Posted: Dec 14, 2020
Sonoma County wineries will have to close to visitors starting Saturday, now that the county is joining five others in the Bay Area in implementing stay-at-home orders. Bars, distilleries and breweries in the county must also close completely, while restaurants will have to close for in-person dining.
Last weekend, wineries in both Napa and Sonoma counties were still seeing a steady number of visitors for tastings despite the surge in coronavirus cases and shutdown news elsewhere in the Bay Area. (Napa County has not yet issued new stay-at-home orders.)
But Wine Country vintners have known that a new shutdown is on the horizon one way or another, and while many said they understood the public health concerns, some expressed disappointment at the prospect of losing the important revenue stream of their tasting rooms.
Other businesses that will have to close under the new order include hair salons and barbershops, museums and movie theaters. These new stay-at-home orders will last in Sonoma County until at least January 9, though it’s likely that a region-wide order from the state will take effect before then.
Wineries have gotten used to opening and closing on a dime over the course of this year. After closing at the beginning of the pandemic, they were allowed to re-open in the spring, then had to partially re-close again for indoor tastings in the summer. The news of this latest shutdown comes at the beginning of the holiday season, a busy time for many tasting rooms around the Bay Area.
By Esther Mobley
December 11, 2020
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