Hill Country family begs Gov. Abbott to allow them to reopen their winery

Hill Country

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Nelsons are co-founders of the winery

STONEWALL, Texas (KXAN) — A family-owned winery in the Hill Country is pleading with Gov. Greg Abbott to allow wineries to stay open.

The Nelson family, co-founders of Ab Astris Winery in Stonewall, believe that the Governor’s executive order has unfairly grouped them together with bars and night clubs.

BACKGROUND: Gov. Abbott closing bars, tubing businesses, rolls back restaurant capacity

The order says if establishments receive more than 51% of its total sales from alcohol, it must close. They’re now asking him to reconsider.

“Our message to Governor Abbott is that there are a lot of families and businesses riding on this decision,” says Mike Nelson.

In their plea to Abbott, the Nelsons say:

We beg of you to please re-examine your recent order. Wineries are not bars. They’re the ultimate place, in my humble opinion, to give people respite during these trying times. And the economic impact of this shutdown on the families, farmers and employees that run them is devastating.

The Nelsons say they take the health and safety of their customers seriously. They’ve added plexiglass shields, they wear masks, sanitize and enforce social distancing.

KXAN has reached out to the Governor’s Office for a response and are waiting to hear back.

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