Board Director // Napa Valley Farmworkers Foundation

Philanthropy in Napa Valley

Oscar Renteria’s entire life has been spent in Napa Valley’s vineyards. At age 12, he started working in the fields during school breaks and on weekends alongside his 14 aunts and uncles and 36 first cousins. “When I got to high school at Justin Sienna and learned that my classmates actually took spring break and summer vacations, I had the urge   to leave this only life I’d known,” said the St. Helena native and Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation board member. His escape finally came  during  his  junior and senior years in college when he studied at St. Mary’s in Moraga, earning a science degree. He had no plans to return to the Valley, but when his father Salvador suggested they go into business together, he relented, and returned. “I didn’t appreciate Napa at the time,” said Renteria. “But now I know this is where I belong.” In 1987, he and Salvador started Renteria Vineyard Management, providing comprehensive vineyard management services with two goals: 1) to unlock the unique and highest potential of every vineyard site they farm, and 2) to provide a supportive environment and network for the backbone of wine country’s workforce – its farmworkers. The company now employs 240 full-time staff and 200 seasonal staff and is one of the largest and most respected vineyard management companies in the North Bay.  In addition  to his vineyard management business, Oscar produces a collection of rare-production wines named Tres  Perlas after his daughters, who he calls the “three pearls” of his life.

Supremely gifted at making connections, Renteria’s background and personable nature have made him a familiar and highly respected member of the Napa Valley wine community. Oscar serves on the Board of the Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, where this year, he will serve as Chair of the 13th annual STOMP, Napa Valley Grapegrower’s popular fundraiser. Each year Oscar takes the stage to appeal to attendees and to host the bidding to support educational and professional development opportunities for more than 21,000 vineyard workers and their families. In 2019, the event raised a record-breaking $2.3 million.

“I get emotional on that stage when talking about the Valley’s workforce,” said Renteria. “I cry, which makes everyone else cry. Our clients jokingly accuse me of emotional manipulation, but it’s all real. It’s from the heart.”

In addition to his commitment to the NV Farmworker Foundation, Oscar is donating 100 percent of the proceeds of his new 2019 Tres Perlas Rosé to an emergency relief fund benefitting farmworkers and their families.

Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for more than 43 years. | www.napagrowers.org

 

 Article By: Fran Miller