CENTRAL Victorian winemakers are again relying on online sales, as Melbourne lockdowns cut off key customers.
But many have been pleased to see more visits from the region's own residents.
Heathcote winery Vinea Marson assistant winemaker Madeleine Marson said trade has dropped by 80 to 90 per cent on the weekend.
Ms Marson said they had taken the same approach as to the first lockdown: moving business online, and rostering fewer staff on weekends.
But local visitation was growing, she said..
Ms Marson said the winery was lucky to remain open, just about 10 kilometres from the border of the locked-down Mitchell Shire.
She said she hoped for brisk business after the crisis, as people tried to get back to normal, but there was still lots of uncertainty.
Bendigo's Balgownie Estate venue manager Juan Corradi said the business had readjusted the geography of its marketing after the Melbourne lockdown.
Mr Corradi said about 95 per cent of customers would have been from Melbourne during a normal 2019 weekend.
The June long weekend was "fantastic" but numbers had dropped since then, he said.
But Mr Corradi said local and regional patronage was keeping the business ticking over on reduced hours.
Heathcote winery Silver Spoon Estate co-owner Tracie Young said normally about 70 per cent of customers were from Melbourne, but the business was busy with online trade.
She said regional Victorian customers were still visiting the winery by appointment.
But Ms Young said do it yourself home wine tasting experiences had been really popular, selling more than 500 in the past few months.
"Everybody is buying a lot more wine online, and they're actually supporting their favourite wineries," Ms Young said.
"The great thing is that not everyone's buying their wine from Dan Murphy's and that, they're actually supporting boutique businesses."
Sandhurst Ridge co-owner Paul Greblo said Bendigo locals had been supportive, but business was definitely down.
About half of the winery's customers would be from Melbourne during a normal weekend.
He said online sales had replaced some of their in-person custom, though.
But Mr Greblo said they weren't breaking their necks to have the locked down areas open up.
"Whilst we very much want to welcome visitors, we also have to be ultra careful that we don't repeat what's happened in the last few weeks," he said.
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