Frequently Asked Questions - Regional Cellar Door Opening

Written by  Wine Victoria Friday, 18 September 2020

Regional Victoria - Re-Opening FAQS

We have been asked many questions over the past few days from our members in Regional Victoria as cellar doors and hospitality open up under the Third Step. 

Can I do tastings at cellar door? 
Yes, tastings must be seated, and you must adhere to the social distancing regulations as well as the density caps. 
Can I charge for tastings? 
There are no restrictions on charging or not charging for tastings.
Do I need to serve a meal or any food with a tasting or wine by the glass? 
No, this is not a requirement. 
Can I open from 17 September?
Yes, provided you undertake the following:

  • Complete a COVIDSafe Plan (template available here). Guidance for the COVIDSafe plan is available here
  • Maintain a strict limit of a minimum of four-square metres (4sqm) per person
  • Ensure density caps are adhered to
  • Maintain hygiene and frequent cleaning
  • Maintain attendance records of patrons for the purposes of contact tracing (not including takeaway services)
  • Carefully manage waiting areas to ensure social distancing
  • Ensure alcohol is only consumed whilst seated

Will we need to do the one tasting / one glass scenario so wine bottles don’t touch the glass that customers have used already? As was recommended in June? 
Yes the Cellar Door Re-Opening protocols document issued by Australian Grape & Wine is still in effect.

Please note that these are guidelines of best practice which Wine Victoria recommends, but ultimately this is your business decision, and not enforceable.

Can we temporarily operate outside our red line area to accommodate the temporary mandatory spacing?
Yes, but you will need a temporary licence from Council, details on how this can be obtained will be provided in the updated guidelines and we will provide a link as soon as possible.

Can customers stay for a drink only, or do they need to do a wine tasting then leave (as per cellar door restrictions in June 2020)?
They can stay for a drink as long as you are observing social distancing, capped numbers, seating distancing and time limits.

Is it OK for people to buy a bottle of wine or even a glass from our Cellar Door and sit outside to enjoy it?
If your previous licensing regulations allowed you to do so, and the patrons were seated and they were complying with social distance regulations, and time limits,

there is no impediment to selling by glass or bottle and sitting onsite to consume. 

Am I allowed to sell or offer tastings without food purchase? 
There are no requirements about the service of alcohol with food. 

What’s the policy on masks?
Staff must wear masks at all times.
Guests must wear masks apart from when consuming food and drink.

A reminder that the Business Victoria website or hotline, 13 22 15, provides information on how restrictions apply to your sector and support to help your workplace plan and respond to COVID-19.