COVID-19 Travel Information

What to Know if You're Headed to Oregon Wine Country This Summer

With pleasant temperatures and plenty of natural beauty, summer is always a good time to be in Oregon Wine Country. In the past, more than 130 wineries and tasting rooms have celebrated the season with new releases, special events, creative food pairings, live music, and more.

But with COVID-19 still a reality throughout the Willamette Valley, summer will look dramatically different in 2020. Non-essential travel is currently not allowed in Oregon, and it’s still important to stay local to your county and community. So whether you’re celebrating from afar or at your neighborhood winery, here’s how to safely enjoy Oregon Wine Country this summer.

Here’s a quick guide to making safe choices and understanding the new normal this year.

Stay local: Counties throughout the Willamette Valley are currently in Phase One or Phase Two for reopening; as such, it’s still important to stay local to your county and community.

Make an appointment: Most tasting rooms are open by appointment only. If you visit without a reservation, you may be turned away for the safety of others. Visit the websites of tasting rooms and wineries you’d like to visit to learn more about specific policies and to secure an appointment.

Join a virtual tasting: We want you to feel as safe and comfortable as possible. Many wineries offer virtual tastings that can be enjoyed from home; check in with your favorite winemakers to see what kind of virtual events they’re offering this year.

Stay safe: If you have additional questions about what’s open, what’s closed, and how to stay safe, visit our page on COVID-19 in the Willamette Valley for the latest details, updates, and recommendations.

The Oregon Wine Board keeps a running list of which wineries are open to the public. The list is updated often and contains the most current information on reopenings throughout the Willamette Valley, as well as which wineries offer shipping and pickup options.

No matter which winery you choose to visit, call ahead, secure a reservation, and please limit your stops as much as possible—whether for fuel, food, or to walk the dog.

Wineries and tasting rooms will take several precautions to keep visitors safe. Want a fun look at what might be different this summer from one Willamette Valley winery? Check out this video and read on for further precautions that will help keep you (and others) safe.

Face coverings: Face coverings are now required at all indoor public places—which includes businesses such as tasting rooms. Face coverings must be worn at all times when not eating, drinking, or seated at a table. Face coverings must also be worn in outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible.

Physical distancing: Wineries will keep tables spaced at least six feet apart to ensure appropriate physical distancing—and will limit the number of on-premises visitors at any given time. So make an appointment ahead of time with your favorite winemakers to ensure seating and service.

Group limits: Groups will be limited to 10 or fewer people to ensure that physical distancing and capacity limits are respected; some tasting rooms may impose lower group limits, depending on the size of their space.

Bar and counter seating: Tasting rooms will not permit bar or counter seating—except in special circumstances (such as when a counter faces a window or wall, and when six feet of distance between parties can be ensured).

Cash: Many wineries will accept only debit cards, credit cards, and other forms of contactless payment (such as Google Pay or Apple Pay through your smartphones). Check ahead with the wineries you plan to visit to see whether they accept cash.

Signs: Except plenty of signage listing common COVID-19 symptoms, personal health guidelines, and other relevant information.

Pick-up Options: Most wineries throughout the valley are still encouraging wine pick-up this weekend, regardless of whether they’re open. If you purchase a case, consider joining the Oregon Wine Board’s Vine Perks program; if you spend $250 or more on Oregon wine between now and July 1, you become eligible for perks at your favorite wineries—including two-for-one tastings, discounts, and more—through April 2021. And you’re not just supporting your cellar by joining, either; with each pass earned, the Oregon Wine Board will make a donation to the Oregon Food Bank.

If you'd like another fun look at how things might feel different, our friends at Stoller Family Estate put together a lighthearted (and well-choreographed!) video explaining what's new:

NEWS AND UPDATES ON COVID-19 IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY
PASSIONATE AND DETERMINED, WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINERIES PROMOTE ONLINE SALES TO COUNTER SHUTDOWNS
PURCHASING A CASE THIS WEEKEND? GRAB SOME MORE PERKS WHILE YOU'RE AT IT
WINERIES DIVERSIFY WITH CULINARY PROGRAMS
PHONE: 866.548.5018
EMAIL: info@oregonwinecountry.org
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