Personal Safety and Production Efficiency in Wineries Going Forward
May 14, 2020
In the new business world we live in during the Covid-19 crisis, webinars and Zoom meetings have become important tools for communicating between businesses and individuals. In the wine industry, it is not surprising that many of those meetings have focused on various ways to sell wine to consumers and keep wineries going financially. Now that states are beginning to remove some of the restrictions that have kept many businesses closed, including winery tasting rooms and restaurants, it is important for owners and winemakers to look at how they can maintain safe winemaking operations and plan for harvest in a post-Covid-19 work environment.
Dr. Abby Snyder is an assistant professor of microbial food safety at Cornell University who specializes in food safety education. She wanted to help the wine industry in some way, and contacted Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield, associate professor of enology at Cornell, and Dr. Beth Chang, enology extension specialist at Virginia Tech. The three women have set up a webinar focused on personnel management and winemaking operations that will take place on Monday, May 18, 2020 from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. (Eastern time), followed by a half hour for questions and answers.
Chang told Wine Business Monthly that the webinar “will provide a comprehensive overview of sanitation, personnel management and good manufacturing practices wineries have in place or that should be in place to minimize transmission of the virus during winery operations.” She noted that while many wineries were able to conduct online sales and/or curbside pick-up of wine, the winemaking operations frequently were closed down. “Bottling was affected and pretty much shut down,” she said, “partly because no mobile bottling lines from out of state could come in [to Virginia].”
While government and the wine industry have provided recommendations for opening restaurants and tasting rooms, the webinar will focus on winemaking operations, according to Chang. “It’s a lot to cover in one hour. We want to give an overview of the best practices to implement to fit the size of the operation, from a winery run by two people to 20,000-case wineries. We also are looking at harvest – how do we get through harvest while protecting workers from the next virus outbreak.”
Registration is available for the webinar through the following link:
After registering, the attender will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.