Dumas Station and COVID-19
Authored by: Jay DeWitt, Vigneron/Managing Winemaker
I thought there might be interest among you regarding the impacts this virus outbreak is having on our lives and business here at Dumas Station. One of my mentors taught me, “business is solving problems.” Wow! We have a bunch of new ones to solve. I have enjoyed problem solving and I’m sure that’s why I have so enjoyed the boutique wine business. This new set of problems has been disruptive for everyone, including our team. I am proud to report that after a couple of days of shock and adjustment, we are inspired to apply our best efforts to adapt to this new set of problems. We thank you in advance for your continued support during this difficult time.
It is challenging to sort through all of the noise to find good factual information. Guidance seems to change daily. Those of you who know us well know we here at Dumas are “information junkies”. In this blog, we will link you to the best information we’ve found about the current situation, and explain how the information is guiding our decisions.
For sure: the best defense against the spread of the virus is proper sanitation and social distancing.
Proper sanitation is essential to winemaking. We normally employ several sanitation techniques as we go about our daily practices. We use a liquid mixture of acids and neutralizers that eliminate 99.999% of all microbes on contact. We use this liquid on all equipment, winery surfaces, and our hands on a routine basis throughout the winery day. We also carry aerosol bottles containing a 75% ethanol solution with us as we work, for constant sanitation of everything that comes in contact with the wine.
Coronavirus requires additional precautions. CLICK this link for information on virus survival in the general environment.
It is believed the virus can remain viable on hard surfaces for several days and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. Our normal sanitizing processes involve daily winery and hand cleaning; when we pack wine for shipment, we are now adding the step of wearing latex gloves to ensure that sanitation extends to the packaging.
As reported above, coronavirus can remain viable suspended in vapor droplets from a sneeze or cough for 3-4 hours. CLICK this link to learn more.
What does this mean for us?
Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. Clearly the state requirement to close our tasting room is warranted. In response, we are closing the tasting room and limiting our customer engagement to offering sales-only of wine, during our regular hours, but there will be no wine tasting until the closure is lifted.
- All employees who have had any contact with an individual who is symptomatic, or who are symptomatic themselves, will stay home
- Employees will sanitize their hands at regular intervals during the workday
- Gloves will be worn when packing wine in UPS boxes
- All work surfaces will be kept uncluttered, and sanitized regularly with our ethanol bottles
- Employees will maintain a 6-foot “social distance” from other employees and from customers
- Curbside delivery will be offered for customers who do not wish to enter the winery building
So, we plan to be “creatively” open during normal operating hours so you can still get wine while staying as safe as possible — wine that might be a much needed bright spot in these dark days! From Thursday through Sunday, 11am – 5pm, someone will be at the winery. If you order online, or call us, we’ll process your order; then just let us know when you’ll be by to pick up your wines, and we’ll bring them to your car when you arrive.
We’re also offering FREE delivery of 3 or more bottles in Walla Walla, Dayton, Waitsburg, College Place, and Milton-Freewater.
Should you need wine shipped, we’re offering FREE shipping for all wine purchases of 3 or more bottles.
Please keep your family close and stay safe. We will look forward to a glorious celebration at the end of this pandemic … so stay healthy!