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Brewvine: Chateau Chantal

COVID-19 has changed the way the wineries on Old Mission Peninsula have to operate.

In this week’s Brewvine, Whitney Amann and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson show us what is doing to keep customers and staff safe, as they head into one of their busiest months.

“You know we are one of the really lucky ones we have so much outdoor seating that we’ve been able to adapt and utilize that outdoor seating for ample social distancing and still allowing each one of our guests to take in the beautiful scenery that we’ve become so popular for,” said ’s director of marketing Kyle Brownley.

In order to enjoy the picture perfect views from the deck at this fall, the winery is asking all of its guests to plan ahead so they can be prepared.

“We are operating on 100% reservation system right now so in order to come out and have a glass of wine or a tasting flight, just make reservations online,” he said. “You can stop into the tasting room, pick up your flight or your glass and then head on outside and once you get to your table you’re able to take off your mask and kind of relax as you would normally.”

Wine-lovers are really going to need those reservations as color tours and the grape harvest draw thirsty customers out to the wineries.

“Historically, October tends to be our busiest month of the year so people love to come up and see all the different colors change, as well as our vineyard that’s when we start harvest so we tend to be all hands on deck across the entire organization,” said Kyle. “With that said, we are going to have to do things a little differently. We’re continuing to do the reservations, we will have some availability to set up inside on a much shorter capacity and then we’ll still have our outdoor reservations but just making sure that all of our guests are prepared for that and knowing you know this is Northern Michigan so bring a jacket, dress in layers.”

While things may look a bit different from previous years, and their guests are glad to be getting through this together.

“Most of the guests have been really amicable with everything that we’re asking to do because they understand that it’s also for their safety and the safety of our employees,” he said. “So everybody’s been really great about that, people really enjoy being able to just get back to that little bit of a sense of normalcy at least for an hour or so.”