Napa Valley Winery Sues to Reopen Tasting Rooms

Turns out vineyards without dine-in food are currently out of luck

Wine from Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley
Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley is not happy with California's reopening plans.
Didriks / Flickr Creative Commons
By Kirk Miller / May 30, 2020 7:30 am

Tasting room closures are creating economic havoc for the wine industry, as they can account for up to half of a vineyard’s income.

As Wine Spectator reported, the closures don’t necessarily hit everyone equally. Which is why Napa Valley’s Caymus Vineyards has filed a lawsuit against California’s governor and public health officer.

As the Caymus complaint notes, tasting rooms have been allowed to be open “if, and only if, they also provide ‘sit-down, dine-in meals … the orders provide no explanation for this requirement. Any winery that does not—or, under local ordinances, cannot—provide such meals may not reopen.”

Wineries in some places like Sonoma and Santa Barbara could open as of May 23, but had to offer both food and outdoor seating. Napa is not in that reopening phase as of yet … but the area has made it difficult to impossible to legally offer full-service meals.

“Napa Valley is being treated differently than other parts of the state,” said Caymus proprietor Chuck Wagner. “It’s mainly the inequity of how we’re being treated that bothers me. We’ve reached out to the state for answers and cannot get them.”

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