TEHACHAPI, Calif. - The United States is set to become the world’s number one marker for wine and business is booming for Kern County wine shops and vineyards.
Bob and Patty Souza decided to plant a vineyard ten years ago in a small agricultural area of Tehachapi.
"We planted a vineyard in an area where there had never been a vineyard,” said Bob Souza, owner of Souza Family Vineyard.
It started as a way to honor their family's Italian heritage, but it has since become much more.
"It's almost like having your grandkids. There's something very personal about it. There's a time element involved. It requires patience, risk and a great deal of uncertainty,” said Souza.
The risk paid off because five years after they planted their vineyard the Souzas opened a tasting room and have won several awards for their wines.
"People don't ask anymore where Tehachapi is when they’re talking wine. Five years ago we were virtually unknown as a community so Patty and I my wife we're real proud of the fact that we've made that mark if you will."
But it's not just vineyards that are flourishing. Business is also good for wine shops in Kern County.
“A lot of people around this town have hung in there for a long time in the wine industry hoping this would happen,” said Christa Jones, Wine Director of Wine Me Up.
"It has been very enjoyable to see the younger 21 o 24 year olds coming in and how their taste differs from the baby boomers and to try and meet everyone’s needs. It keeps my job interesting."
It's one of those things where no matter what you think you know or how many wines you think you've had you can always find a new and exciting wine. It's one of those things that you can spend a lifetime doing,” said Ron Rawlinson, Owner of the Message Man.
You can start in Kern County where vineyards like the Souza's bring a taste of Tuscany to Tehachapi.