Reopening Doesn't Come Without Challenges for North County Winery Owner

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As businesses eagerly reopen one winery in Escondido has been holding out, waiting to get all COVID-19 safety measures in place first.

With COVID-19 shutting down business for months, times at the AltIpiano Vineyard have been hard.

But the owners, Denise and Peter Clarke, are used to overcoming obstacles.

“I looked at COVID as being a reset,” Denise Clarke said.

Three generations of the Clarke family live on the 5-acre property.

Their vineyard rose from the ashes in 2007 when the Witch Creek Fire burned down the family avocado farm.

In its place the Clarke’s put grapevines and created the Altipiano Vineyard instead.

“Out of the ashes came something really beautiful, that's the way I look at it,” Denis Clarke said.

The Clarkes have applied that outlook to the pandemic, too.

“This time around it was really about getting back to the basics,” Denis Clarke explained.

So when they open up Saturday, things will be different. The tables will be six feet apart, the tasting room will be closed, and glasses will not be reused.

“There’s a rhythm to farming and the growing cycle,” she explained. So the Clarkes are taking on COVID-19 like any other cycle, looking forward to the other side.

The vineyard is reopening by reservation only. Reservations can be made here.

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