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Here’s who won the 20th Napa County wine grape vine pruning contest

Vine masters

Women’s division winners

1st: Erika López, Renteria Vineyard Management. Prizes: $950 in cash and gifts cards plus a custom trophy belt buckle, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

2nd: Verónica Medina Reyes Bayview Vineyards. Prizes: $675 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

3rd: Ana Mejia, Trefethen Family Vineyards. Prizes: $400 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

4th: Rosa Martínez, Bettinelli Vineyards. Prizes: $250 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

Men’s division winners

1st: Casimiro Zaragoza, Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Prizes: $950 in cash and gifts cards plus a custom trophy belt buckle, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

2nd: Agustín Arias, Atlas Vineyard Management. Prizes: $675 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

3rd: Hector Rodríguez, St. Supery Estate Vineyards. Prizes: $400 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

4th: Lorenzo Hernández Aquino, Walsh Vineyards Management. Prizes: $250 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

Grapes are months away from being picked in the Napa Valley, but pruning must be done as the vines “sleep” through winter. And to some of those who do that job, there was a prize at the end of the shears.

Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, an offshoot of the trade group Napa Valley Winegrowers, announced the winners of its annual Napa County Pruning Contest, help at Beringer’s Gamble Ranch Vineyard on Saturday, Feb. 5.

About 90 vineyard workers faced the task - each of the contestants pruned five vines in the day’s preliminary competition. Those with the highest scores went on to the final round, which produced the winners: 4 in the women’s division and 4 in the men’s division.

The vineyard professionals took home cash, pruning tools, clothing, gift cards and other prizes; a handmade silver belt buckle was given to the 1st place winners. Employers typically match the cash prize winnings, the group stated.

“The Napa County Pruning Contest highlights the talent, skill and precision of our local vineyard workforce” stated Arnulfo Solorio, Partner at Silverado Farming Company and vice president of the FWF, “and I’m ready for another 20 years.”

Many had successfully competed in internal competitions within their own companies prior to arriving to the countywide contest.

“Participants are passionate about improving their skills each year and competing against their peers,” said Rolando Sanchez, general manager for Walsh Vineyards Management and member of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation’s Education Committee. “The pruning contest is an opportunity to demonstrate their dedication to high-quality, Napa Valley grape growing.”

Support for this event was provided by sponsors Central Valley Ag Supplies, FELCO/PYGAR USA, Martinez Orchards, Nemerever Vineyards, Pulido-Walker, OLE Health, Silicon Valley Bank, A&J Vineyard Supply, Ag Health Benefits Alliance, Brotemarkle Davis & Co., Copper Cane Wine & Provisions, Duarte Trees & Vines, John Derr Farming, Green Valley Tractor, Michael Wolf Vineyard Services, Renteria Vineyard Management, Novavine, Silver Oak, Sunridge Nurseries, Taddei Vineyards, V. Sattui Winery, and Vineyard Industry Products.

Vine masters

Women’s division winners

1st: Erika López, Renteria Vineyard Management. Prizes: $950 in cash and gifts cards plus a custom trophy belt buckle, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

2nd: Verónica Medina Reyes Bayview Vineyards. Prizes: $675 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

3rd: Ana Mejia, Trefethen Family Vineyards. Prizes: $400 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

4th: Rosa Martínez, Bettinelli Vineyards. Prizes: $250 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

Men’s division winners

1st: Casimiro Zaragoza, Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Prizes: $950 in cash and gifts cards plus a custom trophy belt buckle, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

2nd: Agustín Arias, Atlas Vineyard Management. Prizes: $675 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

3rd: Hector Rodríguez, St. Supery Estate Vineyards. Prizes: $400 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

4th: Lorenzo Hernández Aquino, Walsh Vineyards Management. Prizes: $250 in cash and gifts cards, FELCO heritage belt and vineyard loppers, and Central Valley gift tub.

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