This is not the update you are looking for.
The Wine Institute, Sonoma County Vintners, ALL of your local AVA groups – we are all working toward opening tasting rooms for – TASTING without the food/restaurant requirement.
We are not given any notice as to when that may happen. We are not given any indication if the agencies making the decision are paying any attention to our multiple calls, letters, meetings.
It would obviously be a plus to have a time line, an idea of when they expect to open tasting rooms. We understand that. We are informed about businesses being allowed to open when they announce it publicly, we are not provided with any prior notice.
We have heard there may be an update for winery tasting rooms announced on Monday. Only a rumor at this point.
I only have three updates for this week –
Attache there is a VERY broad set of guidelines you can use for your staff training purposes. Reminders about wearing their masks, checking temps before work etc. It is a WORD document you can edit, cut and paste and customize for your particular needs. If you do not yet have this information in writing for your staff, it may serve as a good starting point. Thank you to Lisa Mattson from Jordan Vineyards & Winery for making her guidelines available, that was my starting point.
The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers along with their visitor center created a program to show Sonoma Valley Safe businesses. It includes signage and a requirement that businesses complete the Sonoma County Safe Check List. We have (with their approval) had the artwork updated to be generic for all Sonoma County Wineries.
This is the link to the Sonoma Safe Wineries Check-List.
Complete the Sonoma County Self-Certification Assessment (link is in the checklist above) and send us a copy of your certificate of completion and we will mail appropriate signs to you.
In the initial stage of re-opening we believe customers will want to know wineries are adhering to the required standards. Seeing the same signage from winery to winery will reinforce that clear message of “ safety first” for your guests and employees. Signs many not be as important a month or two from now.
On May 22, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) posted the Public Health Officer’s Variance to Stage 2 of California’s Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order signifying that the County has met all the readiness criteria for an increased pace through Stage 2.
This Amendment becomes effective at 12:01 AM on Saturday, May 23 and continues in effect until the order is rescinded , suspended, or amended in writing my the Sonoma County Health Officer or by the State Public Health Officer.
Among the significant changes are:
Restaurants and food facilities may offer onsite sit-down outdoor meals
Wineries, tasting rooms, bars, pubs, breweries and craft distilleries may offer: a) curbside pick-up, delivery, shipping; and b) sit-down outdoor meals in accordance with their land use permit and if the business has a food-facility permit (if applicable)
In addition, since businesses are required to have employees conduct a health assessment and temperature check before reporting to work, the County has developed an electronic application that businesses should be using called the SoCo COVID-19 Check.
IMPORTANT: Wine Institute has provided the following clarifications…
Under the guidance, brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries, and wineries located in a county that has been approved for a regional variance can reopen if they offer “sit-down, outdoor, dine-in meals.” Alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal.
To be clear, the amended Health Order does not require a winery (or other establishments) to hold a restaurant license or have a commercial kitchen, and allows a winery to contract with a vendor to “sit-down, outdoor, dine-in meals” provided both businesses follow the guidance, and alcohol is only served in the same transaction as a meal.
Read the Official Press Release announcing the Order here.
Read the Official Order here.
Please read the order in full, below are highlights and major changes to the Health Order:
3. This Amendment incorporates by reference the May 1, 2020 Order of the Health Officer No. Cl9-09, the May 7, 2020 Amendment 1 to Order of the Health Officer No. C19-09, and the May 14, 2020 Amendment 2 to Order of the Health Officer No. C19-09. Except as otherwise amended herein, all provisions of that Order remain in full force and effect. This Order incorporates all provisions of these Orders that are not in conflict.
4. All businesses, including public agencies, operating in the County shall comply with local and state orders and guidance, including preparing, posting, and implementing a Social Distancing Protocol at all facilities operating in the County, as well as requiring all employees to perform a self-check for COVID-19 symptoms and temperature check before reporting to their work site or other assignment away from their residence.
5. The following businesses are allowed to operate in accordance with state and local guidance and persons are allowed to leave their home and travel for the purpose of working at or patronizing the following businesses:
a. Restaurants and food facilities may provide outdoor sit-down meals. Outdoor seating arrangements shall limit the number of patrons at a single table to no more than ten (10) members of a single household or living unit. People in the same party seated at the same table do not have to be six feet apart. However, all tables need to be separated by six-feet. All members of the party must be present before seating and hosts must bring the entire party to the table at one time. These businesses should continue to encourage drive-thru, delivery, or carry out whenever possible. Entertainment events are prohibited. These businesses are subject to existing local and state orders and guidance as indicated above in paragraph 4.
b. Brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms may operate only as follows:
1. For curbside pick-up, delivery, shipping of food, beverage, or other agricultural products where otherwise allowed by law. These businesses shall otherwise remain closed to the public except as provided below.
These businesses are subject to existing local and state orders and guidance as indicated above in paragraph 4.
2. If they offer sit-down outdoor meals, including outdoor meals provided by contract with another vendor. Outdoor seating arrangements shall limit the number of patrons at a single table to no more than ten (10) members of a single household or living unit. People in the same party seated at the same table do not have to be six feet apart. However, all tables need to be separated by six-feet. All members of the party must be present before seating and hosts must bring the entire party to the table at one time. Alcohol can only be served in the same transaction as a meal. Alcohol only retail sales may only occur after the meal, and only by curbside pick up, delivery, or shipping. Entertainment events are prohibited. These businesses are subject to existing local and state orders and guidance as indicated above in paragraph 4.