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  • Bettina Applewhite

Planning a Winery Visit While Socially Distancing

We're been locked indoors for over a year at this point. All I want to do is get out and see some other people. I found a way to do it in a healthy way and of course have lots of fun. Taking a trip to a local winery is a fun way to stay safe, support a local business, and socialize with people you haven't been around in such a long time.

We know that to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it's best that we're at least 6 feet apart and wear masks to stop the spread of droplets. Small outdoor activities are better than large gatherings indoors. I was able to get a small group of ladies together to share in some much needed conversation and wine.

A winery in the area had outdoor seating and limits their groups to 6 or less. We were able to bring our chairs and have a picnic in the lawn. There was lots of room so we could spread out with lots of space between us but still feel like a small intimate group. Perfect for both our physical and mental health.

Most wineries in the area are making accommodations to keep their customers safe. Many have stopped doing tastings and indoor tours. Some have limited their business to only open air enjoyments. The winery I visited offered freshly made pizza and sold bottles of wine. My small little group definitely indulged.

As a good host, I wanted to make sure that everyone had something to snack on. As a safe host, I wanted to reduce the amount of cross contact between people. So I made everyone a little goodie bag with cute gift bags I found from Michael's. I filled the bags with cheeses, hand sanitizer, and a marbled reusable water bottle.

Goodies for a Perfect Single Use Winery Picnic

  • Hummus

  • Asiago Cheese or Other String Cheese

  • Cheese & Salami

  • Bags of Chips, Pretzels, & Popcorn

  • Fruit

  • Trail Mix

  • Squeezable Packs of Peanut butter

  • Olives

  • (Dolmas) Stuffed Grape Leaves

  • Chocolate

  • Bottled Water

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Hand Lotion

  • Lip Balm

  • Reusable Water Bottle

When planning your visit, it's important that you look at the wineries policies and updates for COVID compliance. Some wineries may not allow outside food. Others may allow your four-legged friends while some don't. You'll want to know their measures to keep their guests safe for yourself and to share with your guests.

Key Questions to Research or Ask Before You Go...

  • Are masks required?

  • How are guests socially distanced?

  • What is the size limit of parties? Does that include children and non-drinking adults?

  • Is there indoor or outdoor seating? Are you required to bring chairs or blankets?

  • Can you reserve a table? Is there a charge for reservations?

  • Is there a capacity limit? When do you usually reach capacity?

  • Do you offer wine tastings?

  • Can you purchase and drink bottles on site?

  • Are there accommodations for rain or cold weather?

  • Is outside food allowed?

Being a good host means that you have thought of what your guests may need in advance. In order to anticipate what may be needed think of what you'll want while visiting a winery. Check the weather to see if there will be a chill in the air so a blanket may be needed or maybe it will be sunny and sunscreen will be needed. Whatever will make the day perfect for you will probably make it perfect for someone else too.

Make sure you bring extra...

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Masks

  • Paper towels

  • Bottled water

  • Sunscreen

  • Blanket

A trip to a winery is always fun. What makes gathering unique now is taking into account all the nuances of staying safe. You'll want to make sure that you are up to date on all the current recommendations from the CDC and make sure they can be implemented. You wouldn't want your exciting time out turn into a more serious event causing illness. Health and safety is the number 1 priority followed by fun. So while planning make sure you're thinking health and safety. Fun comes to our minds naturally.

Be brave. Go back out into the world... safely.


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