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Oregon’s Winery Tasting Rooms Begin Reopening Today

May 15, 2020

Oregon governor Kate Brown has given the go-ahead for winery tasting rooms in the state to reopen, starting today. Over 30 of Oregon’s 36 counties will take part in this phase-one reopening, clearing the way for a return to business after nearly two months of mandatory shutdown.

Tasting rooms will be adhering to a number of safety guidelines aimed at limiting maximum occupancy and maintaining social distancing protocols. In a statement on its website entitled “Welcome Back To Wine Country,” the Willamette Valley Wineries Association laid out many of the details.

In this first phase, Willamette Valley tasting rooms will be taking visitors by appointment only. Prospective visitors will need to call ahead or check winery websites before planning their journey. Wine flights generally will be pre-poured, bar seating won’t be permitted, and all tastings will be seated. The tasting room tables will be distanced by a minimum of six feet, and outdoor space usage will be increased. Groups will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.

In a noteworthy addition, the guidelines said Oregon winery restaurants will be allowed to offer in-person dining. Touch-less payment options will be the norm, and visitors wishing to pay by cash will need to inquire ahead of time. Not every winery will be opening in the same way, so the guidelines emphasized the need to plan ahead.—Danny Sullivan & David Fleming

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