Wine tasting during the Coronavirus craze
The weather has been great and the crowds have been noticebly low all through wine country. Many have been canceling their wine tasting trips which is making for quite tranquil experiences for those who carry on. Hotels and businesses also appear to be rolling out lowered rates from the norm. While the craziness continues over the spread of COVID-19, it has consequentially provided ideal tasting conditions for the visitors who do come. However, in the wake of the ever changing climate with the onset of the Coronavirus, we to want to highlight some tips for staying healthy while wine tasting.
First of all let’s put the basics on the table.
Taking our cue from the CDC, Coronavirus preventative measures are a necessity. Always practice proper hand washing techniques. Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to a sink, then a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be substituted. Avoid close contact with people who are exhibiting symptoms of being sick. And lastly if you yourself are feeling sick, please stay at home!
CoronaVirus risk in Napa
Thankfully (as of this writing), there are no reported cases of Coronavirus in Napa County. Attention grabbing headlines about Coronavirus in Napa relate to two individuals who were treated in a Napa hospital after exposure on a cruise ship. Only one tested positive for the virus, and both have been released after the requisite quarantine. Furthermore, neither of those individuals live in the area. Unfortunately this has not helped Napa’s tourism. Winery traffic is down and booking cancellations are up.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has suggested the limit of large group events. This is what accounts for the cancellation of the Taste of Yountville. Although it’s unfortunate, these times present a great opportunity to discover smaller tastings with less people. Especially since engaging in social distancing, or putting enough distance between yourself and another person, is also a preventative measure to avoid a virus.
Consider thinking small
There are many wineries that do wine tastings by appointment only. Due to their smaller nature, there will be less people and thereby less exposure to others. Many times you will find yourselves the only ones enjoying the winery. There is no better treat than to bask in the ambience in absolute peace. Boutique and family run wineries thus make a great option if you plan a visit. Check out our list of boutique wineries and private wine tasting experiences. Also current members can also submit a request for a trip itinerary and we’ll help you pick the best spots!
Wineries are aware and are responding
To put your mind at ease, we’ve heard from many wineries that are well aware of the situation and are implementing heightened sanitary measures. Their goal is to ensure your safety while sharing their wine. You are welcome to reach out to wineries directly to learn more about the exact safety steps they are taking. Additionally we remind you that wine glasses are always sanitized in very hot water to kill any viruses.
Regardless, when you are tasting, it is advised to not share glasses. Additionally high traffic areas where people are constantly touching the same thing should lead to heightened awareness. Again wash your hands throughly and frequently especially if you come in conact with anything of this nature. This is particularly true for items that you may encounter before you even arrive to wine country. For example the gas pump at a gas station or an ATM touch screen. These items potentially pose higher risk of transmission than at wineries themselves. In conjuction with hand-washing feel free to bring along tissues that you can use to open doors and handle any commonly touched objects. And remember to always toss the tissue after each use!
Take a deep breath!
Don’t forget that there is nothing like being in nature to promote the feeling of wellbeing. Napa and many wine regions are magical places that have a serene outdoor setting. Visiting a vineyard and being admist the countryside is a great relief to both stress and anxiety. There’s nothing like the escape a glass of wine and a walk through a winery can provide.
Tasting in the comfort of home
However with all the craziness going on, we understand those who still prefer the comfort of their own homes. That’s why we recommend supporting your local wineries’ by joining their wine clubs or by checking out other delivery services like Winc.
Winc for example is an amazing delivery service that will give you a short quiz and then send you wines they think you’ll enjoy. It’s a great way to unwind while staying put.
Check out www.clubw.com/prioritywinepass to get a $20 discount on your first box order. (For all transparency) clicking the link will reward us a small percentage of the sale. It’s a little something to help us keep the lights on since local tourism has started to take a hit.
Most importantly, Stay safe!
Regardless of your situation, we recommend that you stay as up-to-date as possible by checking the CDC website. Staying healthy while wine tasting is in your hands. Please remember that things quickly change! That’s why we also encourage you to see the links below and/or the local county’s goverment websites prior to your wine tasting trip. Additionally it’s always a good idea to double-check with wineries prior to arriving so that you don’t encounter any modified visiting hours. That being said, do know that wineries are very much open and welcome your business. With these tips in mind, and by taking standard health precautions, we hope you enjoy a safe and memorable tasting experience during these crazy times!