October 8, 2020
Webinar: Smoke Exposure — Winegrape Contracts and Crop Insurance
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 9 / 10-11 a.m.

We hope you will join us for this important webinar that addresses the following topics:

Winegrape Contracts and Smoke Exposure Language
Dale Stern/Downey Brand, LLP will discuss how smoke exposure issues are dealt with under common provisions of winegrape contracts.

Crop Insurance and Coverable Losses
Jeff Yasui/USDA Risk Management Agency will review coverable crop insurance losses relative to smoke exposure and filing requirements for growers who believe they have a loss claim.
Resources and Articles
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.
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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.
Government Relations Report
Gov. Newsom yesterday ordered state agencies to adopt as a goal the conservation of 30 percent of California lands and coastal water by no later than 2030. California agencies are directed to develop strategies and report on how they plan to achieve the governor’s goal by no later than Feb. 1, 2022. This 30 by 30 goal may be achieved through healthy soil management, wetlands restoration, forest management and boosting green infrastructure. The governor stated his order is an attempt to fight climate change by increasing the storage of carbon in the state’s natural and working lands and remove carbon from the atmosphere.   
Newsom’s order is similar to AB 3030 (Kalra, D-San Jose), which would have placed an identical goal into state law. Opponents believed the bill would be in conflict with other public policy goals and could negatively impact fishing and hunting. AB 3030 was held by the Senate Appropriations Committee, raising questions as to whether the governor has the authority to create a 30 by 30 goal without legislative action. 
Newsom made it clear he intends for actions taken under his order to be done in partnership with all stakeholders. Growers and wineries are already ahead of the game through existing efforts to conserve. The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance was created in 2003 by CAWG and Wine Institute to promote the benefits of sustainable winegrowing practices. Sustainability metrics include water and energy conservation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  

As Democrats see suburban areas as opportunities to gain additional seats in Congress and state legislatures, this North Los Angeles County district may present one such prospect for them. In this Antelope Valley and High Desert district, Democrats enjoy an 11-percentage point advantage over Republicans in voter registration, 41 percent to 30 percent. Incumbent Tom Lackey (Republican) faces former Assemblymember Steve Fox (Democrat), who lost his 2014 reelection bid to Lackey. 
Lackey is a retired CHP sergeant who has a track record of opposing tax increases and supporting businesses. He has also been very outspoken about COVID-19: “As a recent survivor hospitalized due to COVID-19, I know this virus should never be taken lightly. I urge people who are not wearing facemasks in public to reconsider.” 
Fox is an attorney and teacher. He served one term in the California Assembly (2013-14) and focused on increased support for the aviation industry and protecting communities from predators. In March, Fox finished second behind Lackey, besting a field of six other Democrats.   
While an assemblymember in Sacramento, Fox was controversial. Consequently, he does not have support from organizations that would typically support a Democrat in this type of district. Nonetheless, a high turnout of anti-Trump party-line voters could see Fox’s surprising return to the Assembly. 

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
San Luis Obispo Coast AVA Proposed, Comments Sought
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau issued a proposed rule in the Oct. 1 Federal Register to establish the 408,585-acre San Luis Obispo Coast (or SLO Coast) AVA in San Luis Obispo County. The new AVA – which includes 50 wineries and approximately 78 commercial vineyards – is located within the established Central Coast AVA and would entirely encompass the established Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley AVAs. Comments are due on or before Nov. 30, 2020.

>AVA MAP EXPLORER (click box for “include proposed AVAs in search results”)
Beverage Alcohol Groups Call for End to Tariffs on Wine, Spirits, Beer
Eighteen U.S., European and United Kingdom beverage alcohol industry associations – including Wine Institute and WineAmerica – signed onto an Oct. 7 letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the European Commission for Trade urging the immediate elimination of tariffs on wine, distilled spirits and beer. They wrote that tariffs will increase harm to an industry that is already suffering economically from COVID-19 related impacts.

New Bill Aims to Provide Regulatory Relief for Hauling Ag Products
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) recently introduced the Haulers of Agriculture and Livestock Safety (HAULS) Act (bill text for S. 4720), which would provide haulers greater flexibility for hauling perishable commodities. According to Fischer’s press release, the HAULS Act would:

  • Eliminate the requirement that ag and livestock hours-of-service (HOS) exemptions only apply during state designated planting and harvesting seasons.
  • Amend and clarify the definition of “agricultural commodities” based on feedback provided by agriculture and livestock organizations.
  • Authorize a 150 air-mile exemption from HOS requirements on the destination side of a haul for ag and livestock haulers.

Podcast: Farming Hemp in Wine Country
The Vineyard Team’s Oct. 1 podcast features George Sellu, program coordinator and instructor in the agribusiness department at Santa Rosa Junior College. A recent study examined the potential of hemp terpene drift from hemp crops planted in close proximity to Sonoma County vineyards. Sellu explains the nuances of hemp production – how volatile aroma profiles vary by variety, the lack of studies to show how volatiles impact grapes, wind influence on volatile organic compound movement, and smoke taint.

>PODCAST (35 minutes)
Census Deadline Extended to Oct. 31
Good news for those who haven’t completed the 2020 census: you now have until Oct. 31, thanks to a recent court order. The nine easy questions should take only 10 minutes. 

Resources and Articles

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

California’s tier assignments: View map. As of Oct. 8, seven counties are in yellow (minimal), 11 in orange (moderate), 24 in red (substantial) and 16 in purple (widespread).    

Article and podcast featuring CalChamber Executive Vice President and General Counsel Erika Frank and employment law expert Jennifer Shaw.
CalChamber, Oct. 8

Op ed by Edwin Lombard, president and CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce. Lombard urges Gov. Newsom and state lawmakers to develop a large-scale relief program – modeled after the Paycheck Protection Program – to support California’s small businesses. 
CalMatters, Oct. 8

Vineyards & Wine

Western Farm Press, Oct. 7

Western Farm Press, Oct. 7

Press release, Oct. 6

Five-minute interview with Laurel Marcus of the California Land Stewardship Institute.
American Vineyard Magazine, Oct. 1


A federal judge has granted a motion for a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from moving forward with its rule imposing a new fee schedule.
Western Growers Association, Oct. 6

Exports and imports in August reflect the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued recovery from the sharp declines earlier this year. 
U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Oct. 6

Colusa County
Production statistics for winegrapes in 2019: 1,888 harvested acres (1,972 in 2018); 16,728 tons (16,170 in 2018); $805 per ton ($855 in 2018); and $13.5 million total value ($13.8 million in 2018).


16 / CAWG board of directors election ballots due

12 / CAWG board of directors meeting (virtual)