This interview is with Miguel Lopez of Red Dirt Labor. In this interview, Miguel speaks about his past work at Walnut City Wineworks and Domaine Roy et Fils. He also describes his early experiences in vineyards with his father and his wine education, which included studying at Chemeketa. He goes over how his vineyard management style has changed over the years and what it is like now running Red Dirt Labor. He shares his vineyard philosophy, explains why he doesn’t work with conventionally farmed vineyards, and discusses how he interacts with clients and employees.
Later, Miguel talks about AHIVOY, the non-profit for vineyard workers, which he helped begin and is currently serving on its Education Committee. He describes where the idea for AHIVOY came about, the people who contributed, and what the process was like to get it started and funded. He also talks about the impact COVID-19 and the 2020 fires had on both his professional and personal life. At the end, Miguel speaks about how he’s seen the industry change, what challenges it still faces, and what he is hoping for the future.
This interview was conducted by Rich Schmidt at a vineyard in Ribbon Ridge on July 27, 2021.