“I heard Oregon is requiring vaccine passports, is this true?”
Recently Oregon Department of Agriculture released their 2021 Oregon Ag statistics for the 2020 growing season. Included in that are the top agricultural commodities
. Oregon wine grapes ranked #8 at $157,900,000 as estimated by the Oregon Wine Board. What this does not take into consideration is all the peripheral industries that also benefit and contribute to the economic engine of Oregon’s wine industry. People come to Oregon from all over US and the world to enjoy the wine but then also spend money at local restaurants, hotels, rental car companies, gas station, etc. The spending power of the Oregon wine industry is much broader than the raw numbers in the report.
However, a new question looms over Oregon wineries and Oregon agritourism. Could the segregation of the COVID vaccinated vs. unvaccinated have an effect on the tourism Industry? It appears that some local wineries are not waiting for the State to follow other progressive locations such as LA and NY. They are taking the chance that mandating vaccine passports for entry on their own will be seen as a positive step for their business, employees and customers.
A few of the Oregon wineries that have taken these steps are:
- Rex Hill was established over 35 years ago and is now owned by the families behind A to Z Wineworks. According to their web site, “Rex Hill is now requiring proof of vaccination for all indoor tasting appointments. For those who do not wish to provide vaccine proof, outdoor patio and garden seating is available.”
- Ponzi Vineyards, a family owned and long established vineyard in Oregon has announced on their web site that, “Effective Monday, October 18th, 2021, we will require all guests to show proof of vaccination when visiting the winery.
- Adelsheim, the first winery in the Chehalem Mountains, is another vaccine passport winery. “Starting November 1st, proof of vaccination will be required for all guests visiting the winery.
- Domaine Drouhin, established in Oregon in 1987 with a family history dating back to the late 1880’s in the Burgundy region of France, has also decided to require proof of vaccination to wine taste: “all guests in the party, regardless of age, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or have a negative COVID test result taken within 72 hours of your visit.
Many out of state tourists are coming from states that have no vaccine mandates in place. So, in an effort to warn potential travelers, Travel Oregon has proactively addressed the issue on their web site
“I heard Oregon is requiring vaccine passports, is this true? No. Though, some businesses or attractions may ask to see proof of your vaccination status...If showing your vaccine card makes you uncomfortable, please have a backup plan ready”.
Realistically, however, how many non-vaccinated travelers wishing to visit Oregon would be willing to have a back up plan ready and what exactly is that? A negative at home COVID test done in a hotel room 72 hours prior to going wine tasting? If the visitor is here for 10 days, do they test multiple times or make sure that they have a detailed plan for which days they want to visit vax passport wineries vs. non-vax requirement wineries? Or do they just choose to take their tourism dollars to another state?
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The good news is that Oregon has so many wineries, large and small. Many of which are open for business and do not require visitors to share private medical information. A few of those are:
- Ankeney Vineyard, owned by Rod Phelan with more than 35 years of experience in a variety of agriculture sectors. They have a tasting room open 5 days a week with wine, wood-fired pizzas, appetizers, desserts and even beer for the non-wine tasters.
- Brooks Winery, with an amazing view of the Willamette Valley and a unique program that brings together their wine with other artisans from the local community and across the nation, offers up a beautiful tasting room without judgement.
- Coelho Winery, who’s owners Dave and Deolinda love to say that they are “farmers who make wine” moved to Oregon from the California San Joaquine Valley in 1991. They are currently welcoming guests daily for tasting, reservations preferred but not required.
- Willamette Valley Vineyards is Oregon’s only publicly traded winery on the NY Stock Exchange. Just outside of Salem, but with tasting rooms in Forest Gove at Tualatin Estate Vineyard, The McMinnville Tasting Room, and a location under construction in Dundee, there are multiple locations where you can taste without showing your vaccination status.
As Governor Brown continues to push the COVID vaccine mandate for state workers, and the Federal Government works through how to enforce the Presidents statement that every business in the US with 100 or more employees will require vaccinations, it will undoubtedly lead to more people acquiring a vaccine passport whether they want to or not. However, for those that value their medical freedom and medical privacy they may need to adjust expectations on their ability to enjoy Oregon’s beautiful wine country.
|Post Date: 2021-10-24 10:14:27||Last Update: 2021-10-24 14:12:33|