On Wednesday, June 3, Italy will be reopening its borders to foreigners.

And like many businesses across the country, Scarpa will be reopening to the public as well next month.

As a winery and a farm, Scarpa was technically never closed: Winemaking and agriculture are considered essential businesses in Italy and so it wasn’t forced to close during the health crisis. Winemaking continued throughout the lockdown as did vineyard work (after all, the grapes didn’t stop growing during the crisis).

But the winery’s public-facing tasting room was required to close. And even after the Italian government began letting restaurants, bars, and tasting rooms open again on May 18, the management at Scarpa felt it was best to wait another few weeks until they began receiving tasters again.

The tasting room at Scarpa is one of the most popular in Piedmont — an in Italy for that matter. Scarpa is more than just a winery. It’s a cultural institution. And every year people come from all over the world to taste current and old vintages and learn more about how these iconic wines are grown and produced.

But what will the tasting experience be like in the post-pandemic era?

Just like restaurants and bars across Italy, the staff at Scarpa will be employing social distancing, limiting the number of people that can taste at one time, keeping guests at an appropriate distance, wearing masks, making hand sanitizer available to all, sanitizing all surfaces before and after each tasting, and making sure that all stemware is properly washed and handled.

The easiest way to set up a tasting appointment (and all tasting are by appointment only) is to visit the winery’s Facebook. Pinned at the top of the page, you’ll find a tasting request form. You can also call directly.

Of course, no one really knows what the new normal is going to be like. And despite everyone’s eagerness to move forward, we all feel some trepidation about what comes next.

But the youthful, energetic staff at Scarpa is confident that it can provide a rich and rewarding tasting experience even with social distancing rigorously observed. It’s also the winery’s hope that its work in reopening the tasting room will be a model for other wineries to follow.

All wineries, like every other business, have suffered during the crisis. And so have their employees (although it’s important to note that Scarpa has kept its entire staff on payroll throughout).

Italian wineries need your support like never before. And we know it’s all going to start with one sip at a time.

When you’re ready, please contact us about setting up a tasting. Thank you for your support.