Due to the imminent community spread of COVID-19, local events are caught in the crossfire

Another event has become the victim of coronavirus spread and scare. This is a community issue we all have to face together as local businesses in cities and in the state are affected by the spread of the coronavirus. The Paso Robles Press and The Atascadero News ask for understanding and compassion as we all walk through this difficult time together.

Events at individual wineries are still considered open for tastings as part of the Vintage Paso Zinfandel Weekend.

Letter from the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance:

Dear PRWCA members and Paso Wine community,

Like you, we have been watching, learning, and trying to better understand how to address COVID-19 and how it could affect our region. It has been an uncertain time for all of us as we depend on welcoming people to Paso Robles Wine Country. In times like this, we look to experts and officials for direction; the Alliance has been looking at the communication from several organizations – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CA Dept of Public Health, with input from our County Health Dept.

Vintage Paso Zinfandel Weekend

In light of this research and doing what we feel is responsible, we are going to cancel the Z After Party tasting and Zinposium seminar. This tasting, which was going to take place in the ballroom of the Allegretto Vineyard Resort on Friday, March 20 was scheduled to include 26 wineries and over 250 guests. We are planning to still have the three Zincursions which only include about 20 – 30 guests each in outdoor settings. We will certainly support the wineries as they continue to celebrate Vintage Paso Zinfandel Weekend with tastings and events.

With the recent news from Governor Newsom about events over 250 ppl, canceling this event is the right action to take.

Paso Robles Wine Festival

With this event being over two months away, we will be discussing this at our PRWCA Board Meeting on Monday, March 16. As of now, we are still planning the event and no decision has been made about this event yet. More news to follow in the coming weeks.

Individual Winery Events

Social distancing policies are recommended by all agencies and we recommend you take precautionary measures in your tasting rooms and events. We know that many of our wineries are taking these actions with the fear of the coronavirus outbreak. We’d like to make sure we can support and help offer suggestions and precautions to take in your events and tasting rooms. The following actions are recommended by health organizations.

  • Encourage employees and guest to wash their hands often – at least 20 seconds under hot water
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Potential winery event and tasting room precautions to consider, with social distancing in mind:

  • Avoid handshakes, hugs and fist bumps – greet guests with smiles
  • Consider limiting the number of tasters in your tasting room
  • Consider asking guests to make appointments for tasting
  • Remove communal dump buckets and use individual spit cups
  • Have tissues and hand sanitizer out for guests to use

Our overall message is that Paso Robles is open for business and we aren’t closing our doors. We appreciate your input and ideas on how we communicate our precautionary measures to this virus. Thanks for your patience and understanding during this uncertain time. We can get through this together and appreciate your support.

Be well,

Joel Peterson Executive Director

Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance

Getting through this together, Paso Robles