Oregon winery hiring 10 workers displaced in California fires - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon winery hiring 10 workers displaced in California fires

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Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner, Oregon. Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner, Oregon.

The wildfires raging in Northern California have caused so much destruction, it’s impossible to quantify the impacts. But now, a local winery is doing what it can to help.

Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner will hire up to 10 cellar workers who have been displaced in California to help with the seasonal harvest.

The workers will help with fermentation, receive and process fruit, and work in the lab testing for pH and acidity, among other things.

They will also be provided housing and food during their temporary stay.

“There’s been up to 22 wineries that have lost portions of their property or vineyard, and there could be thousands of workers that are without jobs right now,” said Winery Director Christine Clair. “I just can’t imagine, growing up in the Oregon wine industry, what it would be like to lose your life’s work.”

Staff are using word of mouth and social media to spread the news, but they’ve also reached out directly to the Red Cross in Santa Rosa and affected wineries in the region to connect with workers.

“We will take them right now, we are working around the clock,” Clair added. “It’s been a year of very, very high yield, so the amount of Pinot Noir and other cold-climate varietals coming into our cellars right now is about 30-50 percent more than we were expecting Mother Nature to deliver this year. So, we can have them start this evening, I’m sure the night crew would appreciate it.”

There is also a fundraiser to help affected wineries and employees from Northern California this Sunday in Newberg, starting at 11:00 a.m. at The Allison Inn & Spa. The event, called Oregon Cares, will bring together dozens of local wineries and is also open to the public. A minimum $125 donation is requested.

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