California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office Tuesday announced reopening guidance for “dine-in restaurants” which applies to restaurants, brew pubs, craft distilleries, breweries, bars, pubs and wineries that offer sit-down, dine-in meals.
Wine and other alcohol beverages can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal. Brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries, and wineries that do not provide sit-down meals themselves, but can contract with another vendor to do so, can serve dine-in meals provided both businesses follow the guidance and alcohol is only sold in the same transaction as a meal.
If permitted by counties (which currently include Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Nevada, Placer and Shasta, with others to follow), these businesses may reopen following the specific health and safety guidance outlined by the administration. Visit this page for the list of counties that have received variance approval.
Wine Institute officials say they're continuing to seek clarification on how the state is defining “sit-down, dine-in meals” and believe that wineries with full-service restaurants may reopen that portion of their operations. The organization also strongly recommends adherence to our reopening health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of employees, guests and businesses.
Wine Institute has shared its protocols for winery tasting room reopening with the governor’s office and is actively engaged in demonstrating the California wine industry’s commitment to implementing the highest standard of health and safety practices in order to reopen for guests, the group's leaders say.
"At this point, a key consideration for the administration in reopening tasting rooms is a potential influx of visitors to wine regions from outside of the area," Wine Institue notes in a news release. "We believe that wineries can help manage the situation by implementing appointment only visits which are part of our reopening protocols."
Wine Institute is preparing FAQs on tasting room reopening and plans to host a member webinar on the topic soon.