June 15, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • Lead Story: Kicking the CEQA Can
  • Diversity in the Legislature
  • Grow West's Growing Together - Summer 2023 Newsletter: CAWG & Grow West Team Up to Elevate Winegrape Advocacy
  • CAWG June Issue of The Crush Newsletter
  • CAWG's 49th Annual Meeting

Industry News:

  • CDFA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Effecting Grape Crush Districts
  • California Legislators Submit State Budget to Governor Gavin Newsom - What You Need to Know
  • USDA Announces Corrections to Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two
  • New Neonicotinoid Regulations Contain Provisions for Quarantine Pests Such as GWSS
  • Spotted Lanternflies are Back This Summer - How New York Vintners Are Preparing

Upcoming Events

  • Investigating Regenerative Practices in a Production Vineyard Workshop
  • Heat Illness Prevention Training
  • Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates (GFA) Webinar Series with Jon Moramarco
  • American Society for Enology and Viticulture National Conference
  • Pre-Harvest Safety Workshop

Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification Renewal

The July 1 CCSW certification renewal deadline is right around the corner! Get in touch with a CCSW-accredited auditor soon to schedule your audit and start working on the renewal steps. 

Certification Renewal Steps Webinar Recording: 

Recording Link

Password: T==5k@pc

Not yet certified and wanting to learn more? 

Visit the apply page and contact our certification team with your questions. 


Lead Story: Kicking the CEQA Can

We have all had experiences where we couldn’t decide how to act on a problem, so we just put it off until later or “kicked the can down the road.” It’s not the best way to solve a problem, and it’s certainly not the best way to write a budget. But that is exactly what the legislature has come accustomed to doing every June 15th, the deadline for the legislature to pass a budget. This year is no different.

Today, when the legislature sent Governor Newsom their 'supposedly' final version of the 2023-24 State Budget, it technically met its constitutional duty to pass a timely budget. However, several outstanding issues are yet to be resolved. The budget approved this week is in no way the final spending plan for 2023-24. Among the unaddressed issues are Governor Newsom’s request to reform the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Newsom wants these changes because currently, CEQA is adding millions of dollars in costs and years of delay to vital infrastructure projects. CEQA is such a problem that major construction projects like sports arenas have been completed only because those projects enjoyed a change in the law that allowed them to utilize an expedited CEQA review. In his reforms, Newsom is calling for that kind of expedited review for infrastructure projects. The legislature has thus far rejected Newsom’s reforms. 

Dozens of major funding decisions were also kicked down the road. The Governor has until June 30 to act on this budget, and it is unclear whether he will demand progress on the reforms as a condition of signing the budget. He could stand firm and veto the budget until he gets the CEQA reforms he needs. There is no doubt that several bills will be passed in the months ahead that resolve issues left unaddressed in the budget approved by the legislature. But, it is unclear though whether CEQA reform will be part of those future budget developments. 

In future CEQA reform discussions, it would also be helpful if there was recognition of what CEQA is doing to farming, housing, land use, and much more. The CEQA problems with infrastructure projects are just the tip of the iceberg. Discussions of a full reform of CEQA have been kicked down the road for several years. Hopefully, current activities will spur a meaningful dialogue on the issue. 

For More Information

Diversity in the Legislature

There is a general theory that diversity in the legislature results in more thoughtful deliberation. The idea being that diversity would bring all perspectives into the conversation when debating a bill. For example, when Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) authored SB 224 to prohibit foreign investment in agriculture, members of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus expressed respectful concern that the bill could unintentionally result in an angry backlash against the API community. 

Unfortunately, though, as the legislature has become more diverse, the intensity between lawmakers based on diversity has increased substantially. 

For example, Senator Aisha Wahab (D-San Jose) authored SB 573 which was intended to make it more difficult for legislative staff to become lobbyists. The bill was opposed by a group of women (who were former legislative staff) that led the Me Too movement in Sacramento. They believed the bill would have an adverse effect on legislative staffers who were being harassed. Wahab shot back accusing the women of being disingenuous and said their opposition was insulting to victims. Some of her colleagues called for Wahab to apologize, but she refused. 

