Your source for CAWG and industry news
October 4 , 2018

November 7
CAWG PAC reception at Bien Nacido, Santa Maria

November 8
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Santa Ynez

January 29-31
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

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United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) Announced; Improved Market Access for California Wines
The United States, Mexico and Canada this week reached a trade agreement that intends to benefit American farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses. One of the key achievements of USMCA is prohibiting barriers for alcohol beverages.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a fact sheet -- Strengthening North American Trade in Agriculture -- that stated, "The United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to non-discrimination and transparency commitments regarding sale and distribution and labeling and certification provisions to avoid technical barriers to trade in wine and distilled spirits." 
In a radio interview with AgNet West, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue commented on more fairness in the wine market in Canada: "If they were California wines, they were put behind a separate, locked engagement and you had to be checked out in a different way, which was very discriminatory in how our U.S. products were displayed and allowed to be purchased versus the Canadian products. That will be disappearing as well."

Government Relations Report

Last week's eNews included information about the recent  Scott River ruling and how it could affect sustainable groundwater management plans and the authority of the  State Water Resources Control Board. On Tuesday, the Water Board issued a public notice of an upcoming  workshop on this very issue.
This public staff workshop is to "help California water managers identify options and better prepare, plan, and account for new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requirements and the impacts of groundwater pumping on surface water instream flows."  
The notice also states, "This will be an informational workshop only and the State Water Board will take no formal action." However, with this agency, more than most others, the staff wield a tremendous amount of influence with policy makers. Consequently, we may soon see enforcement actions and other regulatory efforts relative to whether water wells affect streams and rivers in the basin.

The workshop is on Dec. 3, 2018 in Sacramento. CAWG staff will attend and monitor closely. 
Stay tuned and please contact me for more details.

When  Sabrina Cervantes  (D-Corona) defeated incumbent Assemblyman Eric Linder (R-Corona) in 2016, it was an upset. The California Assembly seat had been Republican for decades. Cervantes was virtually unknown and Linder was viewed as a moderate from a moderate district. However, Hillary Clinton won the district by 10 points, and many voters voted party-line down the ticket.
In the last two years, this has been a seat that Republicans have wanted to win back. But in that period, voter registration has shifted to Democrat, 40 percent; Republican, 32 percent; and no party, 24 percent. Additionally, Linder decided to run for Riverside County supervisor instead of his old Assembly seat.  
The Republican challenger in November is former federal prosecutor Bill Essayli (R-Corona). A large part of Essayli's campaign is to challenge Cervantes on her vote in favor of the gas tax. However, Proposition 6 (repeal the gas tax) is not polling well, as California business groups and building sector labor groups are pouring in millions of dollars to defeat it.
Cervantes is part of the Democrat's year of the woman campaign and is popular with Latino and female voters (who combined make up more than 70 percent of the population). Consequently, a race that was once seen as one to watch closely is now looking like a race the Democrats are likely to win by double digits. 

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995 

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 annual Wine Star Awards. The award ceremony will take place at a gala in Miami on Jan. 28, 2019.
  • American Winery of the Year: Bogle Vineyards.
  • Person of the Year: Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands. 
  • Wine Executive of the Year: Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery; Alex Ryan, Duckhorn Wine Company (Duckhorn Vineyards); and Caroline Shaw, Jackson Family Wines.
  • Winemaker of the Year: Peter Fraser, Jackson Family Wines.
  • Wine Region of the Year: Sonoma County. 
  • Social Visionary of the Year: Sarah Bettman, Constellation Brands, and Amy Hoopes, Wente Family Estates. 

Unified Wine & Grape Symposium Sponsorship and Ad Opportunities Now Available!
Get on board now and take advantage of sponsorship and advertising opportunities at the 2019 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Jan. 29-31. North America's largest wine and grape industry event is an ideal way to promote your business and increase your visibility. Opportunities include sessions, welcome reception, keynote speaker luncheon, banners, signs, lanyards, print and online ads, and more. For additional information, please visit the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium website or contact Jenny Devine at (916) 379-8995. 


