For example, Jill and Steve Matthiasson, whose eponymous brand is a hot favorite of somms (and me), sell in 40 states and 17 countries, but only 15% of their sales are online, mostly to wine club members who’ve signed up at their tasting room. “I’m busting my butt to sell wine,” Jill says.

To boost online sales, they put together the same bottles you can sample in the tasting room (6 for $249) with a virtual tasting. “Some folks are purchasing the pack as gifts and doing online group tastings with their friends in separate locations,” she says.

Bigger wineries with a long track record, such as Heitz Cellar, purchased in 2018 by Tennessee-based billionaire Gaylon Lawrence, also expect a hit to revenue. Chief Executive Officer Carlton McCoy says projects and equipment purchases have been put on hold but the winery is keeping all employees. He’s trying to expand online sales, and says they’re exploding. Wine lover loyalty has surprised him.

Lesser-known names have a tougher time. Brian Brakesman of Summit Lake Vineyards is making phone calls to club members to keep connections alive

To fan personal connections—and, of course, sell more wine—dozens of Napa wineries are hosting virtual tastings on Zoom or streamed through their winery Instagram or Facebook pages. More are starting daily. This is a great chance to meet famous Napa winemakers and ask questions, and so far the sessions are wildly popular. Last week, Cade Estate held one that drew 500 viewers.

Some helpfully post their tastings on the Napa Valley Vintners website. One public relations professional has put together a website on which her winery clients will be listing tastings and deals.

Many tastings are free, while others are more exclusive and require the purchase of specific bottles to be tasted and discussed. Bouchaine Vineyards in Carneros has gone all-out offering by-appointment virtual tastings and experiences with Napa Valley chefs and musicians, as well as streaming vineyard walks with winemakers talking about the 2020 growing season.

Deals include everything from free shipping to rare cuvées and older, now unavailable vintages, sometimes at discounted prices.

Pott Wine, the label of star winemaker Aaron Pott and his wife, Claire, is offering wines on its website that usually go to restaurants, as well as one that it wasn’t even planning on releasing to at all—even to members of its wine club—the bold, exuberant 2016 Infinite Improbability Drive cabernet blend for $95, with only 96 cases made.

Luckily, it’s not harvest season. Pott, who consults for a number of wineries, says it’s easy to maintain distance for the work in the vineyards. He’s alternating teams of workers in wineries so they, too, can stay six feet apart. Cleanliness has always been essential, but now it’s the main thing, with workers sterilizing surfaces and even the levers of forklift trucks.