Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards
Written by the Symplicity team
Maritime Resilience is a series of stories on how local organizations are adapting to COVID-19.
Lightfoot & Wolfville is a largely seasonal business, so when the COVID-19 lockdown happened, event cancellations for the 2020 season started rolling in. According to assistant winemaker Rachel Lightfoot, the lockdowns also delayed the start to the season, which means an even shorter window than usual for business operations.
“Just like many businesses, we had to quickly find ways to adjust our offerings, including a smaller work team, a shorter season and fewer customers coming through the doors. It was a shock at first, but we knew we could push past the limits and do whatever was necessary to keep things running smoothly.”
Lightfoot said the changes they made to keep guests, staff and community safe presented a unique opportunity to focus on creating an even higher quality, exclusive guest experience because of the smaller onsite capacity. Wine tastings are now by appointment and take place on a new outdoor tasting terrace overlooking the picturesque Bay of Fundy. Led by one of Lightfoot & Wolfville’s knowledgeable Tasting Hosts, the private tastings have become an even more memorable, unique experience.
The team prepared the building for guests with spacing markers and measured capacities. They added customized touches, like using wine barrels and high tables to create more distance between groups of guests and signage to match the look and feel of the facility. New staff members were brought in to clean and sanitize the building and to greet guests and monitor the building capacity.
Lightfoot & Wolfville has been able to reopen its wine shop, and is now open for tastings and dining in. The team is in the process of determining what events they can safely offer this year. Lightfoot said they’ve been taking things step-by-step to ensure they get the health and safety considerations right.
With the Atlantic provinces bubble opening, Lightfoot added she’s hopeful she’ll see more first time visitors and tourists from out of province.