The Survey NVG conducts the Napa Valley Wages & Benefits survey annually in January. The goal of the survey is to gather information on vineyard labor practices and compensation, analyze the data, and re-distribute it to all participating growers and vineyard management company members to be used as a tool to effectively compensate their vineyard workers.
The Results NVG engages a third party to conduct the survey, which results in an independent and objective product. They compile the information and provide participants with a thorough analysis of the data. Information obtained from the survey is kept strictly confidential and presented only in aggregate form with no single entity mentioned. The detailed aggregate results of the analysis are distributed only to NVG member survey participants.
This study presents the results of a survey conducted in February 2022. It gathered information on vineyard labor practices, employment, compensation, and benefits in Napa County during 2021.
California’s minimum wage is $14.00 per hour as of January 1, 2022, for employers with 25 employees or less and $15.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.
On average, wineries and vineyard management companies paid vineyard workers $20.35/hr and $18.80/hr, respectively, in 2021.
The data suggests 74% of firms raised the pay of at least one type of worker from 2020 to 2021. Workers received pay raises in proportion to their wages, and vineyard workers received an average hourly increase of $1.21.
Almost half of surveyed firms (44%) reported experiencing a labor shortage during 2021.
The primary method firms used to alleviate labor shortages was to pay overtime – 63% of firms experiencing a labor shortage said they hired paid overtime. Most firms hired a farm labor contractor (60%) or shifted the timing of some activities (50%).
In 2021, approximately 7.7% of vineyards and 6.7% of wineries with vineyards reported hiring workers using the H-2A program compared to 66.7% of vineyard management companies.
Both employee and compensation indicators strongly suggest the industry is growing. The type of firm with the largest increase in the number of employees was the vineyard management company, which went from employing an average of 132 workers in 2010 to an average 227 employees in 2021.