By Ryan Hill

PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — It’s something that’s been a long time coming for wineries in El Dorado County: allowing customers back indoors.

“Certainly, we want to go back to how the norm used to be in some way. So being able to be inside again, it gives people that feeling of being home again,” Amber Frere, general manager at Via Romano Winery, said.

On Tuesday, El Dorado County was moved from the red tier to the orange tier in California’s reopening tiered system. Many have been leaving their homes to come to Via Romano and other wineries in the county for outside tastings.

The El Dorado Winery Association said adding this extra space can mean more people coming in for visits both indoor and outdoor, leading to more customers and hopefully boosting their profits.

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“Having the indoor space is going to be essential for us because we have had losses during this time with not being able to have as much capacity as possible,” Frere said.

“Keeping in mind the safety of all of customers but, yes, it is helping bring in additional customers and additional revenue,” Kara Sather, executive director of El Dorado Winery Association, said.

Some potential customers could see themselves sitting down again inside enjoying a nice glass of vino.

“We are social distancing and we’re wearing masks. So I think we’re taking all of the precautions necessary,” Daria Vanderlinden said.

“I think that the wineries can be trusted to me feel safe,” Vanessa Baker said.

It’s also safe for the future of this foothills industry.

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“We’re really hoping that this will help us especially with the winter season coming up to help make up for some of those months that we haven’t been able to have the indoor capacity,” Frere said.

“It’s a big bonus and big help for our region,” Sather said.

The El Dorado Winery Association is asking people to reserve times of when they plan to visit wineries. That way social distancing can be handled more effectively.

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