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Fraser Valley winery adapts to COVID-19 with wine tasting domes

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Abbotsford's Singletree Winery has opened up two transparent domes outside their tasting room. But you're already out of luck for a Valentine's Day reservation – Jan 17, 2021

A winery in B.C.’s Fraser Valley has come up with an innovative way to say afloat amid COVID-19 restrictions.

With its tasting room capacity significantly reduced, Abbotsford’s Singletree Winery has opened a pair of geodesic domes on its property that can be booked for private wine tastings.

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“It’s difficult when the capacity inside your tasting room is reduced to less than half (and) you do have to do things by reservation. It’s been challenging to keep that interest,” co-owner Debbie Estell said.

Would-be tipplers can book a dome for a 90-minute window, after which staff spend 30 minutes sanitizing it before the next customer.

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The domes can accommodate up to six people, but only if they are from a single household, as per provincial health order.

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The domes are heated, and each has a different theme.

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Singletree server Jenni Hunter, a flight attendant by trade, signed on with the winery when the airline industry was virtually grounded by the pandemic.

Read more: One in 10 B.C. wineries, grape growers at risk of closing due to COVID-19 pandemic: survey

She said most visitors have been looking for a way to break the monotony of COVID-19 restrictions.

“It’s a way that people can get out of their places in Vancouver, in town here. It’s safe,” she said.

“Everyone needs a thing to do right now.”

Estell said the response has been overwhelming, with the two domes already booked through valentines day.

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