CALIFORNIA—On Wednesday, July 1, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered that all wineries in 19 counties across California had to close. Napa County, home to a winery that Newsom owns, is not one of the 19 counties.
Besides wineries, establishments that need to close indoor operations are restaurants, zoos, museums, movie theaters, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, and cardrooms. Bars must cease all operations. The California Department of Public Health claims that the closures are taking place because “COVID-19 cases are spreading at alarming rates in some California counties that have been on the County Monitoring List for 3+ days.”
Newsom’s winery—”hidden in Oakville, the heart of Napa Valley cabernet country”—is called PlumpJack Winery, and it remains open for business. There are two wine-tasting “experiences” offered: a 45-minute “Current Release Tasting” for $50, and a 90-minute “Hilltop Tasting” for $80.
PlumpJack Winery, CADE Winery, Odette Estate, and the 13th vineyard by CADE are four wineries owned by the PlumpJack Group. A viral conversation between a prospective customer and a PlumpJack Winery representative revealed that wine-tasting sessions at all four locations on Saturday, July 4 were fully-booked.
Tax filings from 2018 reportedly show that Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel-Newsom, own stock in the PlumpJack Group. Besides the four wineries, the group owns five restaurants and bars, three retail outlets, seven event spaces, and a boutique hotel.
As of Friday, July 3, Napa County has reported a total of 388 COVID-19 cases, and 4 COVID-19-related deaths. There have been almost 255,000 COVID-19 cases in total in the state of California, and 6,313 related deaths.