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Orange Coast Winery's

Reopening Plan


Majordomo Interviews Peter Swanson



May 27, 2021

 

Tuesday we promised you that we would answer all your questions in last week’s survey.  Today we provide the answers to the rest of your questions.
 
Almost all of you found last week’s newsletter about Orange Coast Winery reopening issues useful.  Many of you feel worried.

Majordomo:  Our wine club members asked challenging questions last week.
Peter:  We really appreciate the feedback.  Thanks to all of you who are reading these newsletters.
 
Majordomo:  On top of everyone's mind is: "Please provide realistic re-opening dates."
Peter:  We will not announce a re-opening date that we cannot achieve, so we have not given one.  Newport Beach is reviewing our proposed tasting room layout, and we await their feedback.  Newport Beach continues to be helpful in finding a solution that will work for Orange Coast Winery.
 
Majordomo:  Someone asked: "Will there still be food if you redo the kitchen?"
Peter:  Absolutely. 
 
Majordomo:  There were a number of questions regarding the impact to our capacity, if there is a smaller tasting room.
Peter:  Regardless of our capacity, the goal of the reservation system is to ensure that your seats are available when you plan to come in for a wine tasting experience.  The reservation system will give priority to our active club members, especially those who have stuck with us through the pandemic.
 
Majordomo:  Several club members asked if it is more profitable for us to keep the tasting room closed.
Peter:  That is absolutely not the case.  Orange Coast Winery continues to lose a significant amount of money since our tasting room closure began.  Since Orange Coast Winery is a family owned and operated business – Sheri and I are bearing that loss.
 
Majordomo:  Those are all the questions we received, Do you have anything else to add?
Peter:  We continue to receive and appreciate your well wishes: 


We will be back in your inbox next week with more information on one of the other topics selected by you.

Thank you for your continued support of Orange Coast Winery!
Majordomo


May 25, 2021

 

Majordomo here.  This is our 2nd installment of my interviews with Peter Swanson regarding the re-opening of Orange Coast Winery.  We will continue to provide you weekly updates, as promised.
 
In last week's installment, Peter dropped many pieces of heavy news on you regarding Newport Beach business permits, a smaller tasting room, and uncertainty about completion dates.
 
Peter asked for your feedback, and you provided quite a bit.  We plan to address those questions in two emails: today and Thursday.  Today we will discuss what has happened up to now.  Thursday we will discuss your questions about our go-forward plan.

Majordomo:  First question Peter.  A club member asked, "How did we make previous changes without adhering to the codes?"
Peter:  Those changes were made before our ownership.  The original Orange Coast Winery was a winemaking facility with a small tasting room.  As the popularity of the winery grew, the winemaking was moved to Temecula, and the tasting room quadrupled in size.
 
Majordomo:  Another club member asked, "Have we considered another location?"
Peter:  We looked at other locations.  We found one, but Sheri and I could not afford to sign a second lease during the COVID shutdown.  We still have 3-years left on the lease at our current location.
 
Majordomo:  One of our members suggested that "Most people get permits before a remodel." How do we reply to that, Peter?
Peter:  This is exactly what are doing: submit drawings for approval, receive permits, construction, inspection, receive Certificate of Occupancy, and re-open. 
 
Majordomo:  Did you consider contingencies, Peter?
Peter:  We have and continue to consider many options to re-open.  We believe the course we are taking makes the most sense for the business and gets us reopened faster.  If you want a better understanding of our journey, please click this link, and read a timeline on our website.
 
Majordomo: Here's more of a statement than a question. "It seems we have been paying dues for a club with tasting capability, but since the sale, you are not a legal tasting company." 
Peter:  There appears to be two items to address in this statement:
 
First and foremost, Sheri and I have taken measures to operating legally since before we purchased Orange Coast Winery. The City of Newport Beach gave us permission to operate as we were looking for a solution.  That solution is in progress: the zoning codes were changed in March, and now the building permits and certificate of occupancy are in progress.

Second, regarding tasting capability:  Since we closed the tasting room, we granted our members double wine credits every month so you can try and enjoy more wine at home. 
 
Majordomo: Here's a tough one, Peter. A customer said, "I think you have misled us for many months. I do love your wine and the ambiance when I visit, but I am concerned."
Peter:  We have never tried to mislead you.  The week that California issued its first stay-at-home order, the Newport Beach City Council instructed the planning department to solve our permit problem.  We never imagined that 14 months later, we would still be working our way through this issue.   The good news is progress has accelerated significantly in the last two months. 
 
