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Will H-2A Visa Workers Save California Wines?

July 28, 2017 (1 min read)

Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 2017

"Many grape growers consider H2A’s bureaucratic hurdles insurmountable: Those include costly fees, piles of paperwork and the requirement to provide government-inspected housing to workers. It’s a burden that many smaller-scale vintners insist they simply cannot bear. But as labor grows ever scarcer, will they have a choice? For vineyard workers, the H2A visa represents safe passage from Mexico, legal work status, a good wage and guaranteed housing. Wine Country’s resident workforce no longer wants to do vineyard work, and the flow of undocumented workers coming from Mexico is quickly drying out. For many would-be vineyard hands — and for many of their employers — H2A may soon be the only viable option. “Without H2A,” Seghesio said, “we couldn’t make this kind of wine.”"