Roie Manoff of Silkscarf Winery in Summerland pours a glass of wine in this file photo. Wineries in Summerland are now in the process of opening their tasting rooms to the public. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland tasting rooms opening to the public

Bottleneck Drive members following provincial guidelines as they reopen

The 20 tasting rooms in Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive have been unlocking their doors for the 2020 season as part of the province’s restart plan.

The region was ready to open officially for the season in mid-April, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the beverage tasting rooms were forced to shut down and operate online only.

Popular annual events like the sold-out Grand Sommelier Express has also been cancelled for this year, but the region will relaunch the 2021 event with ticket sales announced this fall.

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Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive Association members have found new ways to engage with the public during the April and May shutdown of the region.

The association launched a new campaign called #SummerlandSips, encouraging fans to share what they are sipping from the region with a picture on social media using this hashtag.

In addition, Bottleneck Drive created a YouTube channel to bring virtual tastings from its member wineries, cideries and distillery to guests at home.

“Our tasting rooms are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Summerland. Guests will be some of the first to sample an array of wines, ciders and spirits that have just been released this spring,“ said Rick Thrussell, president of Bottleneck Drive.

New protocols will be in place at every tasting room, following guidelines set out by the province, Worksafe BC and the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch.

Reservations are recommended but not always mandatory – so visitors are encouraged to call in advance to plan their tastings.

Bottleneck Drive is an association made up of 15 wineries, four cideries and a distillery in Summerland.

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