Majordomo:  Peter, that completes the questions regarding what has happened in the last year or so.  Our customers do seem frustrated.
Peter:  The questions asked by our wine club members were both challenging and fair.  The questions are appreciated.  The frustration is understandable. 
 
Majordomo:  Before we wrap-up this email, Peter, do you have anything to add?
Peter:  Sheri and I greatly appreciate the heartfelt comments of support from you:

Peter and Sheri:  Thank you for your continued patience and support of Orange Coast Winery.
 
Majordomo: Later, this week we will share answers to the other questions you asked in last week’s survey.  These will address the plans going forward.
 

Thank you & cheers!
Majordomo


May 19, 2021

 

I am Majordomo, your humble servant. According to Merriam -Webster, I am “(1) a head steward of a large household (2) butler, steward or (3) a person who speaks, makes arrangements, or takes charge for another."

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter Swanson, Owner/Operator of Orange Coast Winery. We discussed numerous topics ranging from Orange Coast Winery reopening to a new wine club to the facilities fresh new look. Given the length of the discussion, I will be sharing excerpts over the next few weeks.

Let’s begin. (Note: this transcript has been edited down to the salient points. You know how Peter can ramble on.)

Majordomo: Hello Mr. Swanson. Thanks for being with us today.
Mr. Swanson: Hello Majordomo. Just call me Peter. Mr. Swanson is my dad.

Majordomo: Okay, Peter. Thank you for being with us today.
Peter: My pleasure.

Majordomo: The first question comes from your members: When will Orange Coast Winery reopen?
Peter: We do not know. We hope in 2-3 months.

Majordomo: How the heck do you not know, it’s been over a year? Why are you still closed?
Peter: We don’t have our permits yet. It’s very difficult to put a timeline on when you can get a permit.

Majordomo: What’s up with the permits?
Peter: Based on the size of our tasting rooms and the number of members and guests we have; the fire code requires us to add a fire prevention system – also known as sprinklers.

Majordomo: Will you add sprinklers?
Peter: Adding sprinklers is very expensive. The building owner is not interested in doing that because the majority of tenants do not require them. Installation would likely require digging up parts of parking lot and street.

Majordomo: Translated this means the landlord won’t help you make a building improvement and it could take a long time and a lot of money.
Majordomo: What are your options?
Peter: Sheri and I have talked about moving, downsizing, or just shutting down the business.

Majordomo: Wait! What? Are you closing?
Peter: No, no. We don’t want to close.

Majordomo: Thank goodness. What are you going to do?
Peter: We prepared a proposal to operate our tasting room in one bay without a sprinkler system. We made our initial proposal presentation to the City of Newport Beach on Monday.

Majordomo: Wait, why didn’t you do that during the height of the pandemic?

[We’ll explain that in more detail in a future section of this interview.]

Majordomo: How would that work?
Peter: To comply with fire safety standards, we would move our kitchen so members and guests would have access to two exits, one on each end of the space.

Majordomo: Wow – that sounds like a huge change.
Peter: It will be a different, but it will be amazing. Before we closed our tasting rooms, our layout and décor were somewhere between eclectic and hodgepodge. Now we have the chance to make a fresh interior design while maintaining the popular vibe of an urban winery.

Majordomo: Thank you readers for your attention and understanding. We will continue to share the rest of our interview with Mr. Swanson, I mean Peter, over the coming weeks. He will share the zoning and permitting woes, new wine clubs, the fresh new winery layout, and the new member/guest experience.

If you have any questions, please email us at wineclub@orangecoastwinery.com.

Thank you & cheers!
Majordomo


April 2, 2021


Virtually everyone is asking "When will Orange Coast Winery reopen?"  What a great question and we wish we had a precise answer.

As we explained in our previous newsletter titled "Thank you for your patience", we have 3 hurdles to jump before we may reopen.  Hurdles 1 (rezoning) and 2 (Orange Tier) are completed.  We have one remaining hurdle to clear before we may reopen:

Permits:  The final hurdle is our City Permits which we are actively working on with the City Planning Department.  There is a checklist of items that must be completed and inspected.  Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to put a date or schedule on this process, however the City is working to expedite the permits.

Please watch our newsletters and website for the latest information.  And

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!


The Quick Message


Sunday (March 21st) marked 53 weeks since the pandemic required us to shut down.  How does one year and one week go by so quickly and so slowly? 

We know you are looking forward to tasting wine again at Orange Coast Winery.  Every day we receive calls, emails, and messages asking when we will reopen. Thank you!
 
