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If any winemaker is adjusting their style this vintage, lets pray it may be a serious wine, for a serious time. Image:
If any winemaker is adjusting their style this vintage, lets pray it may be a serious wine, for a serious time. Image:

Various Tasting Notes of the Current “Social Distancing,” Sonoma County Wine Experience

Feb 27, 2020
by Gianna Fugazi, Wander-Must


By Gianna Fugazi

“2020” at this moment, may just be a vintage that looks good on paper…of a wine label that is. Thank goodness we know that we will drink the 2020 vintage in the years to come, while being optimistic the future will be more…can we say a hint less pandemic? If any winemaker is adjusting their style this vintage, I pray it may be a little strong, dark and reflective. A serious wine, for a serious time. Make it a vintage to age and revisit later to stoke our stories of a COVID19 past. 

Nonetheless, let us focus on the present-day tasting experience at hand. Take it upon yourself to map out your trip before leaving the door. Possibly spend some time in the vast open spaces of Sonoma County while enjoying some take-out food and a visit of a winery that you currently have membership at. It will be a good trial to see that things are just a little different. 

Seek the information needed before venturing to any destination. Every tasting space has different layouts that comply with the CDC’s guidelines to fit their specific environment. Reservations are required, so please call ahead to reserve your experience, check out their website and give wineries the time they need to prepare to host you safely. 

Be prepared to encounter the new concept of “Tasting spaces.” Gathering around a communal bar in a tasting room is not the current reality. Tasters are to be spatially spaced six feet apart and remain in these set areas for the duration of the tasting with their party only. Expect hosts to be courteous and kind but not linger to tell you every wine tasting note. Glasses will change with every wine in most locations and not linger on tabletops. The pressures to keep things tidy and clean are not to hinder or hurry your experience, but to ensure you that the winery is taking the best steps for everyone’s safety. 

Masks are required of all individuals approaching a tasting room. They can only be removed when you are located at your specific tasting space. They must be worn at all times when walking around the premises. Simply running to the car to get your phone, heading to the restroom and even casually confronting your host for the next wine, all needs to be done with your mask on. 

Nothing is casual during these times. It is pertinent that all people who read this article set the standard. Everyone understands that these times can be frustrating. But they do not have to be dismal and sad! Thankfully you are sitting and tasting wine while your winery hosts do all they can to make your experience wonderful. 

Be a positive force to support Sonoma Wine Country, and not a positive case of COVID19. There are always other ways to show your support by buying wine for pick-up and foregoing the tasting reservation. As we have come accustomed to zoom meetings with our nice tops and pajama bottoms, no one will judge if you prefer to sip in the comfort of your favorite slippers. 

Wineries are gearing up to welcome us back in and offering us all they can safely deliver while the vineyards boom and thrive not phased by our social distancing. Harvest is coming, and it is a sigh of relief! Mother nature has already set forth her development, and we will make wine again from our Sonoma County grapes and cherish our thriving viticulture area. 

Sonoma County is ready and optimistic. Sonoma Strong continues to be our motto and we continue to show all those in need of some masked support. 




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