Our COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 situation has caused a great shift in everyday life, and we’re updating our operations accordingly. We’re right here with you, and will keep this page updated as our offerings change/progress with the situation at hand. Below is a complete guide to how we will handle things internally, how we are interacting with our customers, employees, and the general public, as well as tasting protocols. We hope that the transparency here will limit the confusion as you come into the tasting room. The below is subject to change without notice, and without updating this page. Thank you.



In order to safely and effectively reopen our “customer facing” business operations during the initial phases of reopening of “New York on Pause” within the Finger Lakes region, Fulkerson Winery will implement the following procedures and policies effective immediately for all non-production workers.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, including:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (i.e., experiencing fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this type of asymptomatic transmission with this new coronavirus, but this is also not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

The CDC website provides the latest information about COVID-19 transmission: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about

Section I : Staff safety, distancing and PPE usage.

Staff, first and foremost will, be trained on the symptoms, signs, and general guidance of reopening by the CDC, WHO and OSHA as pertains to stopping the spread of COVID-19. As well as performing at home assessments as guided by the above institutions.

Fulkerson Winery mandates that sick employees are to stay home:

  • Employees who have symptoms should notify their supervisor and stay home.
  • Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers.
  • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and follow CDC recommended precautions.

The implementation of a plan to actively social distance (keeping a minimum of 6 feet apart) shall occur starting immediately.

Employees, whenever possible, must maintain a minimum six feet of distance from other employees to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within the work environment.

The likely sources of COVID-19 introduction into Fulkerson Winery are from the following:

  • Customers
  • The general public
  • Delivery/courier personnel
  • Coworkers
  • Outside sources from personal interactions away from the workplace

The likelihood of spread from the above sources can be reduced with the following methods.

  • The wearing of face coverings are mandatory and the use of other PPE is encouraged of employees during all customer interactions as well as when proper distancing between co-workers is not possible. Employees will be mandated not to touch their face covering once donned (put on), and to acquire a new one once doffed (taken off).
    • Properly worn, removed and cleaned face coverings are necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
    • Fulkerson Winery will provide face coverings and hand sanitizer for employees as well as training in how to properly use them.
  • Fulkerson Winery will encourage all customers to also wear PPE for their and our protection through the posting of signs at all entrances to the premises.
  • The use of PPE and frequent handwashing between all customer interactions. Sanitizing of hands should never replace hand washing
    • Hand washing instructions will be given to all employees and proper hand washing procedures (Covered by the WHO) shall be posted in all rest rooms and sink areas. There will be guidance posted for Hand Washing with soap and water as well as Hand Rubbing with alcohol based hand sanitizer.
    • The hand hygiene leaflet posted by the WHO will be distributed to all employees during training.
  • Respiratory etiquette as covered by the CDC shall be followed by all employees in addition to proper use of face masks.
  • Avoid using co-workers workspaces including cash registers.
    • Employees responsible for managing cash registers will be assigned to a physical register. Other employees will be instructed not to use register stations not assigned to them.
    • To avoid multiple contact points, a manager on duty will clock employees in and out using their own workstation.
    • High touch-point surfaces shall be disinfected on a regular basis, and as much as possible, after every use/customer/group.
  • Self-monitoring will be encouraged of each employee. Fulkerson Winery will do daily wellness screenings, and requests that employees be truthful when it comes to self monitoring. Please understand that if an employee is visibly sick, or comes in to report for a shift, and it is apparent that no care was taken to self-monitor, that employee will be isolated and asked to immediately leave the workplace and seek medical attention.
    • A note from a health care provider will not be required for all employees wishing to stay home due to the risk of COVID-19, or if an employee believes that they may be experiencing signs/symptoms of the disease.
    • The nearest medical offices treating COVID-19 are the following:
      • Soldiers and Sailors Hospital, Penn Yan, NY
      • Schuyler Hospital, Montour Falls, NY
      • Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, NY
      • Arnot Medical Center, Elmira, NY
      • Guthrie Medical Center, Corning, NY
    • The nearest testing center is Schuyler County Health Services at 106 S Perry St # 4, Watkins Glen, NY 14891. Appointments are required and can be made through Cayuga health systems website or by calling 607-319-5708.

SECTION II: Safe work practices pertaining to customer interaction.

The following areas have been identified in order of their risk for exposure.

