By Katherine Holford
The Cowichan Valley wineries have been avidly anticipating the ability to safely open up their tasting
room doors to the local public. In these past months, the springtime as we all know it, changed
dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local businesses have been struggling to adapt with
shutting their doors. However, the public has shown their unity and support to all local businesses.
Through take out options at the local favourite restaurants, or online orders from the wineries and
breweries. We want to thank everyone who has supported the wineries during the past 3 months we
truly appreciate the support shown by our local wine enthusiasts. With a slow adjustment to the
regulations changing and a new normal, the wine region is thrilled to be able to invite locals to enjoy our
valley’s abundance of local wines and escape from their everyday routines.
As you are welcomed back into the tasting rooms of each winery, you can be at ease that were all in the
same boat to implement health and safety precautions in accordance with the Provincial Health Officer
and WorksafeBC guidelines. To ensure the safety of ourselves and all who are visiting, every winery will
have different patterns and regulations of how their tasting rooms will operate. Therefore, you should
ensure to visit the winery’s websites to know how they are handling COVID regulations specifically.
Remember to always be conscious of social distancing two meters apart, and to use hand sanitizer
available. Some wineries will be operating taking walk ins and some will implement a by appointment
only policy to be able to accommodate their customers.
As the high wine season approaches, we are overjoyed to be able to be a destination for locals to get
outside and enjoy the beautiful valley we live in. Due to the safety of all of us, there will be a lack of
travelling tourists for Vancouver Island. This means that we are looking inward, to our locals, to really
make the wine experience about them.
There is going to be a learning curve to this summer season at the wineries for both the employees and
the customers. However, this new normal will make sure that our summers are not cancelled and that
we take a bit more time to take time and savour the Cowichan Valley.