October 15, 2020
Oct. 12 was National Farmer's Day! CAWG pays tribute to all of the hard-working farmers of winegrapes and other commodities.
CAWG Board Election Ballots Due Friday, Oct. 16
Thank you to all of the candidates for wanting to serve in a leadership role for CAWG!

Ballots must be postmarked or received in the CAWG office by Friday, Oct. 16. Please contact the office at 916-379-8995 if you have any questions.
Government Relations Report
The California Latino Legislative Caucus this week selected Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) as chair and Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) as vice chair. We congratulate both and look forward to our growers being a resource in helping to shape legislation of importance to growers and grower employees. 
The California Latino Legislative Caucus was created in 1973 (then known as the Chicano Legislative Caucus) and has continued to grow in numbers and influence over the last several years. Today, as a leadership group organized to consider and speak to issues of import to California’s Latino communities, the caucus has tremendous political and legislative influence.   
The caucus is comprised of 29 members (seven senators and 22 assemblymembers). Every year, it identifies its top priority policy issues. In 2020, those policies include the census, economic equity, education, environmental justice and immigration. 

The caucus then identifies priority legislation in those policy areas. When it identifies any specific bill as a priority, it brings the votes of nearly one-third of the California Legislature. Additionally, the caucus is very active politically and helps elect Latinos around the state.   
Consequently, caucus priorities carry tremendous political clout and the appointment of a new chair and vice chair is noteworthy. Both Durazo and Rivas were children of farmworker families and have been very engaged in agricultural issues in the Legislature. 

Ballot drop boxes are not new in California. Voters have been dropping off ballots at county-approved ballot drop boxes for several years. These have been typically located at libraries, county administration buildings, city halls and community centers. However, with the increased push for voters to complete ballots at home and then mail completed ballots or drop them off, many counties are increasing ballot drop off locations.   

The goal of county elections officials is to make it convenient, safe and reliable for voters to drop off their ballots. To find the location of an official ballot drop box location, voters should consult their county Voter Information Guide or visit the website of their county registrar of voters (aka elections office).   

This year, ballot drop boxes are in new places, including grocery stores, auto dealerships, motor home parks, hardware stores, restaurants, churches, office buildings and more. In San Joaquin County, drop box locations this year include the offices of the Lodi Grape Festival and a few wineries. 
The wine industry is stepping up to support the right and privilege of voting. Cheers to that effort and to the voters! 

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
The Crush October Issue (Digital)
The Crush is now available in digital format (the PDF was emailed last Friday).

CAWG Members, Member Employees Among Wine Enthusiast Award Nominees
Congratulations to the following CAWG members and member employees who have been nominated for Wine Enthusiast's 2020 Wine Star Awards. 

  • American Winery of the Year: Benziger Family Winery and Duckhorn Vineyards.
  • Person of the Year: Heidi Scheid, Scheid Family Wines; Jeff O’Neill, O’Neill Vintners and Distillers.
  • Wine Executive of the Year: Amy Hoopes, Wente Family Estates; Carlton McCoy, Jr., Heitz Wine Cellars.
  • Winemaker of the Year: Greg Brewer, Brewer-Clifton (Jackson Family Wines)
  • Wine Region of the Year: Santa Barbara County.
  • Social Visionary of the Year: Brad and Randall Lange, LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards; Hansjörg Wyss, Halter Ranch.
  • Viticulturist of the Year: Duff Bevill, Bevill Vineyard Management; Brenae Royal, E. & J. Gallo Winery.

"Save the Old Vines" Campaign Unveiled by Lodi Winegrape Commission
The Lodi Winegrape Commission wants to preserve Lodi’s “own-rooted, gnarly old vineyards,” some of which are 100 years old, so it recently launched a new marketing campaign titled “Save the Old Vines.” The goals of the campaign are 1) highlight Lodi’s rich viticultural history through its old vine vineyards and wines and the people behind both; 2) raise awareness and education surrounding historical, old vine plantings in Lodi; and 3) foster recognition of the quality of wine produced from old vines and the need for premiumization of old vine wines. Part of its mission is to inspire a movement throughout California winegrowing regions.

Podcast: Effective Vineyard Spraying
The Vineyard Team’s Oct. 15 podcast features Cornell University’s Dr. Andrew Landers, who discusses his more than 30 years of research and development on pesticide sprayer technology to reduce pesticide use through accurate, efficient delivery of the product.

