We are delighted to announce that along with restaurants reopening from June 1, cellar doors will be able to provide free, seated-tastings for guests. Wine Victoria has been working closely with the State Government since the lifting of restrictions was announced by the Victorian Premier the Hon Daniel Andrews, and we are delighted by today’s announcement from the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, the Hon Jacyln Symes that will support the State’s struggling wine businesses.
To enable social distancing rules to be enforced, wineries will need to adapt cellar doors to seat patrons. If you have licenced outdoor areas these may also be used for seated tastings.
Please note: Paid tastings must be accompanied by a meal, and wines by the glass without food or other forms of paid wine-only service are prohibited.
We strongly recommend that cellar doors adopt best practice by using single-use disposable cups as spittoons for the foreseeable future to minimise the risk of contamination or virus transfer. You will need to follow all other health guidelines with regards to sanitation, social distancing and recording of visitor details. Those requirements are set out in the following resources:
- The Australian Grape and Wine Guidelines are comprehensive, and we suggest a thorough review of this document.
We also recommend that you consider enrolling hospitality staff into the Restaurant and Catering Association COVID Ready training module. It is a nominal fee per person and is a very good investment to minimise risk in your business.
We are expecting to receive a Q&A relating to cellar doors from the Government’s COVID-19 Response Team and so Wine Victoria will be hosting a Webinar on Tuesday 2 June at 5.00pm. This invitation is open to all wineries and we strongly recommend you attend.
And finally, please make sure that you do the right thing and follow these guidelines to the letter. Any breaches of the guidelines risk having this wound back for the entire industry. We have worked incredibly hard to get to this point, let’s make sure once we are open, we can remain that way.