by Molly Moran Williams, NVG Industry & Community Relations Director
When thinking about vineyard work, most people will likely imagine the hustle of harvest; however, while harvest is exciting, it is merely the tail end of the work that goes into the full growing season. Pruning season requires highly-skilled hands and careful attention as it sets the stage for the growing season.
Pruning season marks the very beginning of the year in vineyard work, annually. Timing can differ by grape variety and is subject to weather patterns and winter rains. Pruning styles vary as well, from cane to spur pruning, and are supported by different training methods. Look closely at the vineyards as you drive along Highway 29, and you will see a range of farming practices being implemented to try and maximize quality, sustainability, and efficiency. In every vineyard, pruning sets the stage for success in the year to come.
Put simply, pruning requires incredible skill. Carefully pruned vines are sculpted by equally careful vineyard workers who employ years of experience and technical viticultural knowledge in each cut.
*Photo by Suzanne Becker Bronk
by NVG Staff
The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) participated in a brand-new end of year giving program in December, distributing 250 Copperfield's Books gift cards to farmworkers and their families. The program was made possible by the Wells Fargo Foundation, long- time supporters of the FWF.
“The Wells Fargo Foundation is committed to supporting our community, especially during these difficult times. This grant is a small token of our appreciation for the essential role farmworkers have played in keeping our economy going,” said Denise Miles, senior vice president, Wells Fargo Social Impact & Sustainability. “We are proud to collaborate with the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation to do something special for the children of farmworkers.”
*Photo submitted by Renteria Vineyard Management
by Michael Silacci, Winemaker for Opus One & NVG President
On a crisp January morning, under clear blue skies, Alfredo Llamas walks up to a vine in a Napa Valley vineyard. He kicks the grape stake to see if it was broken, gives the vine a once over, and begins to prune it.
Once Alfredo has given the stake a gentle kick, the vine has his complete attention and focus. He evaluates the length and girth of the canes, judging the number of buds to leave at the position.
Strong canes require additional buds to compensate for excess vigor, and Alfredo will leave fewer buds on weak canes to strengthen the position. The excess wood will be removed, and precise cuts made to leave enough cane above the bud to protect the bud from drying out, but not so much that pests find a place to harbor.
Pruning is a time to reflect on the past, live in the present, and imagine what the future will bring. Less than a minute later, Alfredo will be kicking the next stake.
*Photo submitted by Opus One
by Napa Valley Grapegrowers Staff
In the face of this year’s challenges, Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) and the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) have maintained a steady focus and commitment to supporting the community through challenging times.
In 2020, the organizations provided vital information and resources to grape growers, vineyard managers, vineyard workers, and their families. Together, NVG and FWF:
*Photo credit: Renteria Vineyard Management
by Napa Valley Grapegrowers Staff
The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF), with many thanks to a generous group of individuals, raised $20,000 in support of COVID-19 relief for Napa’s farmworker community. Through the Travis Credit Union Foundation matching grant, donations were doubled, and Travis Credit Union has awarded the FWF an additional donation of $20,000.
“The Travis Credit Union Foundation gives 100% of donations back to our local communities,” said Damian Alarcon, Director of Community Relations for the Travis Credit Union Foundation, “and we are proud of the recent fundraising collaboration with Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation because of the immediate relief that will be provided to our friends and neighbors through their vital programming.” Read the full press release.