The 2016 Napa Valley Winegrape Harvest is officially “in” this week, just as the season’s first storm heads towards Napa Valley. The current forecast calls for up to 3” of rain throughout Napa County, beginning on Thursday, October 13. While many growers hustled to bring any remaining fruit in, three growers sat with Sara Schneider, Wine Editor for Sunset Magazine, at the Napa Valley Harvest Press Conference Wednesday, to discuss the growing season and some of the major issues facing vineyard owners today.
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.
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.
Napa Valley Grapegrowers’ Harvest STOMP broke its own fund-raising record this past Saturday night, as the sold-out crowd of 575 people netted almost $1.3 million.
In its first 9 years, STOMP has been successful, with a 1,400 percent growth rate in funds raised since 2008, sponsors reported.
By Cathy Huyghe
Oscar Renteria of Renteria Vineyard Management knows that a labor shortage isn’t just pending at some point in the future. It’s already upon him. Here are two realities about the difficulty of growing grapes in the Napa Valley: the farming itself, and finding people to do the farming.