Most recently, Assemblymember Corey Jackson (D-Riverside) is authoring ACA 7 which would amend the California Constitution to allow state funds to be spent on culturally specific programs. When the bill was heard this week, in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, Assemblymember Bill Essayli (R-Riverside) opposed the bill because he supports Proposition 209 which was approved by the voters in 1996 and made affirmative action illegal. Jackson then posted this about Essayli on Twitter, This is a perfect example [sic] how a minority can become a white supremacist.” Essayli is the first American Muslim elected to the Assembly.

When policy debates become heated, especially when that heat is fueled by diversity, it is difficult to achieve effective governance. It would be more effective if lawmakers could lean on their diversity to hear each other out and engage in more thoughtful public debate.

Grow West's Growing Together - Summer 2023 Newsletter: CAWG & Grow West Team Up to Elevate Winegrape Advocacy

Grow West's Summer 2023 Newsletter features an article highlighting the relationship and collaboration between CAWG and Grow West.

The article, featuring quotes by Natalie Collins, President, and Mike Boer, past CAWG Board Member, focuses on CAWG's commitment to staying at the forefront of the biggest issues affecting winegrape grapegrowers and advocating for the interests of winegrape growers throughout the state.

“We were created by the grower, for the grower. The stronger our voice is, the more successful we’ll be in advocating for the industry, and we need support in that effort,” she said. “Grow West is a trusted industry supplier and can influence a lot of decisions among growers, and they play such a huge role in what we do with their knowledge of what’s happening in vineyards every day,” said Collins.

Read Article

CAWG June Issue of The Crush Newsletter

Earlier this week, the June issue of The Crush Newsletter was released.


  • Feature Story: Soil Health Assessment Tools & Resources
  • Federal Focus: Debt Limit Raised: Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023
  • State Update: Modernizing Water Rights
  • A Busy Legislature
  • CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament - Thank You, Sponsors!
  • CAWG Foundation Awards $44,000 in Scholarships
  • Leadership Academy to Represent Sonoma County Agriculture This Summer in DC
  • West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Smoke Summit Recap

Ad from Acadian Plant Health.

Read June Issue

CAWG's Annual Meeting

CAWG's 49th Annual Business Meeting will be held via Zoom on July 13. Join CAWG’s annual meeting to hear a review of key highlights and accomplishments from the past year. Registration is open for the virtual meeting and all CAWG members are invited to attend.

Updated meeting agenda and speakers to be announced soon! 

Register here.

Industry News

CDFA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Effecting Grape Crush Districts

CDFA will hold a public hearing on August 11, 2023, to discuss proposed rulemaking regarding Grape Crush District changes. The amendment proposed in this rulemaking action would modify the boundary between Grape Pricing Districts 5 and 17 utilized for the Grape Crush Report. In short, the rulemaking proposes to move the Ryer Island region from District 5 to District 17.  

CDFA's notice states the objective is to ensure market data accuracy and equity of average grape price reports in the annual grape crush report. The specific benefits anticipated from the regulation are to correct unintended negative economic impacts to the western viticultural areas of District 5 due to the inclusion of the Ryer Island area in District 5 and to better align the grape pricing districts with federal American Viticultural Areas.

Interested persons may present statements or arguments with respect to alternatives to the proposed regulation at the scheduled hearing or during the written comment period. The written comment period closes on August 11, 2023.

Inquiries and comments concerning the proposed action may be directed to:

Kacie Fritz, Special Assistant

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Marketing Services Division

1220 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 900–5011

[email protected]

Additional information on the proposed regulation and Initial Statement of Reasons can be found on CDFA's website.

California Legislators Submit State Budget to Governor Gavin Newsom - What You Need to Know

Today marks a critical day in the legislature - the deadline to submit a state budget to the Governor. While lawmakers met their deadline and submitted their State Budget Plan, there is a lot of news surrounding what was included, what was cut, and what Governor Newsom's next steps will be. CAWG has outlined articles of interest below.

