North Stonington winery adjusting to post-pandemic business model

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NORTH STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The tasting room at the Jonathan Edwards Winery looks a little bit different these days.

X’s on the floor mark off of six-foot distances and tables are now in front of the counter to keep that same distance from servers.

You can still grab a glass of wine or a bottle, but no actual tastings are taking place during the pandemic. They say it’s just safer that way.

“It’s an awkward six feet away,” said General Manager and co-founder Jonathan Edwards as he leaned across the two surfaces to serve a glass of wine. “But you have your wine, we’ve done our transaction, and then we come in and clean everything behind you.”

Edwards has had to get creative during this time of no weddings, musical events, or the big harvest festival in the fall.

“That would be something that we would see between three and four thousand people over the weekend,” said Edwards.

Instead curbside pick up, delivery, and shipping have become staples.

“That’s been a big change in our business model the fact that we now ship to 20 different states, and that’s really taken off,” said Edwards. 

Related: Wineries push to sell their product at grocery stores

Because this is a working farm employees have been able to continue to work during the pandemic.

“Basically agriculture in general I think people are really starting to appreciate the importance of local homegrown foods and wines,” said Edwards.

While at first, he wasn’t so sure what the pandemic would bring, he now knows what changes work and is seeing customers return. “Yeah we were nervous,” said Edwards.

Patrons can sip their wine at a safe distance both inside and out. 

“One of the nice things about vineyards is that we have a lot of space,” said Edwards.

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