CANON CITY — It's no longer just wine on the menu at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.
Owner & CEO Larry Oddo said, "We had to totally change the way we do business."
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and since the winery is considered a bar, he said, "We needed to revise our operating model to look more like a restaurant."
The purpose - so the business could finally do tastings again.
Oddo said, "We're a tourism-based industry so we need people to come and visit and taste our wine, and go home with products, so without them being able to visit we've been severely hurt economically."
But thanks to a partnership with The Abbey Events Complex the winery reopened for tastings on June 4 with the addition of food options to their menu.
Brenda McKay, sales & marketing director for The Abbey Events Complex, said, "They can call and order their food and we deliver over there to them so it can be meat and cheese trays, fruit trays, sandwiches, salads."
It's a welcome deal as the complex hasn't been able to host large events like conventions and weddings. McKay shared that it's provided some curbside and takeout food.
She said, "Those things were good for us, but of course, nothing like what we would normally be experiencing so it's been very difficult."
While things could still be tough for months to come McKay said, "I think this is a really cool way for us to be able to do something jointly and help each other out."
Oddo said, "Working with our neighbors across the field - it feels good."
If you plan to make a trip to the winery there are some changes to be aware of.
Oddo said, "They have an hour-and-a half to spend here on our property to have lunch, late lunch, early dinner, enjoy the wine, and then we're looking to turn those tables over so that we can provide that experience for other people."
Other things to be aware of: all tastings will be kept outside for now, reservations are recommended, and people are asked to wear masks only when they enter the building or restrooms.
Oddo said, "Difficult times calls for some creativity and imagination."
We're told this partnership is allowing for people to still have a job and both businesses say they'd like to keep this effort going into the future. Right now, they just ask that more visitors come and see them.