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Wine Tasting - Would you go in 2020?
Old 07-04-2020, 02:55 PM   #1
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Wine Tasting - Would you go in 2020?

We've had threads on restaurants, so I thought I'd get opinions on wineries (no dining, just tastings). This isn't about travel. For those of you who live near wineries, what to you think, safe or not? I think many wineries near us have outside seating, but it means being around people not wearing masks.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:18 PM   #2
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I would lean towards not going.

However, if you do decide to go, wear a mask when around others and take it off just for when you're eating/drinking. I would be comfortable not wearing a mask around those in my party, but even though probably overly paranoid, I would not be trusting of others outside my party.

A little over a week ago, I did meet up with a friend for dinner. We've met once a month for dinner for the past 7 years and this was the first time since February. The two places we normally go were not open for folks to dine. We went some place else and they had outdoor seating in the parking lot...in a plaza right along a major highway. It really was not an enjoyable experience.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:25 PM   #3
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Not me. I'll just buy a bottle and drink on my patio. At my house. In the backyard.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:28 PM   #4
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The winery that I help during crush time does not do tastings as in the past, the Commonwealth does not permit it. I, personally, have no fears or objections. DW and I are going to make our annual trip to the Napa area, but we do not do the tastings at the wineries like most. We go to family wineries, where you make an appointment to visit, and have a tasting in a part of their house that is set up for tastings. Of course, I am a self proclaimed snob, and prefer the personal touch of someone who grows their grapes in their back yard (which may be 100 acres or more) make their wine on the premises by themselves, and make super wine. These kinds of wineries, I have no fears or objections either, as their name and personal fortunes are at great risk to make a great wine and ensure you have a safe experience. The fancy schmantzy corporate wineries bore me, as do some of their products. Some of these small wineries also don't want a lot of traffic into their homes because they don't want their places "infected". But if I did visit one of those bigger corporate wineries, I wouldn't feel the least bit worried there either. One iota of speculation that their place of business is a "hotspot", could ruin them big time, so they're taking proper precautions.

But call me a wild child. I w*rked in underground coal mines for 35 years, own rental properties, refinanced my 15 year mortgage last year, plan to take SS at 70, have no comorbidities, and got back two weeks ago from flying to and from Denver Colorado, and wear a mask only when I have to in the church, the grocery, Home Depot, or Lowe's, and I'm going to the dentist next week for my 6 month cleaning.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
We've had threads on restaurants, so I thought I'd get opinions on wineries (no dining, just tastings). This isn't about travel. For those of you who live near wineries, what to you think, safe or not? I think many wineries near us have outside seating, but it means being around people not wearing masks.
Not me. I would just order some wine of interest. Maybe talking with the winery about what might match your taste.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:17 PM   #6
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We’ve been to many tastings but I wouldn’t right now, but it might depend on how they conduct the tastings. Spacing? Staff? Outdoors? Extraordinarily interesting wine? We’re fully stocked right now, so we probably wouldn’t go now in normal times.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:32 PM   #7
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I would not, unfortunately, but we did a tasting on Zoom with some wine friends. No spitting, so we were all hilarious after it got going.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:59 PM   #8
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No. Too many people unmasked too close together. I mean, is it really worth it?
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:07 PM   #9
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We have a favorite winery in NC and they are very careful with pre-sceenings, number of people on the property, and outside tables more than 6' apart. Everyone is masked except when drinking. We skipped the explanation of the different wines and took our bottle to an isolated table and enjoyed the views of the vineyards and mountains. No going inside the villa. Its been two weeks so I think it's ok.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:10 PM   #10
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get a bottle of wine.... some good cheese... and enjoy


taste at home.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:28 PM   #11
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nope. gathering with strangers for social reasons is out. I measure things in terms of risk/reward, and this one, while wine tasting events are fun, is a nah, not worth it for now.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:55 PM   #12
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Since you are apparently looking at local places I would base it on your rates of infection.

Low rates of infection, adequate spacing, outdoor seating, I would have no issue.

