October 6, 2022


  • Proposed Neonicotinoid Regulation
  • Just one Word - Plastics
  • CDFA and USDA to Host Joint Spotted Lanternfly Briefing
  • UW&GS - Registration & Housing Opens October 18
  • Top 10 New CA Employment Laws Signed into Law by Gov Newsom
  • How Much Snow Does California Need to Escape Drought?
  • WEBINAR: What You Need to Know About Changes Coming From the Wage and Hour Division
  • Harnessing the Power of Natural Volatile Compounds in Grapevines that Thwart Sharpshooters
  • SVB Annual State of the Wine Industry Survey - Early Results
  • California Mandates Unpaid Bereavement Leave for Employees: 4 Takeaways for Employers
  • Full Paper Available: Adapting wine grape production to climate change through canopy architecture manipulation and irrigation in warm climates
  • California Trade Report for August 2022
  • Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Approves Temporary Halt in New Wells
  • Nominations are Open for the 2023 Rich Smith Award

Proposed Neonicotinoid Regulation

This week, the Department of Pesticide Regulation released its notice for public comment on revisions to its proposed regulations limiting the use of neonicotinoids. CAWG and a coalition of wine industry organizations oppose this regulation. In April we provided formal comments raising concerns for how the regulation could negatively affect the Pierce’s Disease Control Program. 

In short, we argued that the use of neonics is needed for the effective control of the glassy winged sharpshooter, and that absent effective control, California vineyards could experience an increased threat of Pierce’s Disease which could have a devastating effect on the entire wine industry. Consequently, we asked that the regulation not apply to applications made under the Pierce's Disease Control Program for any pest statutorily regulated by the Pierce's Disease Control Program or designated by the Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Board.

Unfortunately, the revisions released this week do not address our concerns and are an indication that the regulation may move forward as-is. With the release of these revisions, there is a new opportunity for public comment. CAWG will file official comments objecting to the revisions as they do not go far enough. The regulation presents a threat to the effective operation of the Pierce’s Disease Control Program.

Written public comments relevant to the modifications may be sent via e-mail dpr22001@cdpr.ca.gov; or may be directed to Ms. Lauren Otani, Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist), Department of Pesticide Regulation, 1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015, Sacramento, California 95812-4015. FAX: (916) 324-1491. Comments that are submitted via U.S. mail must be postmarked no later than October 21, 2022. Comments regarding this proposed action that are transmitted via e-mail or fax must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 21, 2022.

Just One Word - Plastics

In the 1967 movie, The Graduate, Mr. McGuire tells Benjamin, “There's a great future in plastics.” However, given ever-expanding regulatory restrictions, the future of plastics may have already come and is now long gone -- Especially if California lawmakers have anything to say about it. 

California is already home to several state or local restrictions on the use of plastics including bans on single use plastic grocery bags, table ware, and straws. New restrictions were created this year as Governor Newsom signed three bills aimed at eventually eliminating the use of plastics altogether and zeroing out any waste sent to landfills. 

Last month Newsom signed into law SB 1013 (Atkins, D-San Diego) which adds wine and distilled spirit containers to the California Redemption Value (CRV) program. For the first time in history, wine organizations did not oppose this kind of legislation. Keep in mind that if wine were not under the CRV program, it would be subject to regulation under SB 54 (Allen, D-Los Angeles) which was also signed into law. That bill imposes minimum content requirements and source reduction requirements for single-use packaging. 

One of the last bills Newsom signed this year was SB 1046 (Eggman, D-Stockton), which will phase out plastic produce bags in supermarkets. The bags must be replaced no later than January 1, 2025, with recycled paper bags, or bags made of compostable plastic.

Several environmental nonprofit groups solicit donations through ongoing unsolicited mailers (junk mail) by highlighting these kinds of environmental policy changes. This is a bit ironic given three years ago, The Sierra Club published a piece suggesting that junk mail was terrible for the environment and is contributing to climate change. Perhaps a ban on junk mail is next? 

CDFA and USDA to Host Joint Spotted Lanternfly Briefing

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has been coordinating with the United States Dept of Agriculture (USDA), including the USDA Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) National Policy Manager as well as others, and will be holding a joint CDFA/USDA SLF briefing for the California grape industry. 

All are invited to participate in the briefing, which is being held virtually.

