.

The vineyard is owned by two generations of the Saar family. According to Andreas Saar, part owner, the Saar family name comes from the Saar region of Germany, a wine area that goes back to Roman Empire. Andreas and his wife Sheila came to the United States from Frankfurt in 1998 and are currently living in Orange County. His son, Marc and wife Jen, both graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and are engineers working and living in Bakersfield. His daughter, Rebecca and husband Juan live and work in San Francisco. Both father and son have been home winemakers for many years. A wine tasting trip to Tehachapi sold them on the idea of creating a vineyard, as well as a tasting room and winery here.

Five acres of their vineyard was planted in spring 2023 with five red varietals. While waiting for their vineyard to mature, the Saar family is importing and wholesaling Riesling from the Saar-Mosel region in Germany. Their delicious dry and semi-dry Riesling is now available locally at Kohnen's Bakery. This is currently the only place in Tehachapi where this wine can be purchased. Those who attended the recent Chamber of Commerce Valentine's Wine Walk may have sampled the Riesling as it was featured at The Dressing Room, the shop next to Kohnen's.

On March 18, Andreas and Marc posted a new sign on the Cummings Valley property with the vineyard's new name. Their vineyard will now be known as Hochland Wines (German for highlands) referring to the elevation of the Tehachapi vineyards. At the time Tehachapi received its AVA (American Viticultural Area) designation, it was the highest winegrowing region in the country.

The Saar family has started with growing red wines in Cummings Valley. They have planted five varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre. The family plans to produce a GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre) for which the Rhone Region of France is known. Saar submitted his plans to the Kern County Planning Department in October of 2022 and after 18 months, received his Conditional Use Permit in March 2024. He expects begin work on the 4,000-square-foot winery in 2025.

Be sure to stop by Kohnen's Bakery and pick up a bottle of Saar Riesling, and check out their website at http://www.saarfamilyvineyard.com for vineyard updates.

 
 

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