Covid Statement

The Cellarmasters of Los Angeles takes our judges and stewards health and safety extremely seriously. We are developing a detailed safety protocol that will outline the process that will allow us to judge the 47th Annual US Amateur Wine Competition in a socially distant manner in accordance to the CDC guidance as well as local and state recommendations.

The Cellarmasters of Los Angeles believe that a safe and healthy home wine competition can be achieved in 2020. We have given great thought to every part of the mechanics and process of the competition and have arrived at the process below. Our intent is to make sure that everyone who is present for the competition, judges, stewards, and organizers, are all safe and socially distanced. EVERYONE will be required to wear a mask at all times (judges can only remove their masks when judging the wines) and be no less than six feet from each other. We have consulted with other organizations that have put on wine competitions in the era of Covid and adopted their best practices. Please be assured that we have the health and safety of everyone associated with the event in mind and take the application of this very seriously.

The day before the competition.

The chairs, tables, placemats and glasses for the judges will be preset and wiped down with antiseptic wipes. Each judging panel will have two tables shaped into a V, forming a 6’ equilateral triangle, with a judge at the end of each table with a maximum of three judges per panel.

The tables and chairs for the stewards will be set up and wiped down with antiseptic wipes. There will be steward stations where each table can hold two stewards at opposite ends so they will be six feet apart. The wine boxes for each panel will be organized[1]  so the steward will not have to locate their wines on the morning of the competition. White wines will be distributed on the morning of the competition.

Entrance tables and signage to be set up as well.

The morning of the competition:

The judges and stewards will have to check in at two tables in the entry way. There they will have their temperatures checked and judges will receive their judging packet that will contain their panel assignment, pencils, judging sheets, bottled water, personal non-scented hand sanitizer, disposable mask, and pre-packaged crackers for palate cleansing. Stewards will receive a packet with their panel assignment, gloves, bottled water, hand sanitizer and disposable mask.

Stewards will be equipped with a mask and gloves. They will split a table with another steward where each will be at opposite ends of the table and each will have their “station” where the wines for their panel will be staged. That will be their organizing area and they must return there after pouring or picking up sheets.

Andy’s Calibration:

We understand the need for everyone to calibrate as to the expectations of the judging process in case there are judges who have not judged since last year. Also, this serves as a good first wine for all judges to taste and judge through together. We will do this in the main judging space and Andy will have a speaker so he can be heard.

Judging:

Judges will be required to wear their masks at all times except for the actual tasting of the wines. Stewards will not come to the table unless the judges all have their masks on. Judges will keep their glasses for the whole competition (including BoS) and will rinse out the glasses between flights with the bottled water provided.  When judges are done with their panel, they can pick up their boxed lunch and eat at their panel tables and then leave if not judging other panels. Judges who have been asked to judge Best of Show will need to go back to the panel table to wait until the BoS starts. There will be no congregating or socializing.  Because we cannot allow the casual drinking of wine after the judging, you will be allowed to take home the Silver, Bronze and Honorable Mention wines. Please bring a wine box for transport.

Tabulation/Data Entry:

There will be two people to accomplish this. One to handle the scoring and comments papers and one to enter the data. The handler will get the papers from a drop box out by the stewards’ area and bring them to the data entry person who will then enter the scores and awards in the data base.

Best of Show Best of Show Estate:

The BoS panels will consist of six chosen judges who will be seated at a table configuration that will enforce proper distancing.

Food:

There will be no breakfast provided as in the past; everyone will need to eat before arriving. Homemade boxed lunches will be provided for each person attending/working the competition. Food options will be given in advance in order to accurately prepare the correct amount of food.

Clean Up:

Judges need to rinse their own glasses and put into the shipping box for someone (to be determined later) to take home to sanitize in their dishwasher. The tables and chairs will be wiped down with sanitizing wipes as they are being broken down. All surfaces where we will have interacted with will be wiped down as well.

Restrooms:

Restrooms will be maintained and periodically sanitized. Restrooms will be limited to 1 occupant at a time.

Safety Coordinator:

We will have someone overseeing and enforcing the processes we’ve set out in this document to ensure a safe and healthy competition.