Unfortunately, we do not know the answer yet.  Please read our detailed explanation below:
 

The Detailed Explanation  

 
"The truth…it is a beautiful and terrible thing and should therefore be treated with great caution."  ― Dumbledore
 
We are sure many of you cannot believe we do not have a date yet.  Believe me; we want to provide an answer, but we have multiple hurdles to clear.  We all know about the pandemic, and some of you may know we are also trying to sort out zoning/permit matters with the City of Newport Beach.
 
 
 

This makes it very difficult for us to set an opening date, but please know that as soon as we know, YOU WILL know. 
 
Finally, please allow us to express our gratitude for all of you who have continued to support us. You are helping to keep the lights on and the wine flowing.  We are working hard every day to reopen our doors.
 
We will provide another reopening update within 2 weeks.
 
Since we cannot just send bad news, we promise we will send some great news later this week.  Be on the lookout for announcements of new wines and a new club benefit. 

With gratitude,
Peter & Sheri Swanson
 

Orange Coast Winery Tasting & Member’s Rooms will remain closed until Orange County reaches at a minimum the Moderate (Orange) level.  At this level Wineries are allowed to open at a 25% capacity, which may not be cost effective for our business.  Please subscribe to our newsletter or check our website for the latest reopening information.

Orange Coast Winery is not allowed to set up an outdoor tasting area due to our contract with our landlord and the heavy traffic of semi-trucks and other industrial vehicles around our establishment.

You may check the Orange County Blueprint for a Safer Economy here: https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/

These are the restrictions for Wineries:

Widespread (purple): Wineries and tasting rooms: Outdoor only with modifications

Substantial (red): Wineries and tasting rooms: Outdoor only with modifications

Moderate (orange): Indoor with modifications; Capacity must be limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less

Minimal (yellow): Wineries and tasting rooms: Indoor with modifications; Capacity must be limited to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less


Majordomo Moment

October 7, 2020

We are approaching 7-months since our tasting rooms were closed.  Dang I miss you all and that beloved OCW Vibe!

Here are a few facts about reopening:

OCW can not reopen until Orange County moves into the Third Tier of California's reopening framework.  This tier is known as the Moderate or Orange Tier. Two weeks ago, Orange County was close to moving to Tier 3 based on decreasing COVID cases.  Unfortunately, since then, cases are growing again.

We will be offering a different wine tasting experience when we reopen because we will only be able to operate at 25% capacity.  One big change will be appointment only with specific seating times. Once the state signals we can reopen, we will need 2-3 weeks to prepare, bring back staff, and train them on the new wine tasting experience.

I know we all have COVID fatigue and want to get back to our old normal.  Unfortunately, when we reopen, there will be a new normal.  Please continue to be patient as we reopen slowly and safely.

In the meantime, please do those curbside pick-ups.  We have plenty of wine in stock and more new releases in the coming months.  Take advantage of that purchasing power you earned with double credits.

Cheers,
Peter "Majordomo" and Sheri Swanson 


Welcome to the 3rd UNCORKED

AN ELEVATED EXPERIENCE IS ON THE HORIZON

We’re taking everything you care most about OCW and making it better than ever.  Our REIMAGINED Orange Coast Winery will have a new, enhanced membership program with a streamlined system and various ways for members to earn even more wine (among other enriched benefits.) We are redesigning and expanding our tasting rooms with a brand-new space designated for member-exclusive events.  We are adding many more wine varietals from exciting new regions.  

What we have in the works will elevate your experience for years to come.

WORTH THE WAIT. WE PROMISE.

Concurrently, we are navigating the ever-changing guidelines of California amidst the pandemic.  Unfortunately, we will not be reopening in July, as has been the buzz circulating lately. The health and safety of our guests and our staff is always our priority.

We only want to reopen once, so we’re working hard behind the scenes to make sure everything is in place and our community is safely ready for us to be back in action. We’ll share more details in the coming weeks, including a new reopening date. 

JULY BRINGS MORE WINE

Another Round of Double Credits

For the fourth straight month, we are offering a double credit for active members with club runs on July 1; we love keeping you stocked while you’re temporarily unable to visit us in person. Click below for all the details on using your double credit and ordering for curbside pickup.

Learn More

Two New Wine Releases

2019 Dry Rosé – $33 Per Bottle

This rosé comes from a new, up-and-coming vineyard in Temecula. As the first dry Rosé we’ve offered, it now completes our full offering of this varietal—from sweet to dry, there’s one for every palate.

2019 Chardonnay – $35 Per Bottle

Our most asked for white wine is back by popular demand just as summer is heating up.

