by Esther Mobley
Wake-up time is 4:30 a.m. for Jesus Angel Sanchez Victoria and Cesar Alegria Ruiz. It’s early — but then again, everyone wakes up early at the River Ranch Farmworker Housing Center in St. Helena, where breakfast is served between 3 and 6 a.m.
Before they leave for their vineyard jobs, Ruiz and Victoria grab a sandwich or a burrito from the River Ranch kitchen. When their workday with Corona Vineyard Management ends — often around 4 p.m., depending on how hot it gets — it’s back to River Ranch. They spend their evenings doing laundry, listening to music, playing basketball and, every night, calling their families.
by Henry Lutz
A decade ago, Silvia Ortiz was unemployed and desperate for work. But with scant grasp of English and unable to speak it, she remembers having to ask her then 6-year-old son: “How can I tell the winemaker that I am looking for a job?”
by Armando Hurtado
I grew up in Saint Helena, raised by two very hardworking Mexican immigrants, and with a strong love for Napa Valley. Despite never having the opportunity themselves, my parents embraced the idea of college and supported my desire to pursue a higher education.
Posted in Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation on May 04, 2017
by Steve Moulds
If there is one common denominator in the Napa Valley, it is our mutual love and appreciation for this truly unique place in the world.
As growers and farmers, we share a responsibility for the mere 45,000 acres of which we are stewards. We share a sense of place due to a combination of distinct elements. For example, the many soil profiles that allow versatility in varietal selection. Our climate is certainly the envy of many. And when channeled by the geographic features of the hillsides bordering our valley floor, the viticultural benefits are further enhanced.
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.