Welcome back to Amador Wine Country!
The State of California on Friday June 5th announced guidance for businesses and sectors of variance-approved counties. Wineries within Amador County complying with sector-specific guidance can prepare to re-open with implemented modifications as of June 12, 2020 as long as COVID-19 cases remains stable in Amador County.
We expect to receive a final word from the Amador County Department of Public Health sometime on Thursday June 11th, so stay tuned!
We are so excited to welcome you back to Amador Wine Country! We’ve spent the last three months getting ready. We have new wines for you to try (and fall in love with), exciting new experiences in which you can partake and, in many cases, a whole new set up for you to take it all in.
Before you hop on a plane or jump in your car, it’s important that you know things aren’t going to be the same; they’re going to be better! Our first priority is the safety of our guests and staff, but our goals is to do that with the renowned Amador hospitality you’ve come to know and love.
Here’s a summary of how things will look going forward. We encourage you to read on to the Q&A section for more information and details.
- Reservations will be required and/or highly encouraged.
- Tasting stations (tasting bars, tables, chairs, etc.) will be sanitized after each use
- Physical distancing policies and procedures will be in place at all times
- Frequent touch points (door handles, counter tops, payment devices, pens, etc.) will be frequently sanitized
- Overall capacity at each winery is decreased to allow for physical distancing
- Restrooms and other common areas will be sanitized at least every hour
- Tasting experiences may occur outdoors
- Staff undergo daily health screenings and are asked to wear face coverings whenever interacting with customers
- Face coverings are requested and encouraged while not actively tasting and may be required at some locations
- If you are feeling sick, please stay at home.
- You may see changes to tasting fees and structures for tasting experiences. Be sure to ask about tasting fee policies when making a reservation.
- Meticulous hand hygiene is required of our staff and requested of guests
Gone are the days of standing a crowded tasting bar clamoring for your next taste of the nectar of the Gods. Instead, we’re limiting our capacity, both in group size and overall number of parties, so we can maintain safe physical distancing both between staff and guests and between guest parties. You may still enjoy your tasting at a tasting bar or you might be seated at a table in the tasting room or even on a patio overlooking gorgeous foothill vineyards and beautiful garden landscapes.
Q: How are we going to manage decreased capacity?
A: Simple. We are asking you to make reservations for your tasting experience. For some wineries you can go online and do it all electronically and for others your best bet is to call the winery directly. And if you don’t already have a reservation that may be ok too. Just give the winery a call from your car and see what they have available. But please try to avoid just stopping in. We’d all rather find a time that works for you over the phone rather than having you stand around or have to sit in your car and wait. It’s also important to note that it’s very likely that there is another party coming in right after you, so please be considerate and understand that reservation times and limits will need to be enforced in order to ensure crowds do not develop.
Q: What about other safety protocols? What if I have a cough?
A: While all of our wineries will be practicing physical distancing and highly increased sanitizing measures, specific policies and procedures will vary by location. In general, if you are exhibiting signs of sickness (cough, sneezing, fever) we ask you to stay home, get well and come back to see us when you feel better. Can you really taste wine with a stuffy nose or nagging cough anyway?
Q: Will I have to wear a face covering?
A: Specific face covering policies will vary by location. But, in general, federal, state and local health officials all say one way to help slow the spread of disease is by covering your nose and mouth. Obviously you can’t taste wine through a mask, but some wineries may ask you to wear a face covering anytime you are not actively partaking in the tasting experience and could be exposed to staff or other guests. So at the very least we encourage you to wear a face covering from the car until you are in your tasting station, when you go to the restroom or any other time you are not actively tasting.
Q: What about tasting fees, will they change?
A: Our wineries are making significant investments to not only ensure the safety of our guests and staff, but to also do all we can to make sure your experience is all that you love about Amador Wine Country. In some cases, this may result in a change in how or how much wineries charge for their tastings. Ultimately we want to provide you with the best possible visit to Amador County and that includes keeping our tasting fees lower than other regions while delivering an incredibly warm and welcoming experience. Please contact individual wineries for their tasting fee policies.
Thank you for your continued support of Amador Wine Country and the 43 family-owned winery members of the Amador Vintners Association. We are so excited to see you back (or for the first time) in our tasting rooms, sitting on our patios and taking in the beautiful rolling foothills of Amador Wine Country.
World-class wine, warm hospitality, distinguished history, (and an abundance of safety)…
…that’s Amador Wine Country!