Here we are on the verge of a new year. 2020 wasn’t exactly the stellar year we hoped for. Many wineries had to revamp their business model and increase their focus on online sales, and everyone had to incorporate the safety protocols around COVID-19.
Restaurants attached to wineries had new rules, and outdoor patios were and continue to be the norm for the rest of 2020.
One thing that has stayed the same throughout this unprecedented year is the creation of great wine by people with a passion for winemaking. Also unchanged, is the dedication of winery staff to work together to make the consumer experience memorable.
Thank goodness being outdoors was a safe way to spend our summer. Many of us took deep breaths of fresh air as we sat on outdoor patios, sipped new vintages and tasted new recipes. While seating capacity, even outdoors, was limited, the wineries did their best to accommodate everyone who wanted to visit. Reservations became the norm, even for wine tasting.
The border was closed to travellers, and bars and restaurants were shut down for a time. Still, the wineries stood their ground. Online sales and curbside pickup became their new normal. Some wineries reported increases from three to ten times their normal amount of online wine sales.
Marketing departments got busy offering gift baskets with vast price ranges and plenty of different wines and accessories.
One thing is certain, BC’s winemakers and wine lovers are in it for the long haul. When this pandemic ends, our wine industry will be left with a feeling of pride and accomplishment. And when this is over, we can all sit back, relax and have a toast with our favourite wine.