Wine Institute Releases “California Winery Tasting Room Reopening Protocols” Document 5/5/20

The Wine Institute worked with medical experts to develop these health and safety protocols for reopening winery tasting rooms and are based on established governmental health and safety guidance (CDC, OSHA, FDA, and CDPH).

Hello members of the wine industry. This six page document was released on May 5, 2020 and gives California winery owners and managers specific steps and protocols to take when preparing to reopen winery tasting rooms. Please continue to watch for updates from the Governor of your state about which businesses can reopen by the approved timeline. For now, here is what you can do to get ready:

  1. Read the Wine Institute Reopening Protocols document released 5/5/20 and create your plan for reopening based on the needs of your staff and visitors. 
  2. Once your plan is in place, distribute both the Wine Institute Protocols document along with your “Winery Tasting Room Reopening Plan” to all employees.
  3. Schedule an online meeting with your staff to review the “Winery Tasting Room Reopening Plan” and Wine Institute Protocols document. Answer questions and ensure that everyone is clear. BE SURE to collect a document from each employee acknowledging that they have read the documents and understand the protocols/plans. 
  4. Map out visitor spaces and schedule Dry Runs before reopening to ensure all members of your hospitality teams feel confident with how to handle every situation in this new visitor landscape.  
  5. NOW is the time to update reservation software or add a new reservation form to the winery website with welcoming content for how to visit in a safe environment. Start to pre-book reservations for small spaces (small group) and staff accordingly once you know the reopening date.  
  6. JOIN the Monthly “US Virtual Winery Summit” program sponsored by DTC Wine Workshops to get guidance on steps to take at each phase of reopening and beyond. 

Questions about these tips? Contact

About Sandra Hess

Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network is a subject matter specialist and public speaker on the subject of direct to consumer wine sales.