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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 Vineyards is a family-owned and operated biodynamic farm, winery, and event venue. The winery produces quality driven wines that proudly express their origin. The hospitality facility was designed to bring people together to celebrate life’s special moments and connect them to the land. As a wedding and event venue, and through a wine shop, wine tastings and the farm-to-table restaurant onsite guests can enjoy the magic of the Annapolis Valley, just a short drive from Halifax.

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.

“Reopening to the public was very exciting. We were eager to welcome our community back once we were confident we could offer them a comfortable and safe experience. We saw the smaller capacity as a chance to make the experience more memorable for guests to really enjoy the atmosphere and take time to really learn about the wines and how they’re made.”
Lightfoot & Wolfville reopened in stages, following the restrictions and guidelines in place at the time. The team started with local, contactless home deliveries of wine as well as shipping across Canada. They then added curbside wine pick-up with some take home food options.

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.

“We wanted to be able to offer our guests all of the experiences right away, the wine shop, tastings, tours, food, events. But, we quickly learned to take things slowly and open things up one at a time so that the whole team’s thoughts and efforts were behind each step. This has allowed us to carefully think through the guest experience and safety at each step.”

With the Atlantic provinces bubble opening, Lightfoot added she’s hopeful she’ll see more first time visitors and tourists from out of province.

“We’re excited to see what changes might come our way with new guests visiting. Safety is of the utmost importance always but this year especially. We will be following along with guideline and restriction changes and will be constantly rethinking how to offer our guests the best possible experience when they’re with us.”

Lightfoot & Wolfville is offering beautiful outdoor and indoor guest experiences for wine tastings and more.

Check out their website or social media to book your tasting!

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