MEREDITH — On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Hermit Woods Winery & Deli decided to temporarily close due to an employee reporting to have tested positive for COVID-19. The employee had not been present in the winery since Jan. 8. Immediately upon learning of the infection, to ensure the maximum degree of safety for their employees and the public, the owners shut their doors and sent all employees and owners to get both the rapid and PCR tests for COVID and began quarantining themselves at home. Based on the evidence at hand, the employee contracted the virus outside the winery.
Since then, everyone has tested negative for COVID-19 on both tests. To ensure there remains no risk to the public, the winery has decided to stay closed for the recommended full two weeks of quarantine.
The winery maintains records of everyone who visits them and has called every customer who visited the winery while the infected employee was working to make them aware of the situation. The owners wanted to stress that they felt the risk to their guests was very small during this time. Bob Manley, a co-founder, said, “Based on the fact that the infected employee worked a full three days at the winery and no other employee was infected is a testament to the extreme caution we all take while working together. We are pleased that all our efforts to keep a clean and sterile environment have proven very effective.
“Although it was a difficult decision to close our doors during this pandemic once again, it is the right thing to do for everyone’s safety," Manley said. "We want our customers to know that we take their health and wellbeing very seriously and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that. We are very proud of our team for taking such good care to ensure that everyone’s safe when we are open. We want to thank our staff for their efforts and support during these difficult times.”
Manley said the infected staff expressed only minor symptoms and said that they were on their way to recovery. When the state and the country are experiencing the highest rate of infection since the start of the pandemic, it is good to know that our local businesses are taking public health seriously and making the right decisions to ensure the lowest degree of risk," he said.
Hermit Woods Winery & Deli is open for curbside pickup during their closure by calling 603-253-7968. You can purchase Hermit Woods wine along with other items online at www.hermitwoods.com. You can also find Hermit Woods wines widely available in the NH Liquor Stores and other retail outlets around New Hampshire.
Hermit Woods Winery and Deli is located at 72 Main Street in Meredith, NH, and is open seven days a week year-round. They are offering wine flights (a self-guided tasting experience) during the pandemic. Their traditional tours and tastings will resume by appointment just as soon as they can make them available safely. Visit them at www.hermitwoods.com to learn more.