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Texas Hill Country winery starts virtual tastings to keep business going during pandemic

Kuhlman Cellars, a winery off Highway 290 in Gillespie County, is hosting virtual wine tastings and ‘Wine Time Live’ on Facebook during the coronavirus pandemic.

STONEWALL, Texas — A winery in the Texas Hill Country is getting creative to keep business going during the coronavirus outbreak.

Kuhlman Cellars, off Highway 290 on the way to Fredericksburg, is now hosting ‘Wine Time Live’ on Facebook and conducting virtual tastings for people who buy wine online.

“It's just really important to make sure that we are connecting with our customers, connecting with our community and really just connecting with each other,” said co-founder Chris Cobb.

Credit: Kuhlman Cellars

The winery team started working on plans to host the virtual wine tasting in early March, before the tasting room was ordered to shut down by a statewide executive order.

RELATED: Texas governor: Schools, bars, restaurant dining rooms must close temporarily due to coronavirus

“Even though there's a lot of hard news out there and a lot of bad news out there, you know, we share happy thoughts and we can smile,” Cobb said.

Usually, April is one of the busiest months for the winery, with hundreds of customers on a Saturday. But from March 14 to 21, Cobb said revenue dropped by about 78%.

Credit: Kuhlman Cellars

The staff usually would enjoy a glass of wine together at the end of a busy day, but now they’re taking that glass of wine online and having a virtual "Wine Time Live" that gets broadcast on the winery’s Facebook Page.

When people order wine online, they will also receive a webinar invite to join the pre-scheduled virtual tastings, Cobb said.

“It's really about nurturing and helping all of us through this time,” Cobb said.   

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