THE COVID-19 pandemic has been tough going for many businesses, but many have harnessed the challenges thrown at them by coming up with new ways to reach their customers.
Leeton's Lillypilly Estate Wines is one of those.
When the pandemic restrictions were first announced, the winery was among those impacted.
Its wine is featured on Qantas international flights, as well as on domestic routes. The pandemic meant flights were effectively grounded, so this has had an impact on Lillypilly.
With people unable to travel or visit the area, Lillypilly quickly thought of a way to get its brand out there and reach their customers.
Winemaker Robert Fiumara's love of the industry had filtered down to his daughter Gianna, who is now following in his footsteps and studying to become just that.
Gianna was in America as part of a university exchange program when the pandemic hit. She was able to come home, isolate and begin working at the winery to help fill in her schedule in the mean time.
It was then Gianna came up with the idea for Lillypilly to hold what masterclasses.
This involved people purchasing a bundle of Lillypilly wines - six in total - which came complete with a booklet of information about how the wines are made, tips for tasting and recipes that pair well with each variety.
Online videos were also part of the package, which proved extremely popular.
"It was so wonderful to have Gianna's help with that ... she really did it all and it's been amazing," Robert said.
"We'll probably offer the masterclasses for at least another few months.
"It's been a good way to still engage with people and be selling our wines. Our online store has been operational throughout as well. We've also been working throughout the whole pandemic."
The winery also welcomed back bigger numbers of customers for tastings for the first time over the long weekend.
Appropriate physical distancing was adhered to, with residents and visitors enjoying not just tasting the wine, but getting to hear from the Lillypilly team about each variety, how it's made, some fun facts - all while enjoying some cheese and biscuits.
This is another event the winery hopes to continue running.
In the meantime, residents and visitors can support the business by continue to purchase Lillypilly's wines - most of which are award-winning and highly-acclaimed - or even buying a bottle as a gift for friends or family.
"It's definitely been a bit hard during these times for us, but we're certainly very lucky compared to many others," Robert said.
"We'll keep doing what we love and hope that everything continues to return back to normal soon."
For more information about the masterclasses or the winery check out Lillypilly's social media pages or website at https://www.lillypilly.com.au/.