My county had a total of 88 positive cases, all resolved (but there could be more to come), and I don't have an issue with visiting breweries/wineries that have proper precautions in place.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:59 PM   #13
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The winery that I help during crush time does not do tastings as in the past, the Commonwealth does not permit it. I, personally, have no fears or objections. DW and I are going to make our annual trip to the Napa area, but we do not do the tastings at the wineries like most. We go to family wineries, where you make an appointment to visit, and have a tasting in a part of their house that is set up for tastings. Of course, I am a self proclaimed snob, and prefer the personal touch of someone who grows their grapes in their back yard (which may be 100 acres or more) make their wine on the premises by themselves, and make super wine. These kinds of wineries, I have no fears or objections either, as their name and personal fortunes are at great risk to make a great wine and ensure you have a safe experience. The fancy schmantzy corporate wineries bore me, as do some of their products. Some of these small wineries also don't want a lot of traffic into their homes because they don't want their places "infected". But if I did visit one of those bigger corporate wineries, I wouldn't feel the least bit worried there either. One iota of speculation that their place of business is a "hotspot", could ruin them big time, so they're taking proper precautions.
I don't know if some of these qualify as small enough for your family wineries, but I got this offer in email today for Napa, 16 wineries for $84 each pass, if you buy 2:
https://www.cellarpass.com/events/na...-passport-6104

This has some of my favorites on there, which is what prompted my post.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:05 PM   #14
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Thanks to all for your thoughts. I don't think DH would go right now, either, though we have been going out to parks and gardens and plan on trying outdoor farmers' markets next. But in those places everyone either wears masks or social distances and we aren't eating or drinking anything.

An online article on Napa said most infections were coming from private gatherings of 30 - 40 people, not from wineries or restaurants. Still I guess I will pass on the passport for now.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:09 PM   #15
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I don't drink alcohol but I would be cautious and probably would not go even if it was a gumbo tasting experience under the same conditions. Here are some questions that I would be asking myself:
  • Does it seem safe?
  • Are all the safety precautions being taken?
  • Do you know the employees and regard them as being responsible and careful people when it comes to precautions?
  • Are the tables far enough apart?
  • Do they disinfect after each customer leaves?
  • Would this be at just one winery, or at several?
We eat lunch out every day, but honestly we go to the same place and wouldn't just go restaurant hopping for fun. Likewise, if we drank and were visiting Napa, we wouldn't go wine tasting at several wineries either.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:13 PM   #16
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We were at a winery today. Staff was all masked, everyone had their own space to sit 10-12 feet apart outdoors. If you had to go indoors, everyone wore a mask. They disinfected chairs and tables as people left. They had a band. It felt safe and we thought it was great. We had fun.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:28 PM   #17
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We used to enjoy wine-tastings, but wouldn't go now. We joined nakedwines.com, which brokers wines from mainly small wineries around the world. For fun, I decided to patronize mainly woman-owned wineries. The wine, so far, has been reasonably priced and delicious.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:31 PM   #18
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We were at a winery today. Staff was all masked, everyone had their own space to sit 10-12 feet apart outdoors. If you had to go indoors, everyone wore a mask. They disinfected chairs and tables as people left. They had a band. It felt safe and we thought it was great. We had fun.

We went to a friend's house the other day for our first "social distancing" backyard get together and your winery visit actually sounds less risky than our get together was. Our friends all had masks but weren't too careful about keeping them on, and we were sitting closer than 10 feet.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:05 AM   #19
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DLDS, upon a quick glance, some of the wineries on your list are not what I consider a "family winery". Beringer, and Sterling are pretty big, but that might work in your favor, big areas and room for distancing. Check with the local gov't as to what the restrictions for their area. Like I posted earlier, things are not the same as before. Some do not have indoor tasting rooms open, and will not do multiple pourings out of one bottle. Some will just sell by glass, or by bottle. On my industry newsletter, different areas/wineries are doing things different.

Most Napa wineries charge $25-60 each for a tasting fee, and that money would be credited to a bottle purchase. Your pass seems like a good value if you visit several wineries, but I suspect it won't go to a bottle purchase. And unless you have a designated driver, multiple winery visits are out of the question.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:46 AM   #20
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A gumbo tasting experience.
Mm, Mmmm..... I'd be all-in for a gumbo tasting!
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