Business · California

Sour grapes emerge as most Calif. wineries close while Newsom’s winery remains open

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closures of certain businesses across 19 counties in California on Wednesday, in response to the growing daily number of novel coronavirus cases (COVID-19) in recent weeks.

One particular segment is bringing out sour grapes.

As KMPH Fox 26 first reported, those counties included Fresno, Kern, Kings, Merced and Tulare in the Central Valley.

Madera Co. wineries were exempt from the July 1, 2020 order from the Governor.

The closures included restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, cardrooms, and bars.

The shutdown order also applied to a key southern California wine outpost – Temecula Valley in Riverside County.

However, Gov. Newsom’s winery and tasting room in Napa Valley remained open as of the July 1, 2020 order.

Gov. Newsom owns stock in PlumpJack Group, which includes a winery in Napa Valley’s Oakville. That winery is still open for tastings. According to Gov. Newsom’s 2018 tax filings, he and his wife own shares in the group that produced a combined salary of nearly $600,000 in 2018.

According to PlumpJack Estate’s website, the next available tasting, with certain restrictions, is July 7, 2020.

Several Central Valley counties have seen an uptick in the number of newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

The numbers are much higher in the San Joaquin Valley than in Napa Co., which is where PlumpJack Estate Winery is.

There were 5,289 confirmed cases reported in Fresno Co. as of July 1, 2020, compared to 344 confirmed cases in Napa Co. as of July 1, 2020.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at