Your source for CAWG and industry news
October 13, 2016

November 10-11, 2016
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Santa Rosa

November 15, 2016
Crop Insurance Webinar

January 24-26, 2017
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

January 25, 2017
WGA Leadership Luncheon, Sacramento

February 8-9, 2017
CAWG Leadership Forum, Sacramento

March 15, 2017
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

March 15, 2017
CWGGF Wine Reception, Sacramento

March 16, 2017
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

May 7-9, 2017
National Grape & Wine Policy Conference, Washington, D.C. 

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San Joaquin River Flow Objectives and FSMA Discussed at State Board of Food and Ag Meeting 

At its Oct. 4 meeting ( agenda ), the California State Board of Food and Agriculture discussed the draft flow objectives for the lower San Joaquin River recently announced by the State Water Resources Control Board. Several speakers in support and opposition to the proposal spoke to the board. The board also addressed the implementation of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act in California and heard from federal and state officials as well as stakeholder organizations on the issue.

Update: Comment Period Extended on State Water Board's Draft Proposal
The State Water Resources Control Board is extending the written comment period on the proposed plan amendment and Substitute Environmental Document. The deadline was originally Nov. 15 and has been extended to Jan. 17, 2017. The agency is also planning additional public hearings on the proposal. 

Governor Signs Bill Expanding Heat Illness Regulations to Include Indoor Workers

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 1167 (employment safety: indoor workers: heat regulations), which directs Cal/OSHA to adopt a standard to protect the health and safety of indoor workers from heat-related illness and injury, while further implicitly mandating a high heat provision. Cal/OSHA will begin the rulemaking process in 2017 to submit a proposed rule to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board by Jan. 1, 2019.

CalChamber Releases Final Status Report on Business-Related Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce has published a final status report on its top priority bills for California's business community, showing the fate of legislation sent to Gov. Jerry Brown this year. Among the categories are agriculture, labor, environmental regulations and workers' comp. CalChamber was opposed to AB 1066 (ag overtime) and SB 3 (minimum wage increase).

"Amazing Wine Country Destinations" Featured on Visit California Website

Thirteen wine country regions are now featured on the Visit California website: Napa Valley, Sonoma County, North Coast Wine Country, Mendocino Wine Country, Gold Country, Lodi Wine Country, Central Coast Wine Country, Funk Zone (Santa Barbara), Santa Ynez Wine Country, Temecula Valley Wine Country, Santa Cruz Wine Country, San Luis Obispo County Wine Country and Silicon Valley Wine Country. Each destination page has an introduction about the region, as well as links to resources, regional winegrape associations and visitor information.

Total Wine & More Founder Looks at Future Growth, Wine Trends

From Wines & Vines: During the recent Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa, Total Wine & More co-founder and co-owner Robert Trone discussed the company's fast growth and trends in wine styles. The corporation has plans to open several stores in the Bay Area in the coming months and estimates 200 stores nationwide by 2018. Trone also noted some trends in wine styles:
  • Fruit-forward and slightly sweet.
  • Sparkling and semi-sparkling.
  • Rosé: he questioned why more California wineries haven't jumped on this trend.
  • California wines: Good news since the East Coast has been so import-oriented. "California wines are easier to explain."

Farm Groups Push for More Biotech Money in Funding Bill

From Politico: A coalition of farm groups is urging lawmakers to include $3 million in the next funding bill to help USDA and FDA better explain the benefits of biotechnology. In an Oct. 5 letter to House and Senate appropriations committee members, the groups claim the money is needed to combat "a tremendous amount of misinformation" about the technology that is influencing the public's response to GMO crops. They also ask legislators to block any effort to limit the use of biotechnology in food and farming. "Embracing modern agriculture is the right thing to do for our country, which has a rich history of nurturing science, research and innovation in all areas of the economy, including farming," they wrote.



