By David Stoneberg
A tight supply of vineyard workers, California’s new law mandating overtime pay for agricultural employees and climate change highlighted Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ harvest press conference Wednesday morning.
“Labor is a hot topic right now. There is a shortage of people wanting to get into vineyard work,” said Brittany Pederson, viticulturist for the Silverado Farming Company.
Given the labor situation, preserving the current workforce is “what we need to focus on — keeping them safe, healthy and happy and keeping them here,” she said.
Michael Silacci, winemaker for Opus One, was more direct. “We feel vineyard workers are perhaps the most valuable resource we have, after the grapevine,” he said.
By Barry Eberling
Napa County could soon get a wet wallop, but local grape growers and Safeway Open golf tournament officials expect to weather the blow.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday predicted a storm will hit late Thursday through Friday and another late Saturday into Sunday. Rain could be heavy at times and top three inches at some North Bay locations, with more than an inch closer to the region’s bays.
By Barry Eberling
Under proposed state regulations, most grape growers in the Napa Valley and on its surrounding mountains would have a role helping the Chinook salmon and steelhead trout make a Napa River comeback.
The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board is writing the latest chapter in a saga that has gone on for years. It is continuing a quest to reduce human-created watershed sediment runoff that it says harms habitat for fish and other aquatic life.
By Greg Northcutt
By the first of September, Napa Valley wine grape growers had picked much of their 2016 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc crop and were just beginning to harvest their Merlot and other earlier red varieties, says Garrett Buckland.
Buckland, partner of Premiere Viticultural Services, based in Napa, Calif., expects the three-to-four-week harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon, the area’s most widely-planted variety, to begin around Sept. 20.
Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ Harvest STOMP broke its own fund-raising record this past Saturday night, August 27, as the sold-out crowd of 575 people raised almost $1.3 million dollars net. This record highlights the popularity of the event, and the support it has generated.
In its first 9 years, STOMP has enjoyed staggering success, with a 1,400% growth rate in funds raised since 2008. The event was held at the beautiful Regusci Ranch in the heart of the Stags Leap District. Grapegrowers, consumers, and locals looked out across vineyards and the western hills as they gathered to celebrate the 2016 harvest.