  1. Tasting Areas
  2. Restrooms
  3. Register counters
  4. Door handles
  5. Merchandise displays

In order to cut down on the possible exposure, the following will be instituted:

  • Where possible, Fulkerson Winery will establish a one-way traffic pattern
  • One employee from each shift will be designated to maintain proper social distancing between employees, customers and guests.
  • Surfaces used for customer interaction will be disinfected after each customer group to ensure the safety of both staff, and the next customer group.
  • The number of customers allowed on site will be limited by the amount of space required to properly socially distance. This will be monitored by a designated greeter. Signage will also be posted to remind customers to properly socially distance.
  • Parties will be limited to six or fewer people, and will not be required to socially distance from themselves.
  • Once tasting services are allowed to resume, only pre-selected wine flights will be offered. This is to ensure that each glass is only used for one tasting.
    • Spittoons shall not be maintained to limit the exposure of droplets.
    • Crackers/nibbles will be offered, but shall not be in a communal bowl, and be prepared by a staff member wearing clean PPE in an individual serving container.
  • Fulkerson Winery shall refuse service to anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Tasting and Flight Menus will be single use, no-touch trash cans will be offered for their disposal.
  • Glass trays shall be washed after every group as near as possible to the dishwasher station in order to limitexposure to the virus, and shall be done with gloved hands, a facemask, and provided eye Protection
  • Portable handwash stations shall be furnished for customer use within the main area of the building.
  • Staff shall be designated where possible to an individual party to limit the exposure to both employees and guests.

SECTION III:  Current NYS SLA Guidance has mandated the following:

  • Any consumption of food and/or beverage must happen in outdoor, open-air areas, without a fixed roof (besides a temporary or seasonal awning or cover).
  • Any consumption of food and/or beverage must happen while seated at a table, bar, counter, or similar contrivance.
  • All tables must be 6 feet apart; any seat at a bar, counter, or similar contrivance must be 6 feet apart.
  • All staff of the licensed business must wear face masks at all times.
  • All customers must wear face masks at any time they are not seated.
  • Any consumption shall be subject to all other relevant executive orders, guidances promulgated by the Department of Health, and/or any other relevant agency guidance.

This guidance is in effect until July 3, 2020 unless otherwise extended or reduced by the NYS SLA or by any other agency of New York State.

As a result of this, All tastings will occur out-of-doors within a designated area, and shall be limited to pre-selected flights until further notice. In-store shopping, picnicking, hiking, u-pick activities will be allowed during this time. Other activities may be allowed at the discretion of Fulkerson Winery Staff.

SECTION IV:  Tastings at Fulkerson Winery

Daily operating hours will be changed to Monday-Sunday 10-6pm. Please check our website for further updates. Groups will be limited to a maximum of Six people

Tastings will be conducted by appointment, or by a first-come, first-served basis. We appreciate your patience as we get through this time.

Tastings will only be allowed in designated outdoor seating areas at Fulkerson Winery and will be seated flights. A menu will be provided with by-the-glass sales if this option is preferable. Should a customer in a tasting group not want to sample, they will be allowed to stay with the group during the time of their tasting.

Tastings will be limited to pre-selected flights. Each flight will consist of 1oz samples and will come with a bottle of water. Currently the six flights and pricing that are available are as follows:

Dry White Wines: $7
Dry Red Wines: $7
Premium Dry Red Wines: $10
Semi-Dry Wines: $8
Premium Sweet Wines: $7
Zeppelin Wines: $6

Flights will be poured in 1 oz samples and be poured away from the customer to limit guest exposure to employees to increase guest safety. Spitting is prohibited. Spit cups/buckets will not be provided, and consumers should leave any unwanted beverage in their tasting glass.

Picnicking on the premise can be done in defined areas, and proper social distancing will be required.

For customer safety the following will occur at Fulkerson Winery

  • Surfaces at tasting areas will be sanitized between tastings. Credit card units and Sales eqwuipment will be sanitized per Cornell University guidance.
  • Glassware washers will be verified daily as to proper operation and wash/rinse temperatures. Dishwashing detergents and sanitizers will be verified to effective and appropriate.
  • Soap and hand sanitizer will be provided in the toilet facilities.
  • Disposable hand towels in a no-touch dispenser will be offered in the toilet facilities and lined non-touch trash receptacles will be offered for their disposal.
  • Signage emphasizing proper hand washing techniques will be posted at all sink areas.
  • Regular toilet cleaning, paying special attention to sanitizing all door handles, power switches, faucets and toilet handles.
  • We encourage customers to allow Winery Employees help gather their order. Please refrain from handling merchandise/bottles.
  • One Way traffic has been laid out on the tasting room floor.

For safety of customers, the general public and of Fulkerson Winery Employees

  • Customers should not come to the tasting room if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or any contagious illness (e.g., fever, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, fatigue, body aches), or have come in contact with someone who has.
  • Customers displaying these symptoms will be asked to leave.
  • Customers will be asked to maintain 6-foot physical distance during their visit, and should follow all directional and traffic flow signs.
  • Customers must wear cloth face coverings, as per NY COVID-19 guidance dated April 17, 2020: https://on.ny.gov/2yyPqej

When Visiting the tasting room, please follow the instruction of our staff, be kind and patient, and understand we are doing our best to get through this with minimal disruption. Should you have questions or feedback, please contact us, or speak with our staff during your visit.

Thank you! and be safe.

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