Wine in the Time of Corona Virus

Updates from California’s wine regions

Wineries need your help! Tasting rooms throughout California have been providing good times, stress relief, and a general throw down partizzle atmosphere to wine lovers for years!  After suffering closures over the past months, wineries are beginning to open back up and doing what they do best, or at least what we like them to do- pour us wine.

Of course, in general, basic safety measures apply- masks are required in public, as well as physical distancing. In addition, calling ahead is recommended.  Most restaurants are available for dine-in or take out. There’re even a few silver linings, for instance, many hotels are offering discounts or waiving resort fees.

So in the name of public service, the following are some resources to help you plan your next wine tasting journey (dates in parentheses refer to instance of the last update). We’re here to help, as long as there’s wine involved.

Napa Valley (July 27)

  • Many Napa Wineries are open with the following caveats:
  • Wineries can only offer outdoor tastings
  • Reservations must be made in advance
  • Group size will be limited
  • You must wear a mask until seated

Click here for a list of wineries now open.
Click here to see a list of restaurants now serving.
Click here to view hotels now open.

Sonoma (July 13)

  • Wineries and Breweries are open for outdoor service.
  • Wineries and tasting rooms may operate outdoors without being required to serve food.

Sonoma County has an awesome website that covers all things Sonoma. Click here to check it out. Click here for the most recent updates on coronavirus and traveling to Sonoma.

Temecula (July 24)

As of July 24, Temecula's wineries are open for wine tasting, wine by the glass, and bottle sales while restaurants are open too.

  • All food and wine to be consumed outdoors.
  • You must wear a mask until seated

Click here for a list of wineries and their current hours of operation.

Santa Barbara Wine Country (July 14)

  • All social distancing practices will be in place
  • Daily employee wellness screenings and temperature check
  • Reservation systems to manage the number of guests
  • Majority of wineries will be offering outdoor experiences

Santa Barbara’s wineries are spread out with tasting rooms in the city, as well as at the actual wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley, 40 miles beyond. The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail offers up 33 wineries situated in a few different locales within the city, although many have limited hours or are closed due to having no outdoor seating, so call before you go.

Out in the valley, most winery tasting rooms are open with outdoor tastings. Hotels and restaurants are available in Buellton and Solvang at the south end of the valley, a convenient jumping-off point for exploring the valley. This website conveniently organizes Santa Barbara wine tasting experiences into nine different locales, making it easy (and safe) to visit wineries relatively close to each other.

Paso Robles (June 23).

I was just at Daou in Paso and had a great time tasting at their expansive outdoor tasting area on Daou Mountain.

Paso produced a video that’ll tell you everything you need to know! Watch it here. Speaking of videos, click here for 3 minutes of comedy gold that’ll tell you everything you need to know about Paso wines in general.

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