As Wine Country re-opens during the Covid-19 era, you may be wondering if it’s safe to visit Napa Valley, California. While the decision to wine travel and venture out is entirely up to you — everyone is responsible for his/her own safety the Wine Country community is doing everything possible to reduce the transmission of the virus*. This is what I’ve been able to gather…

If and when you do choose to travel to or spend a day or weekend in Napa Valley soon, you will be welcomed with glee but just know that your visit will look a bit differently. Many of the key guidelines we are all doing right now will be in effect.

No Symptoms Allowed, Masks Required, Physical Distancing is Mandatory and Expect Reduced Interactions

Less contact with servers and tasting room hosts will become the norm moving forward. Don’t be surprised to find hand-held menus replaced by those posted on a chalkboard, waters and wine pre-poured before your arrival, and other measures like contactless ordering from your phone to limit interactions between customers and servers. Many Napa wineries and restaurants and eateries will also have contactless payment systems available for tastings, food purchases, and bottles to-go.

Be Patient & Stay Flexible…many of these establishments are reopening after having been closed for months.

So… what to Expect at Wineries when we get there? Anything to consider?

Tastings by Appointment for sure

While many Napa Valley wineries have used an appointment-only model for years, you will now have to make a reservation in advance before visiting. This is going to be mandatory as it will help the wineries monitor customer flow to ensure they’re operating at a reduced capacity for safety reasons.

Small Groups Only will be allowed

So, if you are booking that long-awaited party bus with your friends? Be aware that many wineries are restricting group sizes to four to six people, so check with each winery when booking.

Socially Distant Wine Tasting is going to be happening.

Crowded tasting rooms with standing-room only bars are a thing of the past. Tastings will take place in personal tasting areas at least six feet from other groups and  all tastings will be required to be held OUTDOORS.

*Note – Everybody recognizes that Covid-19 is a serious health concern that impacts all of us, and the decision to travel to Napa Valley is ultimately your choice — and one we all support either way. That said, when you do choose to visit, just feel prepared and confident so you can worry less about what to expect and instead focus on enjoying your time in Wine Country.