Napa wineries reopen indoor tasting rooms as county hits orange tier

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The sun is shining on Napa County and the skies are blue, but it's not the weather that is making everyone smile today. It is the news that the county is now in the orange tier - and wineries can open their tasting rooms.

"I was so excited because I know the team's been really looking forward to welcoming everyone inside and finally- we get to," said CEO Emma Swain.

The pandemic forced wineries to set up tasting areas outside. St. Supery used its courtyard, an option that wasn't permitted before the pandemic. It is a charming setting -- until it is covered in smoke from the wildfires.

RELATED: Map shows which counties can, can't reopen under Newsom's new 4-tier system

"When it was smoky, we did close due to the smoke levels because it was unhealthy," Swain explained.

The winery also lost 80% of its harvest to fire. After so many rough breaks, this bit of good news is exactly the boost businesses like this one needed.

"It's a critical part of our business to welcome people here and introduce them to our wines," Swain said.

The orange tier also allows for bowling alleys to open and for gyms, movie theatres and restaurants to allow more people inside than previously permitted. Restaurants can now operate at 50% capacity, which helps wineries. St. Supery does half of its sales at restaurants.

"I am very happy for the restaurants. They have really been hit hard and with 50% inside plus outside, they could get back to normal capacity. It's great," Swain said.

County leaders are encouraging residents to stay vigilant. A rise in cases would send the county back to the red tier, where it would have to stay for at least three weeks and would reverse these recent openings.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.