By Velena Jones

LINCOLN (CBS13) — One local winery in Lincoln is ready to pour a glass for customers starting Friday.

Wise Villa Winery is preparing to open its doors for the first time in two months after the state popped the cork, announcing that wineries that serve food in Placer County can reopen.

“Just calling our employees back, saying ‘Are you ready to come back to work were opening?’ They were so excited,” said Dr. Grover Lee, owner of Wise Villa Winery.

With a full restaurant, they are the only winery in the county that can meet the regulations, according to owner Dr. Grover Lee.

“My dream for a long, long time…before I did this, was to have wonderful food and wine experience, and now the state of California says you have to have wine with food and ‘I say okay!'” said Lee.

But before you raise your glass, there are some changes you need to know including no bar seating, wine tasting and limited seating availability.

“Not only do we have less seats, less tables. To turn a table is going to take more time for us in order to do all the regulations,” said Wise Villa Winery Manager, Allison Bayless.

According to Bayless, the winery has cut more than half of its seating. Instead of welcoming more than 200 people on a busy day, they are booking out at 45 people. The winery said they have plenty of room to social distance, with acres of space with outdoor seating.

“We are going to take this slow. We want to make sure we are doing everything right. We are being retrained and we are retraining our guest on how this needs to be for all of us to be safe,” she said.

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Deep cleanings will happen every night, employees will be required to take their temperature before working and wear mask and gloves. Another new rule is that guests will not be able to sit down unless their full party is there.

“We spent a whole day going over the rules. Like, we will have a receptionist going over a list of questions, so when someone comes in the door they have to answer the questions,” said Lee.

Despite the changes, Lee said he still wants guests to have a full-body experience.

“I want people to feel like ‘COVID what? Forget it’, Lee said. “You’re safe, clean and we are going to do our part to make sure that happens.”

Wise Villa is already fully booked for Saturday. The winery is encouraging customers to book reservations during this time.

Velena Jones

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