As the country awakens from slumber, so does the countryside grow green and fragrant with flowers.
Wineries and vineyards, however, have not been sleeping: vines and wines have been cared for, and now winery owners and staff across the country are evaluating how they can reopen to the public and still keep everyone safe.
On Friday, May 15, Oregon’s governor opened up the state, but no gatherings more than 200 are allowed, which postponed the 2020 Wine Media Conference slated for late August in Eugene; it will now be in early August 2021.
“The timeframe for tasting rooms reopening still remains uncertain,” said Executive Director of the Willamette Valley Winery Association (WVWA) Morgen McLaughlin in a May 13 press release. “The Willamette Valley’s individual counties must submit a plan to the state government for final approval. Most importantly we are encouraging a gradual and thoughtful reopening of our region.”
In addition to frequent cleaning and social distancing, some changes to expect include:
- Expanded outdoor seating areas.
- Greeters to manage customer flow and monitor distancing.
The WVWA has created a new resource page related to COVID-19 where you’ll find wineries which have provided new protocols, contact details, and consumer information on their websites.
“When wine tasting rooms do open, we encourage consumers to call each winery for further information and details before visiting,” continued McLaughlin. “As much as the first few months may be far from business as customary, I have no doubt each winery will work hard to create the most authentic Willamette Valley experience as possible, with safety of guests and personnel our top priority.”
With vineyards, farmlands, coastline, volcanoes, desert, rangelands, and more, I look forward to visiting again because Oregon’s diverse landscapes make it one of the best places to experience spring, summer or fall! Continue reading