Wine X Online Edition.
Well, we are surviving, so far. COVID, fires… Can 2020 just end puhleeeeez? As we go into the Fall, some states are starting to ease restrictions on businesses, others, notsomuch. As wine drinkers, most of us are social animals. We like to share. Wine, info, pics, bad jokes… an occasional spill. Keep in mind, that spill doesn’t have enough alcohol content to substitute for your hand sanitizer…. just sayin’
So what is it going to look like at the wineries/tasting rooms of the future?
Assuming there isn’t a vaccine that is deployed widely through the next growing & tasting season, most tasting rooms will have to adhere to state and county regulations. After speaking with a few owner/winemakers and managers in the industry here in California, a few things came to light. Their main concern was: How can I pour for my customers if we need to be 6 ft. away?
The answer (they are guessing at this point) is for customers to set their glass down and step back. The fun alternative is a 4ft. long bottle holder, they pour from. I would rather see the second one for sure…Gandalf the Burgundy! You Shall Not Pour White Zin! I always thought those cellar thieves were cool…. maybe a solution? If we could have more of those and the champagne sabers… that would be cool. Not that a sword helps with COVID, I just think they’re cool.
Like most places, spacing indicators will be on the floor and flow arrows if they have enough space. The wineries that have more outdoor seating will make out the best.
Talking to one manager of such a facility, they plan on marking out on their picnic tables throughout the place, where guests can and cannot sit.
Reservations may be required even for a party of 2 to control the number of people at the winery/tasting room at one time. So that means careful planning of your wine-tasting day.
Remember, us winos are social creatures. We like to be in groups.
Most of them will limit groups to a maximum of 6 to 8. California is debating limiting groups to 4 to 6. So there may be some conflict there. They will be put in a designated area and are not allowed to stray from there. So that means no group hopping. Plus, all in the party must know each other or be related. How they are going to manage that, beyond phone screening, I don’t know.
What I do know, is that, hopefully, there will be way fewer bachelorette parties at wineries from now on!
That also gets into a roundabout subject of wine tours. That business, like many group excursions, will most likely go away. Until a vaccine is created, that is.
Now we get into cleanliness. This can get tricky for some smaller locations. Most sanitizing sprays/cleaners have a very pungent odor. This will definitely interfere with the wonderful aromas of the wine.
The folks I talked to are creating their own sanitizing spray that won’t influence the wines aromas. Remember, winemakers are chemists at heart. They love creating stuff like this. They will use it on surfaces and laminated tasting menus. Guidance and guidelines are being sent out and updated from the Wine Institute of California out of San Francisco as things progress.
Overall, they seem to have a handle on things. If we do our part when visiting our favorite wineries (i.e. face coverings, washing hands, following their policy), there is no reason we can’t enjoy the wines the way we used to…minus the loud bachelorette parties!
COVID Sucks……2020 Swallows…. can we all toast to that? Cheers to a brighter X-ier 2021….