Winery Shares their Safety Procedures and Tips for Staying Open (The EventBuzz Podcast)

Winery Shares their Safety Procedures and Tips for Staying Open (The EventBuzz Podcast)

Wilson-Creek-Winery-Purplepass-podcastPodcast speakers: Savannah McIntosh (Purplepass Marketing Director) and Abby Trybulski (Guest Relations Manager). Jump to links and video notes below. 

The EventBuzz podcast: Wilson Creek Winery

presented by Purplepass

 

 

wilson-creek-winery-eating-pods

 

Podcast Transcript: Purplepass + Wilson Creek Winery

 

Savannah (Purplepass): 

Welcome to another episode of EventBuzz presented by Purplepass. Today, we're talking all about how this popular winery located in Temecula, California is keeping wine Wednesdays and every day for that matter, alive during COVID.

We will be discussing different ways they're currently running safe tastings and tours, events they're offering to customers, and other procedures being put in place in order to keep the winery open. I would like to welcome our guests for today's episode Abby, the Guest Relations Manager for Wilson Creek Winery.

So let's jump right in. Have you start by telling the listeners about the winery and why it's been called one of the best wineries in Temecula, California.

 

Abby (Wilson Creek Winery):

Okay, well, that's my pleasure to do. We have been in existence for 20 years now. We are a family run winery, and we have 90 acres, 70 of them are clumped with grapes. And we make several different varieties.

And we are family owned and operated and there's 245 of us that all feel like family that work here.

 

Savannah:

Awesome. Yeah, you definitely your as a social media that definitely makes it look like it's a big family.

 

Abby:

It is fun. Yes. You know, we're known for our family fun and philanthropic ways here, because we make people feel so at home and that's why we have thousands of people that visit us every week.

 

Savannah:

Awesome. And what are some of the events and activities that are currently available at the winery?

 

Abby:

So it's tough for events right now, because of this COVID of course, I'm sure everybody's suffering with that same thing. But we do have Winter Wonderland coming up where the whole place will be decorated and we'll be open Thursday nights, Friday nights and Saturday nights until 8pm. And we'll just have gorgeous lights and fun drink specials, hot chocolate and for your kids with peppermint sticks, and Wassail, which is a gorgeous wine beverage that is made, it's a hot mulled beverage. So that's kind of fun. And it's mulled, m.u.l.l.e.d not like mold like so.

And every every day that you're on this property, one of the owners, if not all of the family members are here. So I think that's what makes us so different, too. But we have micro weddings, Savannah that are 30 or less and it's a two hour timeframe. And that includes their ceremony, their food and their bar.
But the only music we can have right now is the piped in music from the stereo.

 

Savannah:

Yeah. Are you guys also still doing like tastings and tours?

 

Abby:

So we don't do tours at the moment, unless it's a private tour. So if someone wants to get engaged, they can set up a private tour and then they'll get engaged at the end of that. So that's a nice surprise tour. Or if you're coming in as a company and you know all the people 20 people or less, then you can book a tour, but we don't have individual tours at the moment. During regular times of course we have tours all day, Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Savannah:

Gotcha and no like tastings or if I were to come in with friends?

 

Abby:

You better come and see us because we have tastings all over the property. We've made bars outside everything's outside our restaurant, our tastings. Everything is outdoors. So we have probably 21 different bars where you could wine taste.

 

Savannah:

Oh, fun. Yeah, I need to come. And I know part of the experience of going to the winery, is of course, the onsite dining experience. Are you guys, are you still open, the restaurants are still open?

 

Abby:

We're definitely open. Again, we have two different dining experiences. We have our Creekside grill, that's a full menu and then on Sundays, it is a lunch menu from 10 until four o'clock, and then they have brunch breakfast items that you could purchase.

And then the rest of the week, it's open also Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights until eight.

So we're sanitizing in between each person and we don't allow any outside food. We have 25% of our tables available. So reservations do fill up quick. And we don't allow more than 10 people to have a reservation. Our tables are socially distant six feet apart. And we're also doing the contactless menus that you'll see at many of the popular restaurants.

