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Wine Spectator: U.S. Wineries Cautiously Begin Reopening Phase

May 19, 2020

“I do think eventually things will go back to normal,” said Julie Kuhlken, co-founder of Texas winery Pedernales Cellars. “But it is really difficult to read into that crystal ball.” After weeks of pandemic-triggered closures, several U.S. states are beginning to enter reopening phases. Wineries are starting to see restrictions lift on their tasting room operations.

But while winemakers in some states are gearing up to receive guests in the coming weeks, they face new uncertainties and dilemmas. Every state’s rules are different on what can reopen and how. Texas has allowed many businesses to reopen, including winery tasting rooms, but at just 25% occupancy. While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has started easing restrictions in the Finger Lakes region, wineries are still limited to curbside pickup only. Virginia wineries are permitted to have outdoor seating only.

How wineries tackle these challenges could offer a lesson for vintners in other states that open in coming weeks and months. Wine Spectator has a full report.—Collin Dreizen

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