3. Hand sanitizer station at entrance of Duckhorn Wine Company
4. Various wine pouring in outdoor patio
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Carol Reber, Head of Marketing, Duckhorn Wine Company:
"We are ready for you as soon as we get the go ahead from the state. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back. These wines can't drink themselves. It's very difficult to enjoy your wine with your face covering. You're welcome to take those off once you're seated at the table. So we ask that you have them when you come in, when you're queuing, waiting for the restroom, transacting. But once you're at your table, you're welcome to remove them and enjoy your wines."
"We want you to feel safer here than you do going into Safeway. If we can do that, we've done our job. As you can see here, we've already taken the liberty to put our tables six feet apart. We're blessed here at the winery because the majority of our seating is outside. Hence, that's why I'm not wearing a mask right now."
10. Employee cleans outdoor bar
11. Table for two overlooking vineyard
12. Vineyard at Coppola Winery
Sonoma, California - 21 May 2020
13. Viansa Winery exterior
14. Outdoor picnic tables spaced at least six feet apart
15. Bottles of wine setting on table overlooking vineyard
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Christopher Sebastiani, General Manager, Viansa Winery:
"We are designing an operational model here that checks all the boxes for required government spacing, for safety protocols, so that our guests are put at ease and comfortable visiting and being as safe as possible. As long as we can meet the safety, we want people to leave here with smiles on their face, whether they're wearing masks or not. We're confident we're gonna deliver that."
17. "Social Distancing in the Vineyard" sign for farmworkers
Tasting rooms in famed Sonoma and Napa Counties are setting up new sanitizing and safety protocols as they prepare to reopen to the public after being closed the past two months due to coronavirus.
Most vintners were able to continue behind-the-scenes winemaking work in vineyards and wine cellars during the shutdown.
There's no word yet on exactly when Napa and Sonoma County wineries will be allowed to reopen but many in the industry say they're expecting that to happen next week.
"We are ready for you as soon as we get the go ahead from the state. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back. These wines can't drink themselves," said Carol Reber, Head of Marketing at Duckhorn Wine Company in Napa County.
Once tasting rooms reopen, employees and guests will be required to wear masks and drinking may initially only be allowed in outdoor patios and lawns with tables spread at least six feet apart to allow for social distancing.
Wine tasters can take off their masks once they're seated outside.
Reservations will likely be required to limit the number of guests at a winery at a time.
California health officials have asked wineries to initially only welcome guests within their own counties and only seat groups together who've been isolating in the same home...but some winery owners say those terms are still being discussed.
"We want you to feel safer here than you do going into Safeway. If we can do that, we've done our job," said Corey Beck, CEO of Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Sonoma County.
A recent industry survey by Wine America showed national tasting room sales declined by an average of about 75 percent during the pandemic, even with some curbside pickup and delivery allowed.
An uptick in online wine sales has helped soften the financial blow for some California wineries.
Tasting rooms in Oregon, which has not been hit as hard by COVID-19 as California, were allowed to reopen last week.