BONUS: The Smiths of Saxum Support College Students in the Name of Juan Nevarez

Higher education is important to many students but paying for college can be challenging. The Vineyard Team Educational Scholarship helps college students whose parents work in members' vineyards and wineries achieve their dreams.

The Smiths of Saxum and James Berry Vineyard, know that our people are vital to sustainability. Justin Smith tells the story of Juan Nevarez, a person instrumental in their wine business for over three decades, and their inspiration to donate to the scholarship fund in his name.

Pebble Smith says, “The year is 1985 and we’re looking at our first harvest at James Berry Vineyard. Our family, alone, has deer fenced, laid out, staked, and planted 35 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. We know there is no way we can get the grapes off and to the winery just using our family and any friends still willing to help us. Our very first thought was to call our friend Juan who was then helping the Baldwins develop their vineyard and winery. He looked at us pleading for help and said ‘no problema, I’ll be there before the sun’s up with enough men to get all your grapes off before noon.’ He was true to his word and our first harvest was the exciting start for two successful careers: our fledgling vineyard and Juan’s labor contracting business. Thirty-five harvests later and Juan and now his family, are still supplying us with skilled and trusted vineyard laborers. I know this is not the end for our relationship with Nevarez Labor but Juan’s passing has left his family and ours with a big hole in our hearts. To help heal that hole we have put forward money for the Vineyard Team Educational Scholarship Fund and we know that would have made him very happy. So in honor of Juan, Terry, Justin, Heather and I would like to honor all the Nevarez family for being such an integral part of our community.”

The Vineyard Team is grateful for the Smith family’s donation which helps us reach our goal to raise $25000 in 2021. You too can make a life changing impact on a student’s future. Donate at


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