Vintners look toward machines amid immigrant worker uncertainties

09/19/2007 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

High temperatures in Napa Valley, Calif., from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7 had vintners buzzing about an incredible vintage, but it also had crew working on the fields every day from midnight until noon. There were enough vineyard workers this year, but new laws about illegal immigrants could spur major labor shortages on the fields in the future, which is why some vintners have started to experiment with mechanical harvesters.

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