Order now for pickup!

And Two Special Promotions

One of These Wines Doesn’t Belong – $65 

A wine bundle featuring our new 2019 Chardonnay and Rosé Trio (Endless Wave Pink, Rosé of Malbec and new 2019 Dry Rosé)—all four bottles for just $65.* That’s 49% off the total retail price! Order now and join us in learning more about each one during our Virtual Wine Tasting on July 11.

*Sorry no membership, investor or employee discounts. No pick-up credits may be used.

Order now for pickup!

Twice as Much Sangria

In celebration of 4th of July, when you order one Red, White and Blue Sangria and any "meal", you’ll get the second Red, White and Blue Sangria at half price. This offer is valid through July 3.

* A “meal” consists of 1 cheese, 1 meat & 1 carb from our Charcuterie Items Menu.

Order now for pickup!
Happy Independence Day From Orange Coast Winery.
We will be closed Saturday, July 4th, so curbside pick-ups will be available July 3rd.

Peter and Sheri Swanson
Owners
Orange Coast Winery

 


Welcome to the 2nd UNCORKED


An Ongoing Communique That Focuses On Orange Coast Winery’s Reopening Plans. 

 

Rest assured: we are working hard to provide you current information regarding when our Tasting Rooms can reopen safely.  Safety First continues to be our #1 priority.  But we are also working hard to Reimagine A New Winery Experience that, in addition to being safe, provides a wine club and wine offerings that set the foundation for a long-term relationship with our guests.

In This Week’s Edition
  • Reopening Update
  • June Wine Releases
  • This Week’s Contest

But First, Thank You For Your Positive Comments!

We were so thrilled to hear your feedback to our 1st Uncorked Communique.


You were excited about the new wines:
Adding another Rose!!!!!!! Yass!  Primitivo release!!!  One of my favorites!

You were salivating about curbside food orders:
Add food! Add food to online orders! Offer food for curbside pickup.  Can’t wait to get my hands on the Get Figgy Flatbread.

You miss us almost as much as we miss you:
We miss you (and drank almost all our wine already) Hope to see you soon I miss you all. Thank you, guys, can’t wait to be back with y'all. So exciting! Can't wait for you to open. 

And we so appreciate how you understand us taking our time.
Looking forward to a quick June and Phase 3 Cheers and hurry July! July ☹ - and great explanation regarding phase. Thank you. Hang in there!  We look forward to your re-opening. Thank you for keeping everyone safe.  Hi!  We love all the updates and appreciate all you are doing to keep our wine loving community informed and up to date during these crazy times.
 
As we said in last week’s Uncorked, we will reopen no earlier than when Orange County permits tasting rooms to re-open again.  From what we hear, that may be very soon.  Too soon for us.
 
What!?  Why?!  Well, for several reasons. 
 
One – we have to change a number of things in the winery to be able to open safely. 

Two – during the pandemic, Sheri and I finished the acquisition of Orange Coast Winery.  We are working hard to get all the correct permits, and licenses, and paperwork filed with the City, County, and State.  This has been difficult with many offices being closed.   The last thing we want to do is not have our ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control of California) license filed correctly.

Three – As new owners, we are reimagining a new winery and wine club and wine offerings.  We want to set the foundation for a long-term relationship with our guests.

Below is a relapse to my engineering/consulting/executive days.  It is a beautiful picture of our winery reimagining/reopening phases.  Phase 1/2/3 are things we are doing for you while the tasting room is closed.  Phase 4/5 are things we are working on to reopen.

We are so hopeful you will be patient while we get Orange Coast Winery, your hidden gem, reopened again.
 Be healthy. Be safe. Be a hero - Stay home for now.  
Peter and Sheri Swanson
Owners

Orange Coast Winery

 


Welcome to the 1st UNCORKED


An Ongoing Communique That Focuses On Orange Coast Winery’s Reopening Plans. 


We want to keep you up to date about Orange Coast Winery’s reopening plans during these ever-changing times. Rest assured; we are working hard to provide you current information regarding when our tasting rooms will be reopened.
 
Your support has meant the world to our team and we are deeply committed to keeping you informed while making our wines available to you in the safest possible way.
 
Look for more UNCORKED information that will be served to you weekly.

 

The Big Question

 

When Can We Safely Re-Open
Our Tasting Rooms?

July Is The Earliest - Here’s Why

 
Our number 1 priority is keeping our customers, staff, and partners safe when we have the pleasure of welcoming you back to our tasting rooms. To do this, Orange Coast Winery will adhere to the rules and guidance from Orange County and Newport Beach.
 
