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Winery of Ellicottville navigates through coronavirus closures

Winery switches to bottle sales only
Posted at 5:08 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 05:46:31-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Across Western New York, many small businesses are closed. Restaurants and bars are take-out only.

So what does a small winery in Ellicottville do to make it through?

The tasting bar is empty inside the Winery of Ellicottville, on Monroe Street.

When the governor ordered these businesses closed, to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the winery stopped providing tastings. That's a huge part of their business model.

Owner Beth Sheehy says, she had to layoff 80% of her staff. They're hoping to rehire staffers once the coronavirus pandemic ends.

While the winery is still open, they're now focusing on production, wholesale accounts and individual bottle sales only.

Sheehy says this is a scary situation for small businesses.

"Longterm, we're going to take a big hit," Sheehy said. "We're a little concerned. We're taking it day by day. We're crossing our fingers and hoping that if people abide by the guidelines and just stay home, and try not to spread it, then we can open up sooner rather than later."

If you're looking to take a ride on Saturday, the winery will be open for bottle sales. They say, they'll bring your order to your car so you don't have to come inside.

The Winery of Ellicottville is also switching to online sales.

A post on the winery's Facebook page says, "we're not going anywhere."