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Chuck Wagner of Caymus sues California governor

Chuck Wagner, owner of Caymus Vineyards in the Napa Valley, is suing California’s governor and public health officer over the state’s unfair winery reopening plan.

As reported by Wine Spectator, Wagner is asking the federal court to dismiss California governor, Gavin Newsom’s plan, which only allows wineries that offer sit-down meals to reopen.

“The orders provide no explanation for this requirement. Any winery that does not, or cannot, provide such meals may not reopen.

“Napa Valley is being treated differently than other parts of the state. It’s the inequity of how we’re being treated that bothers me. We’ve reached out to the state for answers and cannot get them,” Wagner told Wine Spectator.

“The governor and the state public health officer have an obligation to promulgate orders that treat like businesses in a like manner,” he added.

As co-owner of the PlumpJack Group, governor Newsom has an involvement in the wine trade, as the company boasts four Napa Valley wineries in its portfolio. California’s tasting rooms have been closed since March. On 12 May restaurants in some California counties were allowed to reopen but not all wineries.

Wineries that serve food outdoors have been allowed to reopen, so long as their visitors maintain social distancing. Napa County wineries are not eligible to reopen as they are not allowed to offer guests sit down meals. The rules may be relaxed soon if the rate of infection continues to drop.

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