By Natalie Kitroeff and Geoffrey Motlan
Arnulfo Solorio’s desperate mission to recruit farmworkers for the Napa Valley took him far from the pastoral vineyards to a raggedy parking lot in Stockton, in the heart of the Central Valley.
Carrying a fat stack of business cards for his company, Silverado Farming, Solorio approached one prospect, a man with only his bottom set of teeth. He told Solorio that farm work in Stockton pays $11 to $12 an hour. Solorio countered: “Look, we are paying $14.50 now, but we are going up to $16.” The man nodded skeptically.
By Henry Lutz
ST. HELENA — Experts from various corners of the wine industry gathered last week to talk about the state of the ‘Napa Valley’ brand in the wine world.
Speaking before a hall packed with industry members at Brasswood Estate, presenters at the Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ annual Ahead of the Curve symposium included economists, authors, sommeliers and more. Each offered insights into potential changes on the horizon for the county’s dominant industry.
By Paul Franson
St. Helena, Calif.—The Napa Valley Grapegrowers association has an unparalleled educational program to help growers farm better grapes, but occasionally it steps back from viticulture to take a longer view. This Wednesday the group held the 2017 Ahead of the Curve seminar to do just that.
In this half-day seminar at Brasswood Estate near St. Helena, observers and experts, some from outside the wine business, offered concentrated insights into issues ranging from farmworker benefits to investing for the future.
By W. Blake Gray
Imagine if I could tell grapegrowers a way to produce more wine from the same vineyard that is also actually better. Happy Thanksgiving winegrowers, I’m here for you!
There’s another culprit to add to the list of reasons wines are unintentionally getting higher in alcohol: crop-thinning. This revelation comes from Rootstock, Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ annual technical conference for its members.
The word “unintentionally” is important. Many vintners, especially in Napa Valley, want their wines to have higher alcohol because it brings greater body and more perceived sweetness, not to mention higher scores from last-generation critics. But plenty of others, especially Pinot Noir producers, claim to have little control over alcohol levels. They like to say they give us what nature gives them.
By Henry Lutz
People from all corners of the wine grape industry swarmed the Napa Valley Expo on Tuesday for myriad product booths, displays of tractors and assorted farm equipment and vast tents for seminars and vineyard and wine trials.
This year’s event included expanded seminars in Spanish. “We have headphones in the seminars with translators,” explained Jennifer Putnam, executive director of Napa Valley Grapegrowers.
“So if you’re a Spanish speaker you can go in the seminars, put the headphones on and there’s a real-time translation happening in your headphones so you can follow the slides and all the information.”