After having closed tasting rooms for almost two months to wine tastings and consumption, Gov. Kate Brown announced the plans for the Phase 1 reopening of Oregon wineries and tasting rooms on Thursday, May 7. Many Oregon winery tasting rooms opened Friday, including in Douglas County tasting rooms.
Located inside this county are the following tasting rooms that opened Friday:
- Becker Vineyard
- Cooper Ridge Vineyard
- Ferraro Family Vineyards
- Hillcrest Winery & Distillery
- Melrose Vineyards
- Mustard Seed Cellars
- Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards
- Spangler Vineyards
- Trella Vineyards
- Triple Oak Vineyard
These Umpqua Valley wineries will open May 22:
- Brandborg Vineyard & Winery
- Bradley Vineyards
- JosephJane Winery
- Spire Mountain Cellars
Umpqua Valley winery opening May 26:
- Falk Estates winery in Canyonville
Continuing curbside bottle and case pick-up, by appointment only:
- Foon Estate Vineyard
Oregon is putting into action a carefully phased plan to ensure the health and safety of winemakers, staff at tasting rooms, production workers and lovers of Oregon wine who want intimate but safe experiences with Oregon wineries.
Oregon winery tasting rooms have been closed for tasting and consumption on premises since March 23 with the governor’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Like restaurants, winery tasting rooms must observe social distancing guidelines. These are:
- Determine maximum occupancy to maintain physical distancing requirements that limit number of customers on premises accordingly.
- Ensure tables are spaced at least 6 feet apart so that at least 6 feet is maintained, including when customers approach or leave tables.
- Businesses will need to determine seating configuration to comply with these physical distancing requirements
- Remove or restrict seating to facilitate the requirement of at least 6 feet of physical distance between people not in the same party.
- If booth seating is back-to-back, only use every other booth.
- Limit parties to 10 people or fewer. Do not combine parties/guests at shared seating situations who have not chosen to congregate together.
- People in the same party seated at the same table do not have to be 6 feet apart.
- Wineries and restaurants, must also end all on-site consumption of food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages by 10 p.m. and the use of masks by consumers is encouraged.
Oregon wines enjoyed brisk sales according to Nielsen data for the weeks of March 14, 21 and 28, which showed that Oregon wine was up 52% in retail sales, outperforming the total table wine category, which was up 41%. However, wineries are ready to get back to business and welcome customers.
With health and safety at the forefront, a slower, thoughtful pace is paramount in reopening wineries, with many following the carefully phased plan the governor has laid out provides a realistic plan in placing health and safety at the forefront.
Consumers should call each winery for further information and details before visiting. Many tasting rooms will be accepting reservations to ensure safe seating.