For Agustin Santiago, language is a crucial a part of his cultural heritage. Born within the village of Santa Maria Zacatepec in Oaxaca, Mexico, Santiago was not raised to talk Spanish. As an alternative, the constructing blocks of his identification have been fashioned round Mixteco, an indigenous language that dates again to pre-Hispanic nearly 3,000 years in the past.
“I’ve plenty of sympathy for folks making an attempt to study Spanish, as a result of it is my second language,” mentioned Santiago, director of vineyards at Medlock Ames vineyard.
Santiago now speaks each English and Spanish, however mentioned he enjoys speaking with two colleagues who additionally converse Mixteco.
“Sustaining my mom tongue is essential to me, and I do not wish to lose that,” Santiago mentioned. “The youthful era shouldn’t be within the Mixteco language, so there are plenty of Spanish audio system.”
This 12 months, Santiago is celebrating 22 years on the Healdsburg vineyard, having joined the winery crew as a tractor driver in 2000 earlier than transferring to the rank of winery foreman and now winery supervisor. At this time, he manages and meticulously cares for Medlock Ames Farm, Market Backyard and year-round olive bushes whereas overseeing a crew of 5 workers.
“Agustin is aware of the farm higher than (co-founder) Ames Morrison and I do know that,” mentioned Abby Watt, Medlock Ames winemaker. “Vinegar is like his youngsters – 1000’s of kids – and he’s very devoted to creating certain all of their wants are met.”
With 20 years of institutional information, Santiago understands Medlock Ames winery intimately, from when bud break is prone to happen on every block to how the vines reply to modifications within the climate. He additionally has an ideal line and units excessive requirements for his winery crew.
Over the previous twenty years, Santiago’s arduous work, ardour and dedication haven’t gone unnoticed. Earlier this 12 months, Morrison nominated Santiago for the Management Academy of the Sonoma County Basis for Winery Growers.
Designed to foster management among the many Sonoma County winery workforce, this system offers specialised coaching, management mentoring, and networking alternatives with winery staff to assist them develop expertise past agriculture. This system included programs in monetary literacy, battle decision, compliance, and wine manufacturing.
“Agustin has an insatiable drive to study,” Morrison mentioned. “He loves researching and asking robust questions on each side of winery administration. I assumed the Management Academy can be a wonderful means for him to make the most of his current information to develop and supply higher management for our winery crew.”
Karissa Cross, president of Sonoma County Winegrowers, which runs the institution, mentioned Agustin Santiago was a “actual enjoyable” on the academy and offered a singular perspective, on condition that he works as a winery supervisor at a smaller vineyard.
“I’m so happy with all that Augustin has completed, and I’m grateful to be part of the Sonoma County Wine and Agriculture neighborhood,” Cruz mentioned. “I am excited to see what lies forward and I look ahead to watching him proceed to thrive as a frontrunner.”
After finishing the Management Academy this summer season, Santiago mentioned he feels extra assured managing a problem or disaster at work and is impressed to study extra about grape biology and the economics of vineyards. Not too long ago, he took on a brand new position, serving to Watt with finances.
“I really like working for Medlock Ames as a result of they need me to continue to grow and studying,” Santiago mentioned. “I get pleasure from the great thing about nature and spend time with my pals. For me, work brings me peace and happiness.”
You’ll be able to contact Workers Author Sarah Doyle at 707-521-5478 or [email protected]
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