Inland Empire wineries hoping Valentine's Day, Presidents Day weekend will boost business

TEMECULA, Calif. (KABC) -- With Valentine's Day and Presidents Day approaching, Southern California wineries are hoping to toast to a busy weekend.

Local vineyards and tasting rooms say they're ready to welcome visitors back with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Doffo Winery in Temecula is revved up and ready to welcome back customers to its unique tasting and showroom.

The winery was able to reopen after Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted stay-at-home orders - once again allowing for outdoor dining.

"Everyone is really excited that we are back open," said Damian Doffo of Doffo Winery. "I think that Temecula in general, especially our little winery has incredible views, we have plenty of space."

Wineries are gearing up for a big holiday weekend with Valentine's Day and Presidents Day offering Southern Californians a chance to escape the confines of being at home for views of vineyards.

"We just want to tell people that we have a beautiful space to come enjoy, relax, have a glass of wine in a safe environment," Doffo said.

Safety is top of mind with wineries going the extra mile to ensure the health and safety of both its employees and customers.

At Mt. Palomar Winery in Temecula, they are pairing COVID-19 guidelines with the guest experience.

"The biggest challenge working in the hospitality industry is trying to provide that quality service and connection to guests," said Evan Reuben of Mt. Palomar Winery. "And it's very difficult to do so from six feet away with a mask on, but we are doing our best to make sure everyone can remain safe and healthy, and still receive that quality service and a great glass of wine."

Wineries are hopeful with COVID-19 hospitalizations on the decline, coupled with vaccines, more visitors will feel comfortable returning.

To get them in the door, some wineries are offering an incentive. Doffo Winery says it is releasing several new wines and hopes people get the chance to enjoy them.
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