>PODCAST (41 minutes)

With over 30 harvests, the G3 Ag Team has deep experience in winegrape hauling. Our operational expertise and agile planning combine to provide responsive service for wineries and grape growers large and small. Click on image or here to view video.
Click the image or here for more details.
CAWG's preferred partner for insurance products for more than 20 years. Group workers' comp, wine industry package, federal crop insurance, employee benefits and more. For more information: 209-955-2600 or email.
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
Recording Online: Smoke Exposure — Winegrape Contracts and Crop Insurance
Winegrape Contracts and Smoke Exposure Language
Dale Stern/Downey Brand, LLP discussed how smoke exposure issues are dealt with under common provisions of winegrape contracts.

Crop Insurance and Coverable Losses
Jeff Yasui/USDA Risk Management Agency reviewed coverable crop insurance losses relative to smoke exposure and filing requirements for growers who believe they have a loss claim.

Resources and Articles
California Farmworker Foundation Highlights COVID-19 Efforts in Video
The California Farmworker Foundation recently posted a three-minute video addressing its ongoing efforts to protect and support farmworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “One way in which you can help is…that you make sure that the state and the federal government continue to invest much-needed resources into these communities,” a CFF representative said in the video.
Resources and Articles

California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 statistics and resources (updated daily)

California’s tier assignments: View map. As of Oct. 13, eight counties are in yellow (minimal), 13 in orange (moderate), 27 in red (substantial) and 10 in purple (widespread).  

Western Farm Press, Oct. 14

Data and tier assignments are updated every Tuesday.
President Issues Executive Order for Water Resource Management and Infrastructure; Creates Water Subcabinet
President Trump on Oct. 13 issued an executive order that formally establishes an interagency water policy committee (or water subcabinet) “to facilitate efficient and effective management and modernization of our water supplies and systems while also eliminating duplication between agencies.” For agriculture, one of the order's policies is “improving coordination among state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and rural communities, including farmers, ranchers, and landowners, to develop voluntary, market-based water and land management practices and programs that improve conservation efforts, economic viability, and water supply, sustainability, and security.”

Drought Monitor
As of Oct. 13, drought conditions range from none along the Southern California coast and Central Coast to severe and extreme drought in much of Northern California. Read a drought summary for the West and see statistics  comparing current conditions with conditions at this time last year. 

Vineyards & Wine

October issue

Wine Business, Oct. 14

Jeff Bitter quoted.
AgNet West, Oct. 12

The ceremony will be Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. and streamed live on Facebook. 
Press release, Oct. 12

Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oct. 8

Press release, Oct. 8


Assemblymember Robert Rivas is conducting a three-week statewide listening tour.
Record Net, Oct. 15

Weather West blog, Oct. 8

Madera County

The value of winegrapes in Madera County was $130.6 million in 2019, up from $125.3 million in 2018. Production for red varieties was 21,500 harvested acres, 215,000 tons and $368 per ton, totaling $79.1 million ($73.7 million in 2018). Production for white varieties was 12,600 acres, 169,218 tons and $304 per ton, totaling $51.4 million ($51.6 million in 2018). According to the report, Madera County ranks No. 9 among California counties for winegrape production.

San Mateo County

The value of red varietals in 2019 was $1.13 million, down slightly from $1.18 million in 2018. For white varietals, the value was $210,000, down from $226,000 in 2018.

Malcolm Media 2020 Virtual Expos

Nov. 6 / Central Coast Grape Expo
  • CAWG member employees presenting: Jeff Bitter (AGG) and Todd Azevedo (Ciatti Company) / “State of the Central Coast Grape Industry” / 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

Nov. 10-11 / Tree & Vine Expo
  • CAWG staff and member employees presenting on Nov. 11: Johnny Leonardo (Ciatti Company) / “State of the Winegrape Industry” / 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. Michael Miiller (CAWG) / “Ag Legislative Update” / 1:15-1:45 p.m.

Nov. 12-13 / Grape, Nut & Tree Expo
  • CAWG member employee presenting on Nov. 13: Jeff Bitter / “State of the Wine & Concentrate Grape Industry” / 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

16 / CAWG board of directors election ballots due

12 / CAWG board of directors meeting (virtual)