So you know less touching of things and then we also change the glasses in between. So if you ordered a second glass of wine, they used to just fill up your cup. Now they take bring you a no glass full of wine.

 

Savannah:

Gotcha. And pretty much everything has been moved outdoors.

 

Abby:

That's right. Everything is outside. We don't have anything indoors at all.

 

Savannah:

Oh, nice. I was gonna ask about that. And I know the venue is also known for, at least use to, you guys hosted a lot of events, a lot of concerts and performances. I wanted to ask, I know it's very hard because we don't know what's going to happen. But have you guys talked about eventually when those concerts, those in person events may be returning? Or have you considered doing a virtual concerts or streams?

 

Abby:

Oh, we haven't considered the virtual concert or streams yet. But we're talking about our concert series coming back in May of 2021. So we're hoping that that happens. We don't have anybody who is actually booked yet. But it's giving us something to look forward to.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, because you guys had some pretty good ones and you a lot.

 

Abby:

Yes, yes. And our last one was Lauren Alaina, I think, yeah. We're always busy with about 1700 people at a concert. So we just have to really figure out that's with them at concert seating next to each other. So we would have to figure that out how we would social distance them maybe put them at tables, 6 feet apart?

 

Savannah:

Yeah. Would you do like less capacity to?

 

Abby:

Mm hmm, we could maybe do that, as well. So yeah, we missed, we missed the concerts, and we missed the big weddings, and we're doing the very best we can and keeping that positive attitude and keeping that family feel. We're still getting record numbers of people that still come and visit us.

 

Savannah:

That's amazing, like, great for you guys.

 

Abby:

Because I think it's because we have such a large courtyard where we can get open all these bars.

 

Savannah:

And I mean, who doesn't want to sit outside? You know? So yeah. No one's complaining.

One of the biggest questions from talking to you, we put out this podcast to our listeners, and most of them are event planners or people in your shoes. Do you have any advice for other event coordinators, wineries out there looking for ways to slowly start opening their venues and tastings in a safe way like you guys have?

 

Abby:

Well, we take temperatures when guests arrive here. And we have pods and those are places of drinking, that we have hosts that escort our guests to the pods so people can't just walk up and get a wine tasting or stick their arm into somebody else's pod that might be drinking there. So I just recommend really following the CD guidelines, like everybody else's, because no, we certainly don't want another shut down.

And we want to keep people as safe as we can just like everybody else. But the only way to get everything back up and running is for everybody to follow the social guidelines.

 

Savannah:

Yeah. And when you say pods, because I've seen these on the news, and they're actually like enclosed. Is that what you are referring to or no?

 

Abby:

So ours are not enclosed. There they are large table long table that you would serve a banquet on six foot or eight foot. And then we have barrel staves, is a long barrel piece that you would put a barrel together with that holds the barrels together. And you know, you need to be on either side of that.

 

Savannah:

Make sense

 

Abby:

You have to stand between the six feet. I wish I could show you but I don't know my video is not working to show we do it. But I actually after you're done talking to me go ahead and send me like all these photos because I want to share that to like what everything you guys have been doing and I can put that on our blog and social media.

 

Abby: Okay, I would love to do that.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, go ahead and send me that and I'll put it with this podcast. So people when they're listening can if they're curious and go up, go on and look.

 

Abby:

Okay, I'd love to do that.

 

Savannah: 

I did have one more question for you actually don't know if you would know this or not. But I saw on your social media. It was a while back you guys did like a virtual mixology session live.

 

Abby: 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's really fun because we have a couple of wonderful guys that work for us. Their names are Mossy, and Chris and they're probably one of our most popular servers. And they have special drinks that they make. They call them the Unicorn or a little dicey, I know, but the Panty Dropper and things like that. And so they make up these names.

And then they make up these recipes and they actually brought them all of the ingredients besides the wines, because we can't have alcohol here. We can only have wine, that's our license. And so if anybody misses any of our virtual tastings, or the mixology classes, you can reach it at Wilson Creek Winery on our Facebook page.

Or we have a Wilson Creek Weiner YouTube channel, so people can watch them on that.

 

Savannah:

So they're free, it's free to watch?