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Time: 10:00am - 11:00am (PST)


Unified Wine and Grape Symposium

Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities for 2023

Registration and housing for the 2023 show will open on Tuesday, October 18. Your CAWG member discount code will be sent on October 10. 

The Unified Symposium is the ideal location to promote your company to thousands of industry professionals who attend. Our varied sponsorship and advertising program offers several different options for all size budgets. Banners and signs in the newly renovated SAFE Credit Union convention center proclaim your presence, print and online ads showcase your product, and exclusive sponsorship opportunities increase your brand visibility.

This is THE wine & grape industry show to attend where you invest in your future and discover new ideas and technologies—a can’t miss!

For questions regarding the opportunities available, please contact Jenny Devine or visit unifiedsymposium.org


Top 10 New CA Employment Laws Signed into Law by Gov Newsom

Prepared by Fisher Phillips: As CAWG previously shared, a number of hot-button legislative proposals made it to Governor Newsom’s desk this year – many of which would change the landscape for California employers. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has been a “return to normal” year for California lawmakers, which means a return to aggressive legislation establishing and expanding workplace protections for employees. Now that the September 30 deadline for the governor to sign or veto bills has passed, we know what new laws are coming. Here is a summary of the top 10 pieces of workplace legislation signed into effect.

(NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, these bills will take effect January 1, 2023.) 

Subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Insight System to get the most up-to-date information about these new laws and how to comply.


How Much Snow Does California Need to Escape Drought?

With temperatures still in the 90's in many regions of the state, people are dreaming of cooler weather and praying for rain. In forecasting for what to expect this winter, a question on everyone's mind is whether this winter’s snow and rain save California from its severe drought.

In all likelihood, Mother Nature will have to deliver abnormally wet weather over multiple winters before the drought will disappear.

The long-range forecast for this winter does not look promising. “The forecasts that we’ve examined show warmer and drier than average conditions, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see a drought recovery year from the upcoming winter. We might get the occasional big storm, but the winter is supposed to be relatively drier overall,” Schwartz said.


Additional Articles / Resources: 

WEBINAR: What You Need to Know About Changes Coming From the Wage and Hour Division

Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EDT

Location: Webinar


US Department of Labor had an active 2022 – withdrawing previous regulations and pushing forward regulatory changes from a national level. This webinar will focus on what USDOL’s wage and hour division has been doing over the last year, and what you can expect to see in 2023. From independent contractors, to joint employment, to changes to the tip-credit, to impending changes coming to the white collar exemptions, the changes that are coming will be sure to keep you on your toes, and this webinar will provide updates you don’t want to miss.  



Harnessing the Power of Natural Volatile Compounds in Grapevines that Thwart Sharpshooters

Grapevines have a natural defense mechanism against Glassy-winged sharpshooter, a notorious vector for Pierce’s disease, that researchers are trying to learn more about.

Check out this brief interview with Julie Pedraza from the Fresno State Viticulture & Enology Research Center to learn more. 

You can also read further in the American Vineyard Magazine.

SVB Annual State of the Wine Industry Survey  - Early Results

There is one week remaining to participate in the Silicon Valley Bank Annual State of the Industry survey.

Each year, SVB conducts a survey to gather and provide metrics, insights and trends in the wine industry. All respondents who fully complete the survey will receive gratis survey results that include anonymized detailed responses, summary analysis and more than 50 charts wineries can use to benchmark their performance. SVB provided the following highlights reported thus far from industry surveys:

Early high-level indications of results in a variety of areas:

  • Financially wineries describe the 2022 year as "good year." (Not bad and not great)
  • Better than average grape quality
  • Lower than average harvest yields
  • The impact of the economy is described as having the largest negative impact 
  • The Winery Confidence Index produced through the survey is running negative overall.
  • There is moderate interest in acquiring new vineyards
  • Four percent could not get insurance, while close to 50% saw rate increases, with a third of total respondents saying their rates increased and their coverage decreased
  • Sixteen percent say the drought has reduced yields and they need to find new supply,
  • Eighteen percent say they have the potential for a serious supply shortage without rain in the winter of 2022/23

The survey is now open through October 15.



