Posted on Jul 16, 2020
by Danielle Echeverria
As Eppie Ordaz, a grape grower in Sonoma County, readies his vineyard for the late August harvest season, he is stocking masks and gloves for employees, planning empty rows to allow workers to keep their distance, and putting extra disinfectants and sanitation stations into place. The changes are new, but having to change isn’t, he says.
“Every harvest there are some crazy changes, adjustments and events, so I think we are pretty well prepared for anything,” he said. “There’s always something Mother Nature is going to throw at us, and COVID is another Mother Nature curveball, I guess.”
by NVG Staff
Since 2011, the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation has served Napa County’s Latino community, providing educational and professional development opportunities for more than 21,000 Napa Valley farm workers and family members. Our work continues during these difficult times, as we pivot to keep vineyard and winery workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since early March, the Farmworker Foundation has developed essential COVID-19 safety protocols and resources in Spanish and English and has been successful in slowing the spread of the virus in the vineyard workplace. To date, Napa County’s COVID-19 cases have remained low compared to other parts of California.
by NVG Staff
The Napa Valley Grapegrowers (NVG) announced this week that winegrape season is officially underway, as growers confirm strong fruit set in all grape varieties. Known as the process in which flowers become fruit, fruit set is an important milestone in the growing cycle, allowing grape growers to survey berry size and potential crop yields for the upcoming vintage.
by Shawn Zylberberg
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a Catch-22 for charity wine auctions. Their philanthropic efforts to support communities are needed more than ever, yet they cannot gather for big events. So while lockdown measures persist, auction organizers are trying new fundraising strategies. While many charities have faced event cancellations or postponements, they are using virtual auctions and fund-a-needs to continue to support their neighbors in need.
by Jill Barth
Roberto Juarez is the vineyard manager at Moulds Family Vineyards in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. He is also curious and eager to expand his knowledge. To better read, write and speak English, he turned to the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation.
“Today, my career has improved drastically,” says Juarez. “I have the ability to participate in all the meetings with the winemakers and our viticulture advisor.” Juarez is one of up to an estimated 9,000 farmworkers in Napa Valley, comprised increasingly of permanent residents, many with families. It’s estimated that women represent around 30% of the Napa Valley farmworker population.