PEOPLE will be able to visit the region’s cellar doors and taste wine from Monday with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across Victoria.
Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture Jaclyn Symes announced the easing of restrictions for wineries and cafes on Friday, in time for the Queen’s Birthday weekend from June 6 to 8.
The King Valley’s Weekend Fit for a King was cancelled in March due to COVID-19 restrictions and this latest development will allowed tastings under strict conditions such as patron limits and physical distancing.
“After working closely with Wine Victoria, I’m excited to say that from June 1, Victoria’s winery restaurants and cafes can resume dine-in service – so long as they are meeting the requirements outlined by the Chief Health Officer, including patron limits, physical distancing, signage and hygiene,” Ms Symes said.
“Cafes and restaurants will be able to resume dine-in service with up to 20 patrons per enclosed space.
“Those wineries with a restaurant or cafe will be able to sell alcohol by the bottle and glass, or sell a wine tasting experience if they are serving with a seated meal.
“They can also sell full bottles from their cellar doors for consumption off the premises.”
Ms Symes explained that as part of this sales process a cellar door may also choose to offer free samples of its produce to a seated customer to help the customer choose what to buy (wine tasting).
“This plan is in line with our approach to cautiously and carefully re-open our cafes, restaurants and other food and drink facilities, helping to restore jobs and rebuild our economy.Wines of the King Valley welcomed this news, and the opportunity to invite visitors back to cellar doors.
“We thank the Victorian Government for their work to enable the safe reopening of regional wine tourism,” Ms Sysmes said.
“The cellar door experience after June 1 will be quite different to pre-lockdown.
“It will take some hard work from our wineries to implement new systems, and we’ll need some patience from our visitors, also.
“Our members are committed to the health and wellbeing of the whole community as we act in line with all government regulations and examples of best practice.”
Michael Dal Zotto from Dal Zotto Wines said his winery will be open definitely from this Friday.
“We just have to get a few things in order as the tasting experience changes a little bit and we just have to make sure what we’re doing gives the visitor the best possible experience,” Mr Dal Zotto said.
Ms Lloyd said further details about what is on offer at the King Valley’s wineries for the long weekend will be available this Friday.