Since we are not ‘officially’ a restaurant, we are not permitted to open the tasting rooms until the county has moved into Stage 3 of the roadmap to re-open businesses.  We are monitoring the situation closely, preparing our winery, and hope to start a phased reopening sometime in July.    
 
Our team is looking forward to the day we will officially re-open and appreciates your patience during this time.  We are working on rolling out a phased reopening plan and will include it in our next update! Hold tight - it’s worth it!

Thank You – We Are Feeling The Love!

 
Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm for Orange Coast Winery during the last few months.  We appreciate your loyalty.
 
Our Curbside Wine Pickup service is going strong.  Starting in June we will add food.  Stay tuned for specifics.
 
In June, for the third consecutive month, we will give you double pick up credits.  So keep those memberships active.
 
We will release a Primitivo and another Rosé next week.  Just in time to use those new wine club credits.
 
We have virtual tastings planned for 5/30 and 6/13.

Be healthy. Be safe. Be a hero - Stay home for now.

 

Peter and Sheri Swanson
Owners

Orange Coast Winery

Monthly Wine Club Membership Charges

As explained in our recent monthly Wine Wave Newsletters, we did process our wine clubs on the 1st:
Two Wine Club Credits for The Price of One

In these uncertain times, we know many of you will want to put your membership on hold or cancel it outright.  If you need to do either, we understand.
 
But our monthly club runs are needed to support our employees and pay the bills.   We would love your support during our closure.  We plan to do our club runs.
 
If you keep your membership active, we will give you a second pick up credit equal to the value of your regular club run:

  • Beach Club members get $132 in pick-up credits for your $66 charge.
  • Surf Club members get $98 in pick-up credits for your $49 charge.
  • Captain’s Club members get $198 in pick-up credits for your $99 charge.
  • Yacht Club members get $250 in pick-up credits for your $125 charge.
  • Sand Club members get two visits for your one $29 charge.

Doubling your wine purchase should easily offset the lost privilege of complimentary wine tasting.

No Action Necessary to Participate

Club runs (both regular and bonus) will be done automatically for active members who have an active credit card on file.

If you don’t want to be charged, you must cancel your membership or put it on hold before the end of the month by emailing us at wineclub@orangecoastwinery.com.

Bonus Credit must be used within 6 months of our re-open date.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at wineclub@orangecoastwinery.com

Thank you all,
The Orange Coast Winery Family 


Groupon Customers: Orange Coast Winery will honor the full value of your groupon up to 6 months after we reopen.  We look forward to meeting you in the near future!



Unprecedented Times

Friday, March 13, 2020

Orange Coast Wine Club Members and Wine Lovers –

Like the rest of the world, Orange Coast Winery staff is diligently working to navigate the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

Every day I am studying the information and resources on numerous websites including the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the Orange County Health Organization, and the City of Newport Beach.  I am talking to my contacts at other wineries, restaurants, bars, and small businesses.

The best news so far is that as of Friday, Orange County has less than 10 cases and officials say: “Risk of infection to public in Orange County is believed to be low.”

Currently, we plan to operate during normal hours.  We added several new steps to our cleaning protocols including hourly wipe downs of all hardware and surfaces customers and employees touch.  We stocked up on industrial cleaners, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes.  We require ailing employees to stay home. 

If you would like more detail on our revised procedures, please ask.  I could list them, but I have received 57 emails from various business and for the most part, we are all following the same guidelines.

In the event the situation worsens, we are prepared to take steps from reducing our hours to temporarily closing the business.  Please monitor our website, Facebook, and Instagram to see if we changed our hours.

Many people could be afflicted by this ailment.  Many, many more are being afflicted by lost wages as businesses shut down.  Thank you for your continued support of Orange Coast Winery during this difficult time! 

We are exploring optional services and incentives that will allow you to enjoy our wine.  If you prefer to practice social distancing, we would like you to do so with Orange Coast Winery wines.  Hence, we are investigating curbside-concierge service where you can order your wine via phone.  We will pack-it up and carry it to your car for you. 

I promise to keep you updated.  In between our email blasts, you can visit our special page on our website:  www.orangecoastwinery.com/Coronavirus.

Wash your hands.  Get as much rest as possible.  Stay healthy (and thirsty) my friends.

Peter Swanson (a.k.a. Majordomo)
General Manager
Orange Coast Winery


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Orange Coast Winery | 869 W 16th St, Newport Beach, CA 92663 
+1 (949) 645-0400
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, noon - 6:00 pm