Budding Box

Oscar Robledo, skilled in the art of budding (grafting) grapevines in the field, used this handmade, wooden tool box for holding his knife, a leather sharpening strap, a roll of tape, and sticks of budwood. He carried this box into his family’s vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, where he grafted new buds onto healthy rootstock, a practice that allows growers to plant different varietals (e.g., Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) onto mature roots.
Oscar is a member of the Sonoma-based Robledo winegrowing family. His brother Reynaldo migrated north from Michoacán in 1968. Following their father, who worked in the bracero program (a contract labor program that brought Mexican men to work in the United States between 1942 and 1964), Reynaldo found work in the rapidly expanding vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. He rose quickly from vineyard laborer to budder, and eventually to vineyard manager. By the 1990s he had purchased significant acreage and established the Robledo Family Winery. Reynaldo Robledo’s wife, children, and several members of the extended family are active in the wine business, producing wines that complement the family’s Mexican roots.
Object Name
budding box
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paint (overall material)
box: 10 1/2 in x 26 1/2 in x 14 1/4 in; 26.67 cm x 67.31 cm x 36.195 cm
tape: 3 in; 7.62 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Food Culture
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
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Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Everardo Robledo

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