In another blow for the Australian wine industry, many Victorian wineries and cellar doors are being locked down again from tonight following a spike in Covid-19 cases in Melbourne.
Melbourne has recorded more than 600 new coronavirus cases in a week, prompting Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to impose a six-week lockdown in the Melbourne Metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire.
The affected wine regions include the Yarra Ranges and Mornington Peninsula.
Restaurants and bars in the lockdown area will be restricted to takeaway sales only.
It comes as cellar doors across Australia had reported strong patronage in recent weeks.
Residents in the affected areas will only be allowed to leave their home for work, education, exercise, for necessary goods or services or for medical or compassionate reasons.
Many Victorian wineries are gearing up for online sales again to get them through.
Rob Dolan Wines said on Instagram, “Well, suffice to say it’s not ideal, but we’re prepared and have you all sort for Iso round two.
“We’re re-launching free shipping with the code ‘supportsmall’ and will discount 10 percent and throw in a free puzzle of Merlot the wine dog when you buy a dozen wines.
“Stay safe and continue to support each other. Let’s get through this together.”
Ten Minutes by Tractor said on Instagram, “Unfortunately we have had to temporarily close our restaurant again.
“We will have to cancel all our bookings for the next six weeks. This may be extended if the lockdown continues beyond that point.
“We want to thank you for your ongoing support during these difficult times.”
Not all cellar doors in Victoria are affected by the lockdown.
Fowles Wine in the Strathbogie Ranges said on Instagram, “There is a lot of uncertainty around the new restrictions.
“We want to clarify that we will continue to stay open and serve meals for as long as we are allowed.
“Our Melbourne and Mitchell Shire friends will be dearly missed for the time being, but we can’t wait to see you dining with us again.”
The lockdown of restaurants and cafes in Melbourne is a setback for wineries that rely on the on-premise for sales.
There are now 860 active cases of Covid-19 in Victoria, according to the Department of Health.
South Australia has closed its borders to Victoria.
Photograph: Levantine Hill.