New Pieces on Wine Enthusiast: Farmworkers and Regenerative Winegrowing

Hello to my L’Occasion friends. I have two new stories published recently on Wine Enthusiast and I think you’ll find them fascinating. These two (plus one more, which I’ll also share) were included in the magazine’s Advocacy Issue, and I’m quite proud to be a part of this. Each are linked below for you to read in full


sheep in vineyard, biodynamic wine, regenerative agriculture

Sheep at Tablas Creek Vineyard/Photo by Brittany App. Photo Courtesy: Wine Enthusiast

Beyond Organic: The Winemakers Leading a Sustainable Revolution: 

For Joseph Brinkley, director of organic and biodynamic vineyards for California’s Bonterra Organic Vineyards, a farmer’s relationship with the land is long-term.

“Regenerating it is better than sustaining it,” says Brinkley.

Regenerative agriculture is based on the idea that soil, and the environmental and cultural elements that rely on its health, can be improved by farming it responsibly. Practitioners like Brinkley often employ organic and biodynamic methods to form guidelines that the wider industry has come to refer to as “sustainable.”

But Brinkley says that a regenerative perspective “speaks to what we do way more than ‘sustainable.’ ” That’s because regenerative agriculture doesn’t seek to simply maintain the status quo but offer rehabilitation.


Napa growers, vineyard workers, California agriculture, education

Napa Valley Farmworkers Foundation’s pruning contest/Photo by Suzanne Becker Bronk. Photo Courtesy: Wine Enthusiast

This Napa Wine Organization Puts Farmworkers First:

The Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation (FWF) seeks to invest in and support these individuals as skilled professionals and valued community members.

Paul Goldberg sits on the board of directors for the FWF, where he serves as vice president. He’s also the president of Napa Valley Grapegrowers and director of operations at Bettinelli Vineyards. He says that as the quality of Napa Valley wines increased, area wineries required a year-round, skilled workforce. Previously, workers tended to vineyards seasonally.

“These people were on the ground floor of farming, thousands of eyes on the vineyard,” says Goldberg. Vineyard owners realized it made sense to invest in training for their employees.


women in wine, Oregon wine, Latinx wine

Elena Rodriguez of Alumbra Cellars in Dayton, Oregon. Photo Courtesy: Wine Enthusiast

Six Latinx Experts Changing the Face of American Wine:

The North American wine business has been indelibly shaped by global influences, much of it linked to the contribution of Latinx and Hispanic hands and minds.

With ties to the earliest years of grape growing in the U.S., these communities have shaped the landscape of the bottles we enjoy. These are the people woven through a viticultural history that extends through statehood, the Mexican Revolution, Prohibition, the Great Depression and World War II.

These six industry experts talk about the best parts of their jobs and offer advice for young people seeking a future in the wine business.

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