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Wineries operating as essential businesses under COVID-19 orders

Tim Hearden Vineyard producing grapes
A vineyard near Santa Rosa, Calif., produces grapes.
County orders allow vineyard management, wine production operations, bottling, warehousing, sales, delivery and shipping

Wineries can still operate as essential businesses under shelter-in-place orders issued Monday for seven San Francisco Bay area counties, according to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute.

The orders require individuals living in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties to remain in their place of residence and leave only to provide or receive certain essential services or engage in certain essential activities and work for essential businesses and governmental services.

Wine Institute officials say they've received inquiries from members about how these shelter-in-place orders impact wineries. In reviewing the seven county orders and consulting with industry counsel, the organization interprets winery businesses to meet the definition of “essential businesses” as defined in the County Orders Section 10(f)(15) which states that essential businesses include businesses that supply other essential businesses (grocery stores and other food outlets) with the support or supplies necessary to operate.

Essential businesses may engage in full operations.  For wineries, this includes vineyard management, wine production operations, bottling, warehousing, sales, delivery and shipping.  This does not include wine tasting and events which Governor Newsom recommended on March 15 to be temporarily closed or postponed.

The orders mandate that individuals and businesses follow “social distancing requirements” and other safety measures which include:

  • maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals
  • washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer
  • covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands)
  • regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.

Employees who are older or others considered to be at higher risk, and those who are sick, should remain at home and not report to work.

Wine Institute will continue to monitor and provide updates on the current situation here.

Source: Wine Institute, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 
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