Local wineries see rise in sales during COVID-19 pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Alcohol sales have surged around the country, and local wineries are also seeing an uptick in sales.

Engelmann Cellars is among the local wineries dealing with a very different business environment.

Folks can't come in for wine tasting right now but they are still picking up their favorite wine selections.

"Some people for the most part, don't even get out of the car. We'll meet them in the parking lot if they really want to do it that way," says owner Bret Engelman.

Engelman says wine club members have been keeping the winery busy with many wines being delivered.

Engelmann Cellars is only open on weekends between 1-4 p.m.

Some people feel the need to take a short drive and pick up the wine themselves. Engelman says he noticed their demeanor changes once they arrive.

"You can only do such much Netflix and Hulu. You need social interaction so it is nice people are coming out. They'll talk for 5-10 minutes and then they'll take off," he says.

Engelman Cellars was supposed to begin its annual concert series in another week but the grounds will remain quiet. Bret Engelman doesn't know if any acts will perform this year.
"That's going to be a really big hit for us, to our economics of this business. Usually in those five months of summer is when
we do three-fourth of our annual sales," he says.

Engelmann offers several selections which can be delivered or picked up. He's counting on a good weekend.

"One, because more cabin fever is setting in. Two, the weather's going to be beautiful," he says.

Virtual wine-tasting is next.

Once your order comes in, Engelman joins you on Facebook or Instagram for a tasting and a little chat.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.