Happy Labor Day from San Diego Beer and Wine Tours!
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a day to honor the efforts of American workers. It is a classic American holiday, and a federally-observed day. Labor Day was signed into effect by President Grover Cleveland after brutal violence marred the Pullman Strike in 1894.
But although this history is interesting, the real story here is how Labor Day and the labor movements are entwined with the history of wine in the United States. After the Great Depression hit, the wine industry made a comeback during World War II. As more workers returned from war and streamed into agricultural jobs, wages went lower and standards for farmworkers dropped.
In 1965, California grape workers, led by United Farm Workers, organized a nonviolent strike, boycotting in vineyards within Kern County and beyond to demand fair treatment. Americans – more than 14 million of them – helped the cause by not buying grapes or wine. Finally, in 1969, a historic agreement was signed, promising workers fair wages and treatment.
While the struggle never completely ceased, and in fact, continues in other places throughout wine-growing areas in the United States to this day, the partnership between Labor Day and wine is one that should not be forgotten. This Labor Day, we drink a toast to the laborers and farmworkers who demanded, and received, fairness.
To honor the efforts of American workers we’re offering $5 off any beer or wine tour now through the end of September. Just give us a call for your discount: 858-551-5115.
Brooke B., oenophile organizer