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Governor Newsom Calls for Discontinuation of Winery Tastings & Events

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New Recommendations on Winery Tastings & Events

Wine Institute

California Governor Newsom called today for the closure of bars, pubs and wineries in the state to help curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The closure recommendation applies only to winery tasting activities and events. The purchase and pick up of wine and winery business and production operations are not impacted.

The Governor also called on restaurants to reduce occupancy by half to facilitate social distancing. A restaurant is defined as a business that derives 51% or more of gross sales from food prepared onsite.

Following the Governor’s announcement today, we participated in a call with his office and offer the following recommendations to members based on current information:

  • Discontinue consumer tastings and events.
  • Allow consumers into the winery only for the purchase and pick up of wine.
  • Intensify cleaning and sanitation procedures to ensure visitor and employee safety.
  • Implement social distancing in operations, defined as maintaining a distance of six feet or more from another person.
  • Follow the recommendations of the CDC and California Department of Public Health– wash hands frequently, avoid close contact, avoid touching the face, cover sneezes and coughs, remain at home when sick, and take additional precautions if elderly or at-risk.

Resources & Information

We will continue to provide updates as new information is available.

Wine Institute Comment:

The safety of our visitors, communities, employees and their families is the number one priority of the California wine community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are working with the Governor’s office to implement recommendations to reduce the exposure and spread of the disease by limiting visitor access to winery tasting rooms for purchase and pick up only, intensifying cleaning and sanitation procedures and following the guidance of the CDC and California Department of Health.

Wine Institute

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment to responsibly produce, promote and enjoy wine. Wine Institute membership represents more than 80 percent of U.S. wine production and 95 percent of U.S. wine exports. Wine Institute’s export promotion program for California wines involves more than 170 wineries that export to 142 countries. Thirteen global representative offices conduct marketing and promotional programs in 25 countries across the globe. For more information visit wineinstitute.org.

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