Napa Valley Grapegrowers raise $2M to aid farmworker programs

The Napa Valley Grapegrowers organization on Aug. 26 celebrated its 10th annual Harvest Stomp festival, which raised almost $2 million to help support farmworker programs.

The event was held at Round Pond Estate, in its historic barn in the middle of cabernet sauvignon vineyards in Rutherford. More than 600 people attended.

“We are so thrilled with the results of this year’s Harvest Stomp. It was an honor to support this worthy cause and bring the event back to its roots at Round Pond, where we celebrated 10 years of the organization’s incredible growth and success.

The impact that the Napa Valley Grapegrowers has had on the Napa Valley’s winegrowing community, bettering the lives of growers and farmworkers alike, is truly remarkable,” said Ryan MacDonnell, Round Pond proprietor, in a statement.

The proceeds will go to the trade group’s farmworker foundation, which offers offer health, education, and professional development programs for more than 12,500 Napa County vineyard workers and their families.

Dutcher Crossing appoints new winemaker; Damaskey to consult

Dutcher Crossing Winery in Healdsburg has appointed Nick Briggs as its new winemaker, replacing founding winemaker Kerry Damskey.

Briggs joined Dutcher Crossing in 2012. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2005 and had previously worked as an assistant winemaker for various Napa Valley wineries. He will handle day-to-day winemaking operations along with newly appointed assistant winemaker Cass Gossage. Damskey will continue to consult.

“As founding winemaker, Kerry has been an integral part of building the Dutcher Crossing wine program, and has brought Nick along on that journey,” said proprietor Debra Mathy in a statement. “The two have formed a great bond and together we will continue to push forward the quality of our wines.”

SR-based M. A. Silva USA hires general manager

M. A. Silva USA, the Santa Rosa-based manufacturer of corks, glass and wine packaging, has hired Ted DeHaan as its general manager.

DeHaan has held leadership positions in the past 15 years in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, spirits, beer and wine packaging industries.

“M. A. Silva’s culture is structured on teamwork, customer centric, and common professional values. I am excited about the opportunity to utilize my cross-functional and leadership experience to achieve future goals and be part of the next chapter of this already successful company,” DeHaan said in a statement. He graduated from Ohio State University with an undergraduate degree in industrial and systems engineering and lives with his wife, Vanessa, and 8-month-old daughter, Sofie, in Napa.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to