MIDDLEBURG, Va. (WDVM) — As many know, wine is one of Virginia’s largest industries, and with the impact of the pandemic, many wineries have had to shift their energy toward accommodating guests for the upcoming colder months.
“We’ve got picnic tables and we’ve got tables with umbrellas, so it was easy for us to keep people separated, but what we’ve done by procedure has been really well received by the public,” said Jennifer McCloud, owner of Chrysalis Vineyards.
Chrysalis Vineyards has covered tables in plastic for easier cleaning and is placing fluorescent river rocks on each table to signal to guests it’s clean.
“Trying to keep people as comfortable as possible, certainly keeping them safe, and of course we have the draws here, we’re not just a winery,” expressed McCloud.
Loudoun has lots to offer, encouraging people to get out, enjoy the views, and support local businesses like Chrysalis Vineyards that work hard to offer a memorable experience.
“So we have eight cheeses in production, we’re licensed as a restaurant in Loudoun County, so we have a rotating hearth over where we’re making flatbreads and delicious artisan pizzas with our own cheeses,” said McCloud.
Over at 50 West Vineyards, owner Mike Canney has made it a priority to keep guests warm and cozy by the fire and safe all at the same time.
“Being a farm winery, we have a lot of space. So we’ve set up tents outside, heated tents, we also have firepits… A lot of people have come out and spread out on the property, with firepits. They bring their children or dogs, but again, spread out. But I think it’s just part of being humanity that people have really liked,” said Canney.
Although business has been good for both vineyards in warmer months, Both McCloud and Canney worry about temperatures dropping.
“As it gets colder, it is going to be a little harder for us and for everyone else,” expressed Canney.
Loudoun county has provided grants to 53 small businesses to help offset some costs this winter.
“What we realized going into October and November is that what we call our touch base businesses, businesses that rely on personal contact for their revenue stream were going to have an added issue going into the colder months,” said Colleen Kardasz, assistant director of Loudoun County Economic Development.
McCloud and Canney are both grateful for the county’s help.
“The county has been very supportive of wineries, breweries, and restaurants, other businesses. I think it’s been very helpful that they have set up a grant program that they recently issued to help businesses that have to spend extra money to attract people,” stated Canney.
Loudoun has made sure every bit of allotted CARES funding goes to the right places to encourage economic growth within the county.
“In the grand scheme, we are going to do everything we can to help our small businesses, they are the lifeblood of any community. These businesses are hurting and they need us to be there for them,” said Kardasz.
Many wineries plan to be open throughout the winter, so you might just have to take a trip out to wine country.