It’s a fine time for some wine.
Over the past couple of weeks, many Yuba-Sutter wineries have been collectively celebrating a reopening and welcoming guests with some restrictions per local, state and federal guidelines.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed people being around the winery, and they’re really having fun being able to come out and taste wine again,” said Stacy Munger, with the Munger Family Vineyard in Sutter. “We opened two weekends ago on the 13th and 14th with modifications and following CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, and we’re asking that people make reservations before their visit.”
Since the closures in March, many area wineries have been, and are still, offering curbside pickup for people who want to get local wines.
“It was wonderful to see the faces of our clients again as that was the hardest part because it’s all about relationships,” said Teresa Cordi, with Cordi Winery in Sutter County. “We’re very pleased that everyone was compliant with the guidelines. People have to wear masks when they arrive and can remove them when they get seated.”
Cordi said they have a lot of space, which makes following social and physical distancing easy. She said many guests bring games they can play on the grass or bring items so they can have a picnic at the property that’s at the foot of the Sutter Buttes.
“We’re really pleased to have people come up and see us again because they’ve been so cooped up from the closures,” said Marian Lucero, of Lucero Vineyards and Winery in Dobbins. “We have a patio where people can come and taste wine and offered curbside pick up when things were closed.”
Alyse Hickman, with Hickman Family Vineyards in Bangor, also helps with the North Sierra Wine Trail, a website and map that showcases nearly 20 local and regional wineries and vineyards.
“We recommend doing wine tasting outside, I can accommodate larger groups and have more room for tastings,” Hickman said. “If you want to taste inside, we only allow six people in our tasting room at one time that is why we recommend reservations.”
Some wineries are on an abbreviated schedule, so people should check each winery’s respective website to see which days they’re open, what the restrictions are and if they need to make reservations in advance.
“Our tables are spread out about 10-feet to 12-feet apart so there’s plenty of room for social distancing,” Cordi said. “We’re serving flights of wine now - we bought little plastic shot glasses for the wine.”
Munger said they’re also doing flights of wine offering three options - an all white flight, a flight of their state fair-winning wines or the best of both worlds with a combination of red and white wines.
“We’ve also been selling our to-go slushies and we’ve been sold out of those the entire time - when we make a batch we sell out right away,” she said. “Even if they thaw out a little when driving home, you can put them in the freezer for awhile and they’re still really good.”