 

Abby:

It's definitely free to watch, we recommend that people go and buy and purchase the wines so that they can actually do what what the guys are recommending. So they can do it at the same time.

 

Savannah:

And that's for the virtual tastings as well, they would deliver probably order the wine?

 

Abby:

Yes!

 

Savannah:

Oh, that's cool.

 

Abby:

Just order the wine online and then you can watch the virtual tasting, it's kind of a fun thing to do if you're like having, you know, a group of your friends over only a six to eight people. And you've been with them, you know, or you could watch it over Thanksgiving and you could try two different wines for the virtual tastings with your meal, something like that.

 

Savannah:

And it's just the the tastings, of course has like a host that controls the event?

 

Abby:

Yes, of course.

 

Savannah:

And that's all on on your site as well and YouTube.

 

Abby: 

Yes.

 

Savannah:

That's cool. I actually didn't know you guys were doing the virtual tasting. So that's a surprise.

 

Abby:

Yes so there you have it. That's something new for you to do with your friends.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, I'll look into that too. And the mixology and that they're just kind of giving like different the recipes and how they're doing it and people can follow along. Right?

 

Abby:

That's right.

 

Savannah:

And how long have you guys been doing these little virtual activities?

 

Abby:

You know, what, just since about May, probably of last year?

 

Savannah:

And what I mean, are you involved in those?

 

Abby:

I'm not particularly involved except for I watch him and and sip along. Yeah, that's usually our Director of sale. His name is Ryan McCormick, or we have a Wilson or Gus, our wine maker, Greg Pennyroyal. He's our person who does our, he takes care of our venues. He does them sometimes. And then of course, we had Mossy and Chris do the mixology class because they're cute to look at and they have great ideas.

 

Savannah: 

Okay, I'll definitely be watching this. And maybe I'll get in contact with one of the people you mentioned, to talk more about how they're doing the virtual events. And, okay, I mean, short and sweet. I think those were all the questions, I kind of wanted to ask you. Any other advice, tips for people out there and in your situation, or any challenges you've had to overcome that might be worth mentioning so people don't make the same mistake?

 

Abby:

The challenge is right now is trying to keep people with their masks on, um, because you lose your inhibition once you start drinking and so you just want to just go to the restroom and or mask at your table. But we need to wear them and we still need to sanitize in between.

But really, I just we're just following the CDC guidelines, the best way that we can and that's what I would recommend for everybody to do. So we're on the same page.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, exactly.

 

Abby:

Yeah, we just have to remind everyone that listening to come here, but that might be a lot of people. I hope so. That's our goal.

 

Savannah: 

I hope so too. I'm glad I'm glad you guys are still super busy.

 

Abby:

Yes, we are too, but not every guest is glad that we're super busy. So we feel bad for them, but we will often wonder if they're gonna complain. You know what, please stay home. You know, like, we want to make this as best experience for everybody, but we don't want to make anybody miserable. And it is still busy. So you got to come and visit us.

 

Savannah:

I definitely have to come and  the Winter Wonderland sounds fun!

 

Abby:

Yes, you could stay till eight o'clock at night. And also, we have a vacation rental across the way that sleeps 24 people. So you could bring 24 of your best friends that you know are COVID free and rent it overnight.

 

Savannah:

Oh, yeah, I was gonna ask her. Are you allowed to do that? Because that's a pretty big group.

 

Abby:

Yes. 20 would be better. The rooms do sleep 24 people and so it is it's nine sleeping rooms. Oh, that's cool. Yeah.

 

Savannah:

And when people like for the winter wonderland event so people get there. Are they allowed to walk around or they stay at their tables or?

 

Abby:

Yeah, we are allowing people to walk around but when they do make a reservation in the restaurant, we're asking that people do stay seated. Unless they have to go to the restroom and not you know visit with other tables and things like that.

 


 

Video notes and links

Wilson Creek Winery:  

About the winery

Wilson Creek Winery restaurants 

Mixology classes and tastings

Upcoming events

Resources: 

Planner's guide for hosting a virtual tasting experience 

New Auto Social Distancing tool for safe seating

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