Covid Update – June 8, 2020

Beth Costa on Jun 8, 2020

To all Wine Road wineries –

Many of you have heard that the Governor has said wineries can open “without the meal” requirement starting June 12.

Locally our Board of Supervisors for Sonoma County MUST approve that plan.
THEN our Public Health must approve the Board of Supervisors recommendation.

The Board of Supervisors meet tomorrow and will discuss.
Dozens of your vintners and AVA groups will be contacting each supervisor asking for their approval to move forward with opening.

If they do approve, then later this week Public Health will make their official announcement. Rumor has it, Public Health would like to wait another two weeks, but that is ONLY a rumor. Their final decision will be made based on the number of more Covid cases in the county this week.

That is as official of an update I can give you at this time.

I would suggest –
1. Do the self-certification so you know you and your staff are prepared to open safely. SonomaSafe
2. Provide your staff with written safety procedures for serving guests.
3. Have a system in place to self-check employees. The Wine Institure has put together detailed forms

Be prepared to open safely if you get the go ahead for this weekend. You can’t just open the doors.
The biggest issue with opening, will be your liability. You need to have your guidelines in place to show you have done everything properly. Have correct signage in place (we will be sending signs as you send us your self-certification).

We are building a page on our website, (not yet live) showing the protocols our wineries have put into place prior to opening. Thus the self-certiciatoin and the signs we provide you. We want to assure visitors that we take the situation seriously and our members have done everything they can to assure a safe and also enjoyable tasting experience.

If you ARE open now with the meal service or want to open now, Permit Sonoma is NOT concerned about what your permit would normally allow, as far as food service. They understand the circumstances and know you need to have some flexibility.
That being said, its hard to say just how much the ABC is concerned about your food service. Everyone seems to have a say, yet their guidelines are ambiguous. I wish I could clarify this more for you…but it makes no sense.

A few weeks ago the Sonoma County Health Officer amended Health Order C19-09 to include outdoor dining for food facilities, restaurants, tasting rooms, wineries, breweries and distilleries. You may view the amended order at Attached please find a guidance document and checklist for the implementation of outdoor dining. If you should have any questions or need further information, please email or call 707-565-6565. These mailboxes are monitored daily.

The Sonoma County Vintners will be working with the Redwood Empire Food Bank to hand out food for hospitality workers in need. This will take place on Friday (June 12) at the America Ag parking lot (Airport Blvd & Aviation) from 9:00-12:00.
Please spread the word to any of your crew that could use the help at this time.

The minute I know for a FACT if you can open this weekend, I will send out a notice.


Posted by Beth Costa