Every Friday, we’re shining a light on a different farmer in Washington State. We hope you enjoy getting to know those who grow our grapes. They work around the clock to make our hours happy. This week, get to know Rosanna Lugo, HR/Compliance Specialist over at Seven Hills Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley.
Washington Wine: How did you get into wine, and why Washington wine?
Rosanna Lugo: I began as a volunteer washing glasses for Pepper Bridge Winery for their many events; this was approximately 5-years-ago. I observed the tasting room associates pour the wine and talk about the wine itself and the story behind it and its owners. I became very interested and asked if I could continue; well, 5 years later, I am a tasting room associate for Pepper Bridge. Throughout this time, I met Norm and just about when I was going to retire from state government, he asked me if I would be willing to work for him up at Seven Hills working for Dry Creek Agriculture. I met with Sadie and it “kick-started” from there. I have been working for my AWESOME boss since August/2018; and it has been OUTSTANDING!!!! I continue to learn something exciting every day.
WW: What does work look like for you?
RL: I am not sure I can really call my job “work.” I totally love what I am do working for Sadie. I am her HR/Compliance specialist. This is not a typical HR position where you are “stuck” in the office. I am out with the crews. Sometimes Sadie has to go find me [laughs]. My role is to ensure that all employees are in compliance with all safety regulations, all employees have what is needed — PPE — complete time cards, issue paychecks, answer questions, conduct safety meetings, provide supplies (water, gloves, glasses, trash bags, etc), assist with providing information on available resources, COVID vaccine scheduling, and accompany them to their appointments to provide translation.
WW: What do you like most about wine work, and what’s most difficult about working in wine?
RL: I love the people! The interactions I have with the crews at Dry Creek Agriculture and the guests I serve at Pepper Bridge make my day go quick. I learn so much from all of them and honored to work for both Sadie and Norm. What is difficult? The weather. Mother-nature is always or sometimes “moody” and changes the weather on us quite frequently. The uncertainty of this year’s harvest is going to yield equal to or more than the year before. I am always learning so, for me, this is all still very new.
WW: What does life/ordinary day look like off-season?
RL: Between February – December, I work seven days a week for both Dry Creek Agriculture and Pepper Bridge, and I work year-round for Sadie. I am also going to school: first-generation graduate. I am currently working on my Bachelor’s Degree and hope to graduate in 2023 with a BAS in Business Administration. Right now, I am training for a half-marathon, which has been on my bucket-list. Sadie and I will be going to Las Vegas in Feb/2022 for that. She is going to run it, and I will walk it. I’m old ?.
WW: What’s one thing you love to do that has nothing to do with wine?
RL: One thing I love to do that has nothing to do with wine? My family. I have three grown kids. I still have my parents — 89 & 90-years-old, thank you Lord — and have 4 grandchildren, one of which just turned 5-years-old and she has me “hopping.” We love to dance!
This column is open to all grape farmers in Washington State. Are you a farmer, or do you work with one who you think would like to be featured in our Friday Farmer column? Reach out to Bretty Rawson, Digital Programs Manager at Washington Wine, at [email protected]. We’d love to shine a light on you, and all the work you do, to make Washington Wine what it is today.