Leather Strap for Sharpening Knife

Oscar Robledo used this leather strap for sharpening his budding knife as he grafted grapevines in the field. Budding, a highly valued skill in wine country, requires precision as well as stamina. Robeldo carried this leather strap and his knife, along with a roll of tape and sticks of budwood in a handmade box as he budded vines in his family’s vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. There 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.
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
overall: 24 in x 2 1/16 in; 60.96 cm x 5.23875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Everardo Robledo
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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