Wineries throw cellar doors back open

Wineries throw cellar doors back open

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Many businesses are starting to re-open as COVID-19 restrictions ease, with many cellar doors across the state once again throwing open their doors to patrons.

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Many businesses are starting to re-open as COVID-19 restrictions ease, with many cellar doors across the state once again throwing open their doors to patrons.

As of Monday this week, SA cellar doors have been able to host up to 80 visitors, serve drinks with or without food and conduct wine tastings.

SA Wine Industry Association chief executive Brian Smedley said wineries across the state were making considerable efforts to ensure hygiene practices and social distancing measures ensured visits were low risk for all involved.

"Visitors can have complete confidence that when they visit cellar doors, they will be looked after by professionals who are focused on giving them a memorable and safe experience," Mr Smedley said.

He said many wineries had been through tough times recently, as a result of drought, low-yielding vintages and closures due to COVID-19, and he urged the public to show their support.

"This weekend, head to one of our beautiful regions, visit some cellar doors, buy some wine, eat some food, talk to the locals and enjoy a premium service experience," he said.

"If we all visit one winery over the long weekend, that will help the industry on their path to recovery."

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Although open, food or wine must be consumed while seated so the traditional wine tasting experience at the bar is out for now, as per state government guidelines.

While a wine-tasting experience while sitting at the bar is presently disallowed, many wineries have been able to adapt to the changes.

Kimbolton Wines in Langhorne Creek is now offering seated wine and cheese tastings, three times daily, which must be pre-booked.

The winery is also offering gourmet toasted sandwiches, as well as individual cheese platters to ensure no sharing of food.

Kimbolton Wines co-owner Nicole Clark was "so excited" when she received the news that the cellar door could reopen.

"We've been itching to see some visitors again," Ms Clark said.

Working within the restrictions, we want to provide the best experience we can for as many people as possible. - PUD SMITH

"We can fit 10 people in the cellar door, 10 on our front deck, 20 on our back patio and 9 upstairs on the rooftop, so that's plenty of room for visitors. We've marked out where people can stand, we've moved tables to the correct spacing and we're ready to go."

Last week, the winery created their COVID-Safe Plan - a requirement of all closed businesses prior to reopening - and Ms Clark completed the hospitality COVID-19 training program. She has subsequently trained her own staff in hygiene requirements.

At Pikes Wines, Sevenhill, 80 visitors can be seated across the cellar door, cellar, Slate restaurant, deck, brewery and beer garden spaces, and sit-down tastings have been introduced.

Pikes has introduced hourly tastings, in a flight of five wines - three set wines, including the Traditionale, and a choice of two other wines from 18 options.

Two staff members have been employed to manage the rotating cleaning schedule at Pikes, which includes handrails, doorknobs, toilets and other touch points, with hand sanitiser also readily available - accompanied by signs asking visitors to use it before entry,

Signage also reminds guests about social distancing rules, according to cellar door manager Pud Smith.

"Our number one focus is on the safety of both our staff and our guests," Mr Smith said.

"Then working within the restrictions, we want to provide the best experience we can for as many people as possible."

"We're excited that our restaurant bookings are already looking good for the long weekend and we're hoping to see plenty of cellar door visitors between Friday and Monday."

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