Hosted by the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, this year marks the 14th for the Napa County Pruning contest. Vineyard workers from throughout the area are encouraged to participate in events that showcase their speed, skill, and artistic pruning abilities.
As odd as it sounds, the competition is a big deal throughout the valley. Many local wineries host their own internal competitions before the big day, allowing their own employees to earn their way into the county contest.
Official Event Details
The pruning competition is officially held on Thursday, February 19th, 2015 with a rain date of February 20th. The events will be held at the Beringer Vineyards Gamble Ranch from 11am until 2pm.
There will be one winner from each division, with prizes as follows:
1st place – $850 plus custom trophy buckle, shears, and a vest
2nd place – $600 plus shears, loppers, and a vest.
3rd place – $350 plus shears, saw, and a vest.
4th place – $200 plus shears, saw, and a vest.
Of course, the winner walks away with prestige as well, bringing notoriety to himself and the vineyard where he works.
Registration for the event closes on February 16th, so make sure you get your application in soon if you haven’t done so already.
Make sure you bring an appetite, too. Compadres will serve a free Mexican-style lunch to all competitors and there will also be music and entertainment throughout.
The Creation of Divisions
In years past, there were only men’s divisions but 2015 marks the 2nd year for a separate women’s division. Previous to 2014, women had seemed hesitant to compete with men, so the formation of a separate competitive division seemed like a fair compromise. And while the separate divisions remain this year, it’s important to note that at the end of the 2014 competition, when all of the points were tallied, the overall scores showed that if there had been only one group of competitors the overall winner still would have been the top female competitor.
The Napa County Pruning Contest has grown and evolved over the past several years and we can’t wait to see what’s in store this year. Book yourself a local hotel room, tour a winery or two, and head on over to see the workers in competition. This is one event you won’t want to miss.