Asylum-seekers help produce Italy’s famous Brunello wine

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CASALE DEL BOSCO, Italy (AP) — Summer is arriving in Tuscany’s wine country. Yahya Adams moves his gloves through the shimmery foliage, removing excess buds and shoots to make the vines stronger. He’s among 24 asylum-seekers from Africa and Asia working in vineyards of Tenute Silvio Nardi on this year’s crop of Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy’s most famous wines. They come from Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Pakistan and elsewhere, with no prior experience. But they have found temporary work through a local non-profit that helps asylum-seekers find legal employment in vineyards or olive groves while their claims are being processed. The program keeps the workers away from Italy’s off-the-books employment system, which often exploits workers.

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