Winegrape Legacy of Nat DiBuduo
August 5, 2016
Nat DiBuduo Has Long History of Growing Winegrapes
By Laurie Greene, Editor
A 16-year member of the Fresno-based Allied Grape Growers, a statewide marketing cooperative for winegrape farmers from major winegrape growing regions of California, Nat DiBuduo currently serves as the organization’s president and CEO. Likewise, Nat DiBuduo’s family has a long history of growing winegrapes and was the first family to plant varietal winegrapes in the San Joaquin Valley more than 40 years ago.
Eager to discuss this year’s crop, DiBuduo said, “Harvest 2016 is upon us. We started to harvest Pinot Grigio grapes last week that will be going into wine. We’ll be starting Thompson Seedless this week that will go into low-sugar wine and champagne programs,” he noted, adding, “We’re looking forward to it, we are ready for it, and we’ll go forward.”
Established in 1951, Allied Grape Growers has been providing competitive marketing services, including price negotiations, ever since to its members, which now total nearly 600 from major winegrape regions of the state. DiBuduo summed it up by saying, “There’s plenty of demand, and we think pricing will be better than last year. We’re optimistic.”
Allied also sponsors events aimed at improving workplace health and safety, which also reduces workplace injury and illness costs. In light of the recent heat wave in California, DiBuduo noted one of their top priorities is heat illness prevention. “That’s why most of the winegrape harvesting will be done at night time, which helps the workers,” he said. “So for those people who are picking table grapes or doing other work in the field, we want to make sure that they’re out of the field before it gets hot; practicing good, safe heat stress prevention; and getting plenty of water, time out, and shade.”
“We’re dependent on our labor force,” DiBuduo encapsulated, “and we want to make sure we’re protecting them. And preventing heat stress is important to us,” he said.