Matt Boughner talks harvest, yields, labor and vineyard challenges.
Western Farm Press, Oct. 13
Tom Hoffman and other growers saw delays with sugar development in some red varieties.
Western Farm Press, Oct. 13
Duff Bevill says the weather has been perfect and quality of grapes has been remarkable.
Western Farm Press, Oct. 13
Wine industry companies should understand the potential liability they face when they rely on staffing agencies to provide workers.
North Bay Business Journal, Oct. 10

More women are being recruited not only to pick grapes, but also turn them into wine.
KPIX/SF Bay Area, Oct. 11

Sonoma County vintners employ an estimated 5,000 people in the fields. Increasingly, however, machines are taking over.
The Press Democrat, Oct. 9

CVP Begins Water Year 2017 Below Average

The Central Valley Project (CVP), the largest single source of irrigation water in the state, began water year 2017 with 4.9 million acre-feet of water in six key CVP reservoirs, which is less than half of capacity. The reservoirs include Shasta (62 percent of capacity), New Melones (22 percent), Trinity (40 percent), Folsom (31 percent), Millerton (44 percent), and the federal share of San Luis Reservoir (7 percent). Figures do not include major state-owned reservoirs. The water year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. "Regardless of conditions, we will continue to collaborate with our water users, stakeholders and agency partners to best manage our critical water resources," a Reclamation regional director said.

Water Articles and Resources

CAWG Board Election: Ballots Due Oct. 15

CAWG logo no words
Ballots for the CAWG board of directors - districts 1, 3 and 4 -  must be returned on or before Oct. 15 to be included in the ballot count. Thank you to all of the CAWG members for taking the time to participate in electing your district's leadership.

Evening Reception Supporting Assemblyman Jim Cooper

Join fellow CAWG members in support of Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) at an evening reception at Big Oak Nursery in Elk Grove on Oct. 18. A friend of agriculture and the winegrape industry, Cooper was first elected in 2014. The reception is hosted by CAWG, California Cattlemen's Association, Sacramento County Farm Bureau and Goehring Vineyards, Inc. Attendees will enjoy wine, beef, gourmet street tacos and mariachi music.

CAWG Regional Wine Reception and Dinner

CAWG logo no words
Join the CAWG board of directors and staff for a wonderful evening of wine, food and socializing at the Regional Wine Reception and Dinner on Nov. 10. The event will be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa - reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $75 per person.
REGISTER ONLINE: If you are a CAWG member and would like to register online,  click here. Please call the office at 916-379-8995 for member ID and password.
REGISTER USING FORM: click here for form.
HOTEL: Rooms are reserved at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek. Mention CAWG to receive the discounted room rate of $175 per night ( available through Oct. 14 ). Book online by  clicking here or contact the hotel at 402-592-6464.  

Shop AmazonSmile: An Easy Way to Support the CAWG Foundation

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the CAWG Foundation, at no extra cost to you.  When you shop, Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price to the foundation . Eligible products are marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages. 

Upcoming Webinar on Crop Insurance
An important part of your 2017 planning process is risk management of your crop. To help grower members with this process, CAWG is hosting a brief webinar about the Federal Crop Insurance Program. Presenting will be Greg Merrill, senior vice president and director of crop insurance services with Pan American Insurance Agency, Inc. If you have questions, contact CAWG Manager of Member Relations Natalie Collins at or 916.379.8995. Topics will include:
  • What's covered and not covered?
  • How do I sign up?
  • How do I file a claim?
  • Can I insure to my winery contract price?
  • 101: Crop insurance policy basics
  • How much is really subsidized?
WHEN:  Nov. 15 at 10 a.m.

Unified Sponsorships and Ads: Act Now to Maximize on Your Benefit  
The 2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Jan. 24-26, is an ideal way to promote your business. Now is the time to t ake advantage of great sponsorship and advertising opportunities that will  maximize your marketing dollars and exposure .  For additional information, please visit the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium  website  or contact Jenny Devine at (916) 379-8995. 

UCCE Seminar: Vineyard Pest and Disease Management

UC Cooperative Extension is holding a seminar featuring more than a dozen UC speakers covering a range of important vineyard pest and disease management topics. It is approved for 4.5 hours DPR CE units (CCA units applied for).
WHEN:  Nov. 4 / 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE:  Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo

COST:  $100 per person (includes refreshments and lunch)