At Home and At Work in Wine Country

At Home & At Work in Wine Country
Seasonal workers settle into the wine community as year-round vineyard staff.

by Elaine Chukan Brown  Instagram: hawk_wakawaka  Twitter: hawk_wakawaka
posted on January 23, 2018

“People with the specific skills needed to do what we do in vineyards in Napa Valley outpace temporary labor that isn’t regularly focused on those tasks.”—Oscar Renteria

The recent fires on California’s North Coast have shone a light on a growing problem for the wine industry: a shortage of affordable housing. The massive increase in wine tourism, as well as an accompanying increase in vacation rentals and second homes in one of the country’s most prestigious destinations has meant a significant increase in the local population. Wine tourism and an influx of wealthy residents have built demand for more service and hospitality workers. As those workers have moved in, it’s become harder for agricultural workers to find homes.

In 2015, Karissa Kruse, who serves as president of the Sonoma County Wine Growers, set out to revamp the group’s mission, focusing on sustainable conditions for the county’s agricultural workers. To better understand the challenges, the group initiated a community study.  They found that key issues included workforce development, education, healthcare, childcare and affordable housing.

“We realized that addressing these issues wasn’t something vintners could tackle on their own,” Kruse says. So SCWG invited political leaders and community groups throughout Sonoma County to help design …

To keep reading this article head on over the the Wine & Spirits Magazine website where it is shared free-for-all. It is also available in the just-released print edition of their February issue. Here’s the direct link to the article:  https://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com/news/entry/at-home-at-work-in-wine-country

Leave a Reply