Time is running out for anyone in Sonoma County who wants to dine out or order a glass of wine from their favorite winery.
At 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the county will join five other Bay Area counties that have issued a strict stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Outdoor dining and wine tasting won’t be allowed. Grocery stores must limit crowds to 35% capacity. All other retail shops can’t surpass 20% capacity. Hotels are only allowed to take reservations for essential workers.
Most of the tables and chairs at Viansa Sonoma Winery sat empty Friday, partly because of the pandemic and partly because of the afternoon rain shower. Once the shutdown takes effect, the tables and chairs will remain empty until at least Jan. 9.
Christopher Sebastiani’s roots run deep in the Sonoma Valley, but it’s likely his ancestors never had to deal with a year like 2020, marred by wildfires and a pandemic.
“We haven’t had any COVID cases associated with us,” Sebastiani, who works at Viansa, said. “It seems like kind of that fact has been ignored by policy makers, unfortunately.”
Come Saturday, Sebastiani will have to close off his wide-open outdoor dining area at the winery.
“I’m concerned for the well-being of my staff,” he said.
Health experts warn this will be a cold and brutal winter. But if history is any indication and the vaccine rollout succeeds, a new roaring 20’s could be in the future.
“The property is going to be primed and ready to go for an absolutely booming event season next year,” Sebastiani said.