CAWG member Joe Valente is interviewed about harvest and the impact of wet weather.
CBS13, Oct. 2
The California wine industry was handed a big win with the revised NAFTA deal reached with Canada. It will bring wider access in a country that previously was accused of  "discriminatory" trade practices.
CNBC, Oct. 2
A 2017 economic impact study tracked data pertaining to case production, revenue, employment and visitation gathered from 36 wineries.
Press release, Oct. 2

Growers are nearing the halfway point of the 2018 grape harvest as light rainfall over the weekend has not so far disrupted picking. CAWG members quoted.
Press Democrat, Oct. 1

A look at cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, petit verdot, carménère and cabernet sauvignon.
Lod Winegrape Commission, Oct. 1
VIDEO: Irrigating grapevines just got easier for Gustavo Avina at Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa Valley. Utilizing new weather stations and tracking vine evapotranspiration rates has helped to simplify his job as vineyard manager and cover more ground. 
American Vineyard Magazine/CA AgNet, Sept. 20

Denham Asks White House for Help to Stop State Water Grab
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) on Sept. 28 sent a  letter to President Trump  to take immediate action to stop the state water grab that would damage the Central Valley's economy, farms and communities. According to a Denham  press release , "the water grab is an unprecedented assault on the Central Valley's water, economy and livelihood and would drain Valley reservoirs, stop hydropower generation, and flush badly needed fresh water out to the ocean."
(Sacramento Bee, Oct. 3)

Oct. 1 Marks New Water Year; DWR Releases 2017 Water Year Recap
Water year 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018) marked a return to dry conditions statewide, with nearly all of California experiencing below-average precipitation and much of Southern California receiving half or less of its average annual precipitation. Water year 2018 followed California's second-wettest year of record as measured by statewide runoff. 
A new 11-page report from the Department of Water Resources -- "Water Year 2018: Hot and Dry Conditions Return" -- highlights other key outcomes of the water year:
  • The April 1 statewide snowpack based on over 260 snow courses was just 58 percent of average for water year 2018, a drop from 159 percent of average for the same date in 2017. 
  • The water year coincided with ongoing warming conditions, setting new records this summer for maximum temperatures in the South Coast region.
  • Water year 2018 is indicative of California's ongoing transition to a warmer climate, which after years of extreme variability in annual precipitation, resulted in record-breaking wildfires. 

CAWG PAC Reception ~ Nov. 7 ~ Join Us!
Click on image to see full flyer / registration form.

Preparing the Vineyard for Winter -- Webinar

WHEN: Nov. 5 / 1 - 2:30 p.m.
ABOUT: Learn a key tips and practices for preparing your vineyard for winter and how to prevent erosion in the vineyard during the rainy season. Experts will share their expertise and experience working with vineyards. Agenda topics include:
--The top BMPs to prepare your vineyard for winter.
--Common mistakes when taking erosion control measures.
--Free tools and resources to implement BMPs in erosion control and winterization.

Tree & Vine Expo
WHEN: Nov. 6 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, Turlock
FEATURES: Grower seminars, grower/PCA breakfast, industry lunch, PCA credits.

Central Coast Grape Expo
WHEN: Nov. 9 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: Mid-State Fairgrounds,  Paso  Robles
FEATURES: Grower seminars, grower/PCA breakfast, industry lunch, PCA credits.

Grape, Nut & Tree Expo
WHEN: Nov. 13 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: Big Fresno Fairgrounds
FEATURES: Grower seminars, grower/PCA breakfast, industry lunch, PCA credits.

UCCE Seminar: Current Issues in Vineyard Health
Foundation Plant Services Director Deborah Golino will lead this seminar focusing on topics such as Pierce's disease, powdery mildew and Botrytis bunch rot diseases, and mealybugs and grapevine leafroll viruses.  

WHEN: Nov. 29 / 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane, Davis
COST: $210 (includes materials and lunch)   

California Farm Labor Contractor Association's 8th Annual Ag Labor Issues Forum
Sessions will include updates on H-2A programs; immigration and I-9s; new labor laws for 2019; worker transportation; wage and hour compliance; conducting internal investigations; workers comp insurance; workforce management...and more.
WHEN: Nov. 14-15
WHERE: Tachi Palace and Conference Center, Lemoore