While I was out in Lodi, California a couple of months ago, I spoke with several growers in the region and they talked about a variety of issues: crop yields, sustainable farming, pest control–issues that have faced growers since the beginning of the wine industry. There was another issue that nearly every grower mentioned that they feared would likely be the dominant issue facing California winegrowers for the foreseeable future:
Labor. Or more precisely, the lack thereof.
On the surface, this does not seem that it would be all that controversial until you factor in that the vast majority of labor in wine country is provided by immigrant/migrant workers, most of whom come from Mexico. Unless you have been living under a rock the last couple of decades, you know that immigration has become a political issue, which means it is rarely approached with even a modicum of common sense. I think I have…
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