Sip Safely

Welcome back to Amador Wine Country!

Many Amador County wineries are open, once again, and more are making the transition every day.

We are so excited to welcome you back to Amador Wine Country! We’ve spent months getting ready. We have new wines for you to try (and fall in love with), exciting new experiences 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 goal 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. A list of Amador Vintners member wineries and their anticipated dates for reopening is also below. 

  • All tasting experiences will take place outdoors. Guests will only be able to go indoors to use the restroom or get to outdoor spaces. Face coverings must be worn AT ALL TIMES when indoors.
  • Reservations will be required and/or highly encouraged at all locations. Walk-ins may be accommodated when available. 
  • 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 – please maintain at least six (6) feet of physical distance between yourself and anyone not in your party. 
  • 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 will occur outdoors, as per State mandate
  • Staff undergo daily health screenings and are asked to wear face coverings whenever interacting with customers
  • As per State order, beginning June 18, 2020 face coverings are required indoors (when not actively tasting or eating) and outdoors when not actively tasting or eating or when physical distancing is not feasible. 
  • 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? (UPDATED JUNE 18)

A: As per State order, beginning June 18, 2020 face coverings are now required indoors (when not actively tasting or eating) and outdoors when not actively tasting or eating or when physical distancing is not feasible. Obviously you can’t taste wine through a mask, but you will be asked to wear a face covering anytime you are not actively partaking in the tasting experience and could be exposed to staff or other guests. Please don your most fashionable 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.

Q: Can I bring my children or pets wine tasting? 

A: We love children and pets too! We actually have some of our own. But, it can be difficult to ensure small children don’t infringe on other guests’ space in a time of physical distancing and with enhanced safety measures in place. Policies for children and leashed pets will vary by location, but in general we encourage you to make wine tasting an adult, pet-free activity. 

Q: Can I bring a picnic to a winery? 

A: If winery locations permitted picnics on their grounds prior to March 15, it is likely it will be allowed again once reopened. In some instances, wineries may now be using areas that were once for picnics for wine tastings or other purposes. Check with individual wineries for specific policies. 

Q: Can I get my group together and come up on a party bus? 

A: Please don’t. Social distancing protocols, decreased capacity and required reservations at many winery locations make it very difficult, if not impossible, to accommodate large groups. Many wineries have new policies in place limiting group size to 4 or 6. A few may be able to accommodate up to 10-12. 

Q: Are there any events planned in Amador Wine Country? 

A: Not at this time. On Friday June 12, the State of California entered Stage 3 of the Road Map to Recovery. Under these guidelines, “events” or “public gatherings” that bring together families from different households and different regions into one location are not allowed, with a few exceptions (church services, etc.).  We are working with our industry partners, policy-makers and member wineries to identify how and when we can resume both winery-based events and regional events. Stay tuned for more details!

 

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!

 

Current Winery Hours listed below. Please visit individual winery pages for additional details (appointment requests, etc).