California Mandates Unpaid Bereavement Leave for Employees: 4 Takeaways for Employers

Provided by Fisher Phillips: A new law will require California employers to update their handbooks and leave policies — including their sick leave policies — to account for a new employee bereavement benefit. Governor Newsom approved the bill on September 29 requiring employers with five or more employees to provide up to five days of unpaid leave to eligible employees for the death of a family member. Fisher Phillips provided key takeaways for employers about the new law; which reviews the following: 

  1. Leave Does Not Need to Be Taken Consecutively
  2. Employees Can Use PTO to Offset Lost Wages
  3. You May Request Documentation
  4. The New Law Allows Retaliation Claims, But Not PAGA Lawsuits

This new law takes effect January 1, 2023.


Full Paper Available: Adapting wine grape production to climate change through canopy architecture manipulation and irrigation in warm climates

A host of researchers published a 16-page study to review the many factors that are currently challenging the productivity, quality, and sustainability in winegrape vineyards.  One being the increasingly significant global warming trend affecting California and its threat to vineyards and winegrape quality. 

The study compares six trellis systems with three levels of applied water amounts based on different replacements of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) in two consecutive seasons.

Overall, this study evidenced the efficiency of trellis systems for optimizing production and berry composition in Californian climate, also, the feasibility of using flavonols as the indicator of canopy architecture.


California Trade Report for August 2022

Below are highlights prepared by the California Center for Jobs and the Economy from recently released data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Within California, congestion off the San Pedro Bay ports similarly eased from last month, with the most recent report for October 5 indicating 17 ships (but no container ships) at anchor or loitering. As with the global results, supply congestion is easing but remains an issue, especially when incorporating the shift to inland congestion as the result of ongoing warehouse and trucking shortages. More importantly, the source of that easing is coming more from a softening of trade flows as inflationary and recessionary factors are growing rather than steps to improve trade infrastructure and operating efficiencies.

Share of Goods

The share of total US goods trade (exports and imports) through California ports continued dropping to 16.42% (12 month moving average; compared to 16.51% in July 2022 and 17.69% in August 2021).

California remained the #2 state, behind Texas with 19.37% (compared to 19.23% in July 2022 and 17.46% in August 2021).

CA Exports

Total California goods exports were up $0.8 billion from August 2021 (up 5.2%) in nominal terms but dropped in real terms. California remained in 2nd place with 9.24% of all US goods exports (12 month moving total), behind Texas at 23.37%.

CA Imports

Total California destination goods imports were up $2.3 billion from August 2021 (up 5.7%) in nominal terms, but as well showed a drop in real terms. Compared to pre-pandemic August 2019, imports were up $8.0 billion (22.8%), indicating a strong rise in both nominal and real terms.


Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Approves Temporary Halt in New Wells

Article from The Press Democrat

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has imposed a six-month halt in all new wells countywide, a far-reaching move likely to impact residential and commercial property owners seeking to tap groundwater amid a historic drought.

The immediate drilling moratorium, which offers only a narrow exemption for emergency water needs, is meant to give the county more time to draw up a new set of well regulations aimed to safeguard surface and subsurface flows in the county’s major watersheds.

2021 lawsuit by the environmental group California Coastkeeper Alliance spurred the work toward new regulations, and the Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote on the new rules this week. 

Instead, after hours of deliberation over a proposed well ordinance that would have established new requirements reflecting updated state policy for well permit applicants, the board voted 4-1 to impose a moratorium, seeking to buy time for additional work.


Nominations are Open for the 2023 Rich Smith Award

Richard (Rich) Smith, founder of Valley Farm Management, Paraiso Vineyards and Smith Family Wines in California’s Santa Lucia Highlands wine region, was first and foremost a family man, and also a successful grape grower, winery owner and respected colleague. He was a highly effective, collegial and tireless leader whose significant and selfless contributions of time, energy and funds helped to shape public policy and scientific research to advance the American grape and wine industry. He passed away in December 2015.

Three of the organizations Rich helped to establish—National Grape Research Alliance, WineAmerica and Winegrape Growers of America annually join with the Smith Family to bestow the Rich Smith Distinguished Service Award. It recognizes an industry representative who exemplifies the passion, commitment and collaboration Rich was known for and who has had a similarly positive impact on the industry. For each organization, it is our highest and most coveted award.


Do you know a colleague who emulates Rich’s exceptional leadership? Nominate him or her by November 16, 2022.



18 – Registrations and Housing Open for the 2023 Unified Symposium

28 - CAWG Election Ballots Due


24-26 – Save the Date! 2023 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium 



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