Ownership of a winery for Beth Hamilton has taken her back to her roots. She was born in Washington to parents who owned a dairy farm. The farm, located in Stanwood, and which was established by her great-grandparents who emigrated from Norway, remained in the family for five generations.
As the first of five generations to leave the farming lifestyle, Beth graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in sociology at California State University, Northridge. She entered a career in law enforcement where she became one of the trailblazers for women in law enforcement. Beth retired after a successful career and relocated to Tehachapi ,where she and her husband, Mike Van Atta, decided to get back to her roots in agriculture and purchased The Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company.
Beth is hands-on with the day-to-day operations of the winery and vineyard management. She enjoys hand pruning and hand harvesting the vineyard.
“What I find really rewarding is tending to the vines prior to bud break and all through the season to harvest," she said. "Following that up with barrel tastings while the wine goes through the fermentation process and ultimately into bottles; only when we feel the timing is right.”
Beth was involved in the most recent design of the current wine label which just won “Best of Class” at the 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. “It was the highest honor we could receive,” Beth said of the label design.
Beth and Mike enjoy working at the tasting room and socializing with the patrons. Beth added, “We enjoy opening up our venue for fundraising events to support our favorite local charities. We have also been recognized for a favorite place to go for entertainment in Tehachapi. We have wonderful live music and theater here at the winery.”
Located on 60 acres in the Cummings Valley area of the Tehachapi Mountains, the Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company is a venue like no other. Known for the various animals on the property, guests find themselves getting to know the animals by name. “We actually have people drive up occasionally just to say ‘hi’ to Skittles (one of the ranch donkeys), and then leave,” Beth laughs.
More information on the Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company can be found on Facebook, Instagramand their website: TehachapiWineAndCattleCompany.com.
It's at 26877 Cummings Valley Road, Tehachapi, CA 93561. Reach us at 661-822-9233.