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Sunview Featured in The Last Harvest: The Yemenis of San Joaquin

by Shawna Rodgers |

Like many in the CCOF-certified farming community, Sunview Vineyards is a multigenerational, family-run operation. As a longtime supporter of the CCOF Foundation, Sunview is committed to reinvesting resources into future organic producers. Sunview’s founder, Marko Zaninovich, emigrated from Yugoslavia to the United States and began Sunview Vineyards. Over the years, many of Sunview’s farm professionals have come from Mexico, but a small portion came from Yemen, fleeing political turmoil in their homeland.

Nearly a decade ago, PBS aired a mini-documentary called The Last Harvest: The Yemenis of the San Joaquin. It features the story of one particular Yemeni immigrant and Sunview Vineyards professional, Mohamad Abdullah. While the story was told in 2012, its message is still undeniably relevant in 2021. It details how one Muslim family found economic opportunity in Delano, California, working for Sunview Vineyards. In addition to giving historical context, the film’s narrator, Nora Abdullah (Mohamad’s daughter) highlights the dedication of workers like Mohamad. In particular, the film features the need for human touch—a skill that cannot be mechanized—in farming operations. Her father and his colleagues spent many days on Sunview Vineyards selecting only the highest quality grapes to sell on the market and committing themselves to a lifetime of land stewardship. Nora’s parents also stayed true to their cultural and religious heritage, despite being so far from Yemen. They were essential in founding the local masjid and religious school, Abu Bakr Al-Sadiq Mosque and Madrassa in Delano.

Watch the full documentary on YouTube.

The CCOF Foundation is grateful for Sunview Vineyards’ leadership and commitment to supporting future organic farmers. Join Sunview Vineyards by becoming a CCOF Foundation donor today.