USDA Announces Corrections to Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two

USDA is updating the ERP Phase Two to provide a method for valuing losses and accessing program benefits to eligible producers for some crops including grapes grown by the same producer for wine production. The corrections ensure that ERP benefits reflect 2020 and 2021 natural disaster impacts more accurately. USDA's Farm Service Agency anticipates beginning to accept ERP Phase 2 applications on June 16 when the corrections are published in the Federal Register and become effective. The deadline to submit ERP PhaseTwo applications is July 14.

More Information

New Neonicotinoid Regulations Contain Provisions for Quarantine Pests Such as GWSS

California Department of Pesticide Regulation has adopted new rules restricting the use of neonicotinoids to protect pollinator health. The new regulations will become effective on January 1, 2024. A full list of regulations can be found here.

There is an exemption for applications to control the glassy-winged sharpshooter (Section 6990(c)(3)), which has been declared a quarantine pest by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Spotted Lanternflies are Back This Summer - How New York Vintners Are Preparing

California is home to the nation's largest winegrowing region and an infestation of the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) would be devastating for growers.

An article by the New York Times shares how New York vintners are preparing for the insect. Winegrape growers are on the lookout for the pest and have been preparing by cutting down trees of heaven plants, an invasive plant that SLF feeds on. Gardeners are also helping by setting traps and using hand-held vacuums to suck up the SLF nymphs.

Right now, the SLF is in its early nymph stages, right after hatching. The tiny black insects are dotted with white spots during this stage before they develop their iconic gray and red coloring as adults which will happen later in July. Officials continue to encourage people to stomp, squash, or swat the pest.

More information on SLF and how to spot the pest can be found here.

Upcoming Events and Trainings

Investigating Regenerative Practices in a Production Vineyard Workshop

In this Vineyard Team workshop, participants will explore regenerative farming methods. Attendees will visit a production vineyard with an ongoing, long-term investigation into the adoption of regenerative practices. Topics will include looking at SAP samples, soil samples, cover cropping, fertilizer programs, and stem water potential application in the field.

When and Where:

  • June 16, 9 AM, Jackson Family Wines, Soledad


Heat Illness Prevention Training

California requires that all employers comply with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard (§3395) and train their employees about prevention methods. The Napa Valley Grapegrowers is hosting a training for supervisors with Teresa Andrews, Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety. The training will include 2023 regulatory updates and insights on the recent OSHA decisions regarding water at outdoor worksites. 

When and Where:

  • June 16, 2:30 PM, Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation, Napa


Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates (GFA) Webinar Series with Jon Moramarco

Jon Moramarco, a partner in and the Editor of the Gomberg Fredrikson Report; and the Managing Partner of bw166, is hosting a Q2 GFA Webinar to explore market intelligence for the Wine Industry. Registration for the webinar is limited.


The key topics that will be addressed are: 

  • Recap of calendar 2022 market trends
  • YTD Wine Market trends
  • Beer, wine, and spirits trends
  • Data anomalies due to the pandemic
  • Market outlook for the balance of 2023  

When and Where:

  • June 22, Virtual


American Society For Enology and Viticulture National Conference

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) National Conference provides an ideal opportunity for networking among members of all U.S. wine and grape regions, as well as international experts and professionals. Join us for a week of focused learning in winemaking and grapegrowing, and reconnecting with friends and colleagues.

Learn the latest about Pierce’s disease and glassy-winged sharpshooter research at the 2023 ASEV National Conference. The PD/GWSS Board Research Seminar session will be moderated by PD/GWSS Board Research Coordinator Kristin Lowe.

ASEV offers all CAWG members their discounted member rate. If you would like to register using the discounted member rate, please call the CAWG office for your promo code.

When and Where:

  • June 26-29, Napa Valley Marriott

Visit ASEV's website to learn more about their National Conference.

Pre-Harvest Safety Workshop

Join Vineyard Team for this train-the-trainer workshop to head into harvest prepared. The workshop will cover machine operations, hand harvesting, tool safety, tractor safety, and personal protective equipment. 

When and Where:

  • July 14, Vineyard Industry Products, Paso Robles




13 - CAWG Annual Meeting (Virtual)



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