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Wine Country Officially Reopens for Indoor Wine Tastings

Napa, Sonoma, and Contra Costa counties are moving into the orange tier

Sparkling rose from Mumm Napa Mumm Napa

Napa, Sonoma, and Contra Costa counties all confirmed that they are officially moving into the orange tier on April 7. That means that as of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, restaurants in those counties can expand indoor dining to 50 percent capacity; bars may reopen for outdoor drinking without food; and other restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining are loosened. But the big news for wine country — just in time to welcome spring visitors — is that wineries, breweries, and distilleries will be able to open indoors at 25 percent capacity, or up to 100 people, no meals required.

This wine country reopening news is partly overshadowed by the statewide announcement that, provided current trends continue, California will fully reopen on June 15 — completely doing away with the colored tiers, and reopening the economy for business as usual.

In the meantime, Napa, Sonoma, and Contra Costa are joining the majority of Bay Area counties that are already in the orange tier. The only exception is Solano, which remains in the red. “This is great news for our community,” said Diane Burgis, chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, in a statement. “The last few months have been difficult for everyone and it’s nice to see us make more progress in the fight against COVID.”

Dr. Karen Relucio, the Napa county public health officer, sounded a more cautious note, according to the Napa Valley Register. “Our overarching goal is to remain orange,” she told the Napa County Board of Supervisors, in anticipation of the tier announcement. “We don’t want this to be short-lived.”

Napa was anticipated to move into the orange tier earlier, but was delayed due to an outbreak in a veteran’s home, which drove cases up. Napa is currently seeing 10.4 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Register. Contra Costa confirmed it is currently seeing 4.9 cases per 100,000 people, and hospitalizations reached their lowest point since October.

For a full list of the activities allowed under the orange tier, check out the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.