Slow winter season and COVID-19 impacts wineries

Local News

PALISADE, Colo. — Sipping wine while listening to music from a stereo can be fun, but Philip Patton, owner of Peachfork Orchard and Vineyard, thinks there is something better. He says, “it’s just not the same as a little live band.”

Winter at the winery is typically slow, so Peachfork entices wine-lovers with casual concerts. However, the pandemic has restricted those gatherings. Even with a 5-star Variance, Peachfork is limited to about 10 people inside, and so, there is not enough room for a band.

In the warmer months. the winery takes advantage of its outdoor space. It books dozens of tasting sessions, and invites a band to play, but the orchard and vineyard says it’s harder to sell out in the winter, mostly because of the cooler temperature. However, Peachfork says it cannot justify purchasing outdoor tents or heaters to attract business another way during these winter months.

Although the winery thinks the COVID travel ban boosted business this summer, Peachfork still doesn’t have unlimited funds and was forced to cut employee hours. Patton says, “the shutdown hurt us. Not going to Winefest hurt us. I’m hurt, but the hourly people, they’re hurt the most.”

Therefore, Peachfork says it would benefit from a little federal help.

According to Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy (R), assistance may be coming soon. He said on FOX News Sunday, “President Trump has indicated he would sign a $908 billion COVID relief package, and there is only one $908 billion package out there, and that’s ours.” Sen. Cassidy also said neither President Trump no Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have officially said they will support the relief bill, but Sen. Cassidy says more information will be made available this week.

Thus, when the relief funds eventually roll in, Peachfork thinks the additional money would warrant the right to winterize its outdoor space with tents or heaters.

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