St. Helena’s Cameo Cinema will host the Napa Valley premiere of director Bernardo Ruiz’ “Harvest Season” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7.
“As part of our Community Arts programming we wanted to showcase this documentary about the behind-the-scenes Mexican Americans who are essential to our premium California wine business,” said Cathy Buck, the theater’s owner and creative director. There will be a Q&A following the screening with Vanessa Robledo of Robledo, Black Coyote and noted winemaker Gustavo Brambila of Gustavo Wines, both featured in the film.
“Harvest Season” delves into the lives of people who work behind the scenes of the premium California wine industry during one of the most dramatic grape harvests in recent memory. The film follows the stories of Mexican-American winemakers and migrant workers who are essential to the wine business, yet are rarely recognized for their contributions.
Their stories unfold as wildfires ignite in Napa and Sonoma counties, threatening the livelihoods of small farmers and winemakers who are already grappling with a growing labor shortage, shifting immigration policies, and the impacts of a rapidly changing climate.
Ruiz said his original idea for the film was to tell the story of unsung heroes of the wine business by exploring all the stages of wine production and by focusing on the individuals working in the fields with the grapes and taking them all the way to bottle.
“Anyone who has ever set foot on a working vineyard, knows that without workers, there is no wine,” said Ruiz. “Yet rarely will you find stories in the media, dedicated to the food and wine industry, about the daughters and sons of vineyard workers becoming winemakers themselves.”
A co-production of Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Latino Public Broadcasting, the film will be presented in Spanish and English with English subtitles.
The Cameo Cinema is located at 1340 Main St. in St. Helena. Tickets are $8 and available online. For additional information and to watch the trailer, visit cameocinema.com.
Editor’s Note: This story has been modified to fix spelling mistakes.