Friday, June 26, 2020

Oregon Wine Country Starts Reopening

All Oregon counties move to Phase One with Oregon tasting rooms permitted to reopen. After seven weeks of upholding stay-at-home orders, Portland tasting rooms and restaurants have now reopened.

portland-841428_1920Portland Metro Area Open For Business

Multnomah County has been greenlighted to open all restaurants, bars, wineries and tasting rooms after having been closed by executive stay-at-home orders for seven weeks to attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Oregon Governor Kate Brown has approved Oregon’s most populous county to move into Phase One. Permitting Multnomah County wineries to welcome guests enables about 26 tasting rooms in the Portland metro area to serve beverages, and food as applicable, to onsite customers.

As of June 19, 32 of Oregon’s 36 counties will have moved into Phase Two. In Phase One, food and beverage establishments must adhere to social distancing and must close by 10 p.m. Phase Two allows for some reduced restrictions for restaurants, bars and tasting rooms, such as a midnight closing time, and also includes reopening pools, movie theaters and bowling alleys.

IMG_20190517_074852_416Special Safety Requirements In Effect

Like restaurants, winery tasting rooms must observe social distancing guidelines such as maintaining physical distancing requirements and limiting the number of customers on their premises accordingly. They must ensure tables are spaced at least six feet apart so that at least six feet between parties is maintained, including when customers approach or leave tables. Parties are limited to 10 people or fewer. Visitors are urged to bring masks, check here to see if their favorite tasting rooms are open, and call tasting rooms before visiting for further assurance, and to check visitation policies as many tasting rooms will be accepting or requiring reservations to ensure safe seating.

With health and safety at the forefront, a slow, thoughtful pace is paramount in reopening winery tasting rooms, including following the carefully phased plan the governor has laid out. More guidelines that tasting rooms are following to ensure employee and customer safety can be found here. This document was developed by a task force of wineries from across the state, and the protocols go above and beyond the governor’s reopening requirements to add recommended staff trainings and visitor safety protections specifically designed with the welfare of wine country guests in mind.

Oregon wine lovers can use this time to take advantage of Oregon Vine Perks, where Oregon wine buyers can upload their receipts and receive an Oregon Vine Perks Pass in the mail. The pass will unlock two-for-one tastings, discounts and VIP benefits at participating wineries across the state once tasting rooms reopen. The passes are good through April 30, 2021. The OWB will also make a donation in the name of Oregon Vine Perks to the Oregon Food Bank.

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