Central Okanagan wineries are reporting a decline in sales to local restaurants in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We haven’t been impacted that much by the COVID-19 so far, apart from restaurant sales,” said David Paterson, general manager of Tantalus Vineyards in Kelowna
“With all of the local restaurants closing, obviously no one is going to be ordering wine.”
To incentivize more sales, Patterson said his business will be offering free shipping to Canadian customers who buy his wine online.
Patterson said he also expects his business to be delivering less wine to local businesses in the coming weeks.
“A lot of the business we deliver to were quite well stocked up a week ago,” said Paterson.
“However in two weeks from now when we’d normally be reordering to them, that’s when we’ll see a reduction around how much wine is being delivered out the door.”
In a statement, Quails Gate said its also reporting a decline in sales due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“With the closing of restaurants and the downturn in tourism and winery visits, sales in these two channels have certainly been impacted,” said the winery.
Local restaurant staff have also been notified that they’ll be temporarily laid off as the COVID-19 crisis looms on.
Despite the decline in sales, Okanagan wineries will now be able to fill some of their vacant agricultural roles after the federal government announced they’d be allowing seasonal workers to enter and work in the country.
Paterson said he’s hopeful his winery won’t be impact too much by the COVID-19 crisis.
“We will survive the best we can.”