Your source for CAWG and industry news
January 27 , 2017

February 9-10
CAWG Leadership Forum, Sacramento

March 15
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

March 15
CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, Sacramento

March 16
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

May 7-9
National Grape & Wine Policy Conference, Washington, D.C. 

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Cheers to a Successful 2017 Unified! 

Thank you to all of the CAWG members who attended, supported, helped organize and presented at the 23rd annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. We hope the event was valuable for you and your business. Some event numbers: 86 speakers, 674 exhibitors, more than 1,500 attendees at the state of the industry address, and nearly 14,000 total attendees. At the first Unified in 1994, there were 20 tabletop displays and about 500 attendees. Upcoming issues of The Crush will include articles about specific Unified sessions.

CAWG Facebook page (view our Unified photos featuring CAWG members)
Wines & Vines
Sacramento Business Journal  
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
North Bay Business Journal

Trump Signs Executive Orders on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump moved to fulfill his campaign promise for much stronger enforcement of the nation's immigration laws by signing two executive orders addressing border security and interior enforcement. Further analysis is needed to understand with certainty how these two orders will impact California agriculture and the farm labor situation. CAWG and its D.C. lobbying team, Cornerstone Government Affairs, will closely monitor the situation and share any additional information with CAWG members.
>EXECUTIVE ORDER: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
>EXECUTIVE ORDER: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the U.S.

John Martini Honored with Richard Smith Distinguished Service Award

John Martini, co-owner of Martini Vineyards and Anthony Road Winery in New York, was honored with the first Richard Smith Distinguished Service Award. Members of the Smith family - Claudia, Kacy, Jason and Jennifer - presented the award to Martini during a ceremony at the Winegrape Growers of America (WGA) Leadership Luncheon. Cosponsored by WGA, WineAmerica and the National Grape and Wine Initiative, the award ( details ) recognizes an individual who has made major contributions to the American grape and wine industry while demonstrating the Rich Smith characteristics of passion, commitment and collaboration.
>CAWG Facebook page (event photos)

New Legislation Focuses on H-2A Program

A new bill that would move the H-2A program from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture was recently introduced by Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Chris Collins (R-NY). The Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 would put "the H-2A agricultural visa program in the hands of those who best understand the specific needs of our farms." The legislation would allow applicants to fill out H-2A applications on paper or online, require a user-friendly online system, and allow agricultural associations to apply for workers for their members.

Speak Up! Farm Bill Listening Sessions in California

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross is seeking input from farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders on priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill at several upcoming public forums. Comments will be used to help develop recommendations on the farm bill and will be shared with California's Congressional delegation and leadership of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees. Public comments can also be emailed to .
Feb. 7: Modesto
Feb. 8: Chico
Feb. 16: Tulare
Feb. 22: Salinas
Feb. 23: Los Angeles

Kawamura Named as Possible Pick for No. 2 Spot at USDA

Media outlets are reporting that A.G. Kawamura , former California agriculture secretary (2003-2010) and third generation fruit and vegetable grower/shipper, is one of three candidates for the USDA deputy secretary position. The other two candidates are Charles Herbster of Nebraska and Ted McKinney of Indiana. All three were members of Trump's agriculture advisory committee. Kawamura serves on several boards and committees, including Western Growers Association, American Farmland Trust and Solutions from the Land.

Major Ag Groups Send NAFTA Letter to Trump

T he Wine Institute and WineAmerica are among the dozens of agricultural groups that signed a letter encouraging the new administration to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to preserve and expand upon the gains achieved. "Although some important gaps in U.S. export access still remain, increased market access under NAFTA has been a windfall for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors," the letter states. "U.S. food and agriculture exports to both countries have more than quadrupled, growing from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.6 billion in 2015."

CSWA Research Shows Increased Interest in Sustainably Produced Wine

Demand for sustainably produced wine has increased over the past 5-10 years and is likely to continue to grow over the next decade, according to new research commissioned by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. The findings are based on responses from 457 members of its national trade panel (including distributors, retailers, restaurateurs, media), who were surveyed about sustainable practices, certifications and wine sustainability programs. Environmental attributes rank high as necessary features of sustainable winegrowing, with respondents citing integrated pest management, conserving water and protecting natural resources as defining attributes of sustainability.

Apply for the California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards

California vineyards and wineries are encouraged to apply for the 2017 California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards.   Categories are Leader Award, Environment Award, Community Award and Business Award.  Applications are due by Feb. 3.  


Winter 2017 issue

Immigrant Chinese laborers who planted some of California's first grapevines are getting the public acknowledgment that eluded them during the 19th century.
The Press Democrat, Jan. 26 

North America winery count is now 9,872.
Wines & Vines, Jan. 24 

Bureau of Reclamation Reports on Water Year 2017 CVP Water Supply Conditions

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has issued an update on water supply conditions for the federal Central Valley Project (CVP). The six reservoirs highlighted in the report are Shasta, New Melones, Trinity, Folsom, Millerton and the federal portion of San Luis. A table comparing reservoir storage - as of mid-January from 2014 through 2017 - shows a combined capacity of 7.3 million acre-feet of water now compared to 4.6 million acre-feet in 2014.

Water Articles and Resources

With heavy rains flooding parts of the state, one grower is trying to capture the water while it lasts
Wine Spectator, Jan. 25
Powerful storms deluge wine country and refill reservoirs, but the state's water woes are far from over.
Wine Spectator, Jan. 23

Request for Auction Items for CAWG Foundation Wine Reception on March 15 

Numerous items are needed for the silent auction at this year's CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, which serves as the main annual fundraiser for the foundation's scholarship fund. Items can be wine, gift baskets, vacation home trips, weekend getaways, autographed memorabilia, concert tickets, sporting event tickets and more.  If you would like to donate items, please contact Carolee Williams at 916-379-8995 or  Thank you!

Video: Dr. Andy Walker on Nematode, Salt and Drought Resistant Grapevines

Dr. Andy Walker, a professor and geneticist with the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, was  interviewed about the progress of developing new grapevine rootstocks with combined resistance to drought, high salinity and nematode pressures. The 4-minute video was posted by California AgNet.

California Agricultural Leadership Program Seeks Applicants for Class 48

Dozens of CAWG members have participated in and benefitted from the California Agricultural Leadership Program, an advanced leadership development experience for mid-career agricultural professionals. Only one fellow in Class 47 works in the winegrape industry, so consider applying! The 17-month program - from October 2017 to February 2019 -  includes about 56 days of formal program activities. This includes monthly seminars, as well as national and international travel seminars. Interested candidates are encouraged to talk with alumni about the program and attend regional recruitment events (one will be held on Jan. 31 at the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau). Click here for detailed program information and the application for Class 48 are available. 

CSWA Workshops and Webinars

CSWA has several workshops scheduled on sustainable winegrowing and certification. Click on the links for more information and to register.

FEB. 7: Certified Sustainable Update Webinar, 10-11:30 a.m.


Challenges and Strategies in Ag Labor Management Seminar

This seminar will provide valuable information and strategies to help deal with ag labor management, legal and regulatory issues. Hosted by UC Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with the California Farm Labor Contractor Association, Zenith Insurance and Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards.
WHEN: Feb. 1
WHERE: Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards, Temecula
COST: $80 before Jan. 20

65th Annual Lodi Grape Day

Half-day seminar will feature presentations on high cordon machine pruned trellis trials, trellis system evaluation for mechanization, vine mealybug control and grapevine trunk disease management. Luncheon speaker is Dale Stratton with Constellation Brands.

WHEN: Feb. 7, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: 125 South Hutchins Street, Lodi
COST: $25 for lunch