by NVG Staff
Napa Valley sets the gold standard for farming. As an established agricultural preserve for over 50 years, the cherished, 30-mile stretch of land is cared for by dedicated grape growers who tend to their vines with careful consideration and innovation. Year-after-year, no matter the challenges, Napa Valley growers’ collective goal is to adapt, overcome, then produce high-quality winegrapes, and 2020 was no exception.
This year, Napa Valley growers faced more than the usual share of weather-related challenges, which means the 2020 growing season has been shaped and defined by the ways in which our community banded together—both to ensure the health and vitality of the workforce and to persevere through increasing climate challenges. Read the full NVG press release.
*Photo credit: Sarah Anne Risk
by Napa Valley Grapegrowers Staff
The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) has launched an innovative new program that brings laptops and instruction on the use of technology to Napa County farmworkers.
COVID-19 presented the Farmworker Foundation with challenges on implementing its educational programs and professional development, which typically serve over 2,500 people per year. Bringing the coursework online and into workplaces and homes was a natural next step, but the group quickly recognized that a starter course on using laptops and other technology was needed in order for participants to be successful. Read the full press release.
*Photo credit: Farmworker Foundation staff
by Barry Eberling
Citing potential losses of $1 billion from the Glass Fire alone, a disaster-reeling Napa County wine industry has given county government a list of recovery requests.
Napa Valley Vintners, Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Winegrowers of Napa County submitted the letter earlier this week. They called on the county to further assist residents, businesses and landowners suffering from this year’s string of calamities.
The Glass Fire came on the heels of the Hennessey Fire. Both happened amid the COVID-19 pandemic. All of this has the wine industry seeking less red tape for rebuilding and more fire prevention efforts.
Posted on Aug 31, 2020
by Jess Lander
Sadie Drury, general manager of North Slope Management in Walla Walla, Wash., was doing everything right. She implemented and enforced all the recommended safety protocols, and yet, two of her employees — who lived together in shared, family housing — contracted Covid-19. With social distancing and masks in place, none of her other employees tested positive, but one of the two who were infected devastatingly passed away. “That hit us really hard,” she says. “It was a longtime supervisor in our company who had worked with us since the late ‘90s.”
The Latinx community, which makes up the majority of the U.S. wine industry’s farmworkers, has proven to be especially vulnerable to Covid-19. In California, for example, Latinx persons account for 59 percent of positive Covid-19 cases and 47 percent of deaths, despite making up just 39 percent of the state’s population, according to the California Department of Public Health. This vulnerability is mostly attributed to the farmworker community’s low-income, socioeconomic realities; many workers live in multi-family housing and often carpool together in vans and other large transport vehicles. In Napa County alone, an outbreak of roughly 70 cases of Covid was reported in the county’s farmworker centers in July.
by NVG Staff
The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) has launched a child care program for Napa County farmworker families through harvest. The program has been generously seeded by the Foley family and Harmon & Joanne Brown. It will be administered by the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley.
Courtney Foley, winemaker for Foley Estates, and her sister Lindsay instantly saw the need and stepped forward to fill it. “When we learned of the challenges farmworker families are facing with COVID-19, one of the areas that stood out was the lack of child care during harvest. This is often a time when families are stretched, and we knew we wanted to help create opportunities for these children to succeed at distance learning and be cared for while their parents were at work.”