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California Wineries: Reopening After COVID-19

A wine glass is shown on a ledge that overlooks a large beautiful vineyard with a lake in the background. Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

California Wineries: What to Expect Upon Reopening After COVID-19 Closures


What will a post-quarantine winery in California look like? The answer: spacious. Very spacious, in fact.


The biggest obstacle that wineries will face is maintaining social distancing. This means that the 6ft. clearance between others — as recommended by the CDC — will be enforced at all times. This will be in place for both customers and employees. Maneuvering common spaces will be challenging, so it is estimated that many current practices during this crisis will continue.



Curbside is here to stay

Wineries have gotten extremely clever in how to maintain business goals and customer relationships during this pandemic. Curbside pickup — an action embraced by the restaurant industry — is present at 84% of the wineries currently open for business. Home delivery has been another popular tactic among restaurants and 54% of vineyards have been jumping at the same business opportunity.


For those who do wish to come in for wine tastings, expect those on the property to be social distancing at all times. This will be among visitors to the winery as well as staff. Employees — who should be wearing masks and gloves at all times — will also be sanitizing shared spaces and surfaces frequently.



Wine goes digital

The physical space used for tasting and retail will be at limited capacities due to social distancing regulations. This means that virtual group gatherings — an act that many are now well accustomed to — will be used for business purposes. The wine community has already started performing “virtual” wine tastings. About 5% of businesses are currently doing this and that number is expected to rise after spaces reopen. Samples are distributed via mail or customer pickup — and are normally accompanied by a larger purchase. The customer then connects digitally with the winery from their home for their tasting experience.


In closing, CDC regulations will most likely have wineries limit the amount of people who physically enter common areas. With extensive space required in-between customers and employees, curbside interactions — as well as connecting with customers virtually–will be the two most utilized “new” practices seen when businesses reopen. These practices also keep all parties as safe as possible during these unique times.


We hope these emerging details help you effectively prepare for the next phase of post-quarantine operations. If any of our policyholders have questions on this, or any other safety-related topic, feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We look forward to being in touch.







Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued.

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