Coronavirus | Winery cellar doors open for bottle sales but cancel their FOOD Week events

GLOVES AND GRAPES: Peter and Julie Mortimer's winery is still open for bottle sales but they have cancelled a music day. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN
GLOVES AND GRAPES: Peter and Julie Mortimer's winery is still open for bottle sales but they have cancelled a music day. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN

Wineries will concentrate on bottle sales and deliveries after new coronavirus rules have stopped tastings at cellar doors.

They have also cancelled their own FOOD Week events.

It follows the cancellation of all the signature events for FOOD Week.

Mortimer's Wines co-owner Julie Mortimer said they had cancelled their Saturday Live at Mortimer's event, which was to have featured live music and a picnic.

However, she said the March winery would still be open for bottle sales.

Mrs Mortimer said staff would be wearing gloves, keeping a safe distance and would offer gloves to customers if they wanted them.

She said the live day cancellation was disappointing but there were bigger issues at stake.

"I think if everyone does their little bit with hygiene we will all be OK.

"Everything is suffering.

"People can still come and they can buy bottles of wine."

While initial advice from the NSW Wine Association to wineries on Monday was they could operate cellar doors as normal it was later amended to stop cellar door tastings and offer only takeaway service.

"It is now clear that the directive on cellar doors is that they can remain open but only for the sale of packaged wine for consumption off premise (and take-away food if applicable)," the notice said.

"We now believe that tastings onsite are no longer applicable, nor is the sale of open wine for consumption on-premise at cellar doors."

FOOD Week Association president James Sweetapple said with the spread of coronavirus and rules in place to discourage social gatherings the organisers had cancelled all the signature events.

He said that included the FOOD Headquarters at the Orange Visitors Information Centre, the Meet the Producers workshops in the CWA Hall in Robertson Park and Taste Local on the Lawn on the roof of the visitor centre.

They join key events including Forage, the Night Markets in Robertson Park and the FOOD train which had previously been cancelled.

Mr Sweetapple said refunds for bookings for these events were being processed.

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