Wine, little red hearts and mountains of chocolate treats overfilled the streets of Tehachapi Saturday night as the town celebrated its 12th annual Valentine's Wine and Chocolate Tasting.
Put on by Main Street Tehachapi, a cadre of sponsors and volunteers poured a selection of wines for tasting at 26 businesses in downtown Tehachapi during the three-hour sampling walkabout. Main Street Tehachapi uses these wine tasting events to fundraise. The funds collected are returned to the community in the form of grants and gifts used for downtown Tehachapi improvements.
Locally produced Tehachapi wines were all represented, including Dorner Family Vineyards, Per La Vita LLC, Stray Leaves, Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company, Triassic Vineyards, Viajeros Vineyards. In addition to pouring samples at Saturday's event, Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company along with Triassic Vineyards have popular tasting rooms in nearby Cummings Valley, while Stray Leaves, plans to open its downtown Tehachapi tasting room this spring. The Dorners' brand-new tasting room is scheduled to open this summer at their vineyard and event center, also in Cummings Valley.
This is all in addition to a dozen or so statewide California vineyards that had their own brands available for tasting.
In addition to wine, a beer sampling was available at Tasting Stop #11, Kelcy’s Restaurant on Tehachapi Boulevard. Locally owned brewery Westlane Brewing also featured Strawberry Pretzel Bark chocolates for sampling. The chocolate morsels were created by local candy maker and baker Linda Pettitt of Linda’s Cakes and Things.
The weather was outstanding this year, cold but no winds, and no rain or snow falling as in past years.
“Well over 400 tickets were pre-sold,” according to Main Street spokesman Charles White, “with dozens more expected to be sold at the event itself.”
With the addition of the new Park and Ride Lot in Tehachapi, it's even easier now to park once, bundle up, and within a radius of a few blocks, walk to all 26 tasting sites.