Your source for CAWG and industry news
November 15 , 2018

January 29-31
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

January 30
Winegrape Growers of America Leadership Luncheon, Sacramento

February 26
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

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The CAWG office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23. CAWG eNews will return on Thursday, Nov. 29. CAWG staff wishes you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones and friends.  We extend our sincere gratitude to all of our members who help make CAWG an outstanding organization representing winegrape growers.   


Our hearts go out to all those who have been and will be impacted by the tragic wildfires in Northern and Southern California. We are grateful to the firefighters, first responders and residents who have helped to protect lives and property and are assisting others in the affected communities.

CAWG, CA Ag Organizations Seek Support from Congress for Wildfire Disaster Assistance
CAWG logo no words
CAWG, Lake County Winegrape Commission, Lake County Farm Bureau, Mendocino County Farm Bureau and Mendocino Winegrowers have joined together to request Congress include the state's winegrape growers in a disaster assistance bill. Last week, the group of organizations sent letters to U.S. representatives from Northern California and other members of the California congressional delegation asking for the inclusion of California winegrape growers in a disaster assistance package, which Congress may take up in the near future. CAWG's press release has been picked up by several media outlets in California and by D.C.-based Politico.

Lake County Winegrape Growers Focus Post-Fire Relief Efforts on Research
The Lake County Winegrape Commission today issued a press release on its collaborative work with experts to lessen the effects of wildfires on vineyards and winegrapes in the future. The press release highlights efforts with CAWG, other industry groups and university researchers. 

Final Reminder: Nov. 16 Deadline to Sign Up for 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program
Growers who were affected by the 2017 wildfires have until Friday, Nov. 16 to apply for financial aid from USDA Farm Service Agency's  Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). The application must be completed at a USDA Service Center ( find local office).

Worker Safety Regarding Smoke
Cal/OSHA is  advising employers that they must take special precautions to protect workers from hazards from wildfire smoke. Numerous resources on working safely in smoky and unhealthy air conditions are available on Cal/OSHA's website. It is also recommended to check outdoor air quality at

Government Relations Report
The Department of Pesticide Regulation today recommended   new interim restrictions  on the use of chlorpyrifos. 

The complete recommended interim restrictions are available  online  and include the following:

  • Banning all aerial applications of chlorpyrifos.
  • Discontinuing its use on most crops. Chlorpyrifos will be restricted to "critical uses" on crops for which there are few if any alternative pesticides. These critical uses are listed on DPR's website.
  • Requiring a quarter-mile buffer zone during all allowed applications and for 24 hours afterwards.
  • Requiring a 150-foot setback from houses, businesses, schools and other sensitive sites at all times, regardless of whether the site is occupied at the time of application.
CAWG and several other ag organizations have raised concerns with DPR's pending regulation to list chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant. We believe DPR has misinterpreted key toxicological points and that the exposure assessment lacks refinement and requires additional evaluation. We have also raised concerns that the assumptions and methodology utilized by DPR in establishing its worst-case exposure assessment were unrealistic. The regulatory process could take up to two years to complete.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) yesterday issued "California's Fiscal Outlook," an annual report that aims to help the California Legislature with the upcoming state budget. The report assumes that the economy may flatten as early as 2020-21, but the rainy day fund can sustain a flattening or even declining economy. This is the scenario that the voters envisioned when they passed Proposition 2 in 2014, which created the fund. The LAO report also advises the Legislature to not create new programs that increase long-term spending. Instead, the LAO suggests increasing the reserve and spending surpluses on prioritized one-time projects. This will require the Legislature to demonstrate restraint.

Last week's election saw Democrats winning in every statewide office and in more than two-thirds of legislative districts. Yesterday Gov. Brown assured Democrat control of all branches of state government when he nominated Joshua Groban (D-Los Angeles) to the California Supreme Court. This will give the court a majority of Democrats for the first time since voters rejected former Chief Justice Rose Bird and two other Brown appointees in 1986.
Since 2011, Groban (not the singer) has overseen Brown's appointment of about 600 judges. His nomination now goes to the State Bar's Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and must be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. Brown's office expects Groban to take the bench before the governor leaves office in January.
Groban has four years before he would have to face voters for a retention decision. Justices serve 12-year terms.

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995 

Proposed Rulemaking on Modernizing H-2A Recruitment
Proposed rulemaking by the Department of Labor (DOL) would require employers seeking to hire temporary workers to advertise the employment opportunities online, rather than in newspapers. DOL believes this would be a more efficient and effective method of communicating job openings. This is one step in H-2A regulatory reforms promised by federal agencies; t he secretaries of agriculture, state, labor and homeland security announced in May that they would work together to streamline, simplify and improve the H-2A agricultural visa program in order to reduce cumbersome bureaucracy. 

San Diego County Wine Industry Continues Growth
San Diego County wineries generated a $50 million regional economic impact in 2017, a substantial increase from $30.4 million in 2016.  The county achieved a new high in acres harvested with 1,210. Nearly 2,800 tons of winegrapes generated a total value of $3.85 million. An economic impact report from the San Diego County Vintners Association provides an executive summary, industry profile, sales data, harvest and varietal information, and top priorities.

Select Committees on Wine to Hold Hearing in San Diego
The  Assembly Select Committee on Wine and the Senate Select Committee on California's Wine Industry have scheduled a joint hearing in San Diego on Nov. 29. The agenda (subject to change) includes a California wine industry update and experts discussing the impact of state and federal regulations. 
WHEN: Nov. 29 / 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WHERE: Shiley Special Events Suite at San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego


Panelists at the Napa Valley Grapegrowers' Rootstock event noted that for Napa growers, for better or worse, cabernet is here to stay.
Napa Valley Register, Nov. 14
A workshop in Lodi on Nov. 5 introduced growers to current on-farm recharge projects and concepts, their potential benefits, and factors to consider in evaluating site suitability.
Wine Business, Nov. 13

Producers of "green wines" think the future is ripe for growth. CAWG member representatives quoted.
Press Democrat, Nov. 11
November edition
November edition of e-newsletter. Includes a tribute to Ben Drake and an update on the nursery regulatory program.
Fall 2018 issue includes articles on new field trials in Northern California, update on traditional breeding of PD resistance into winegrapes and research updates.

Webinar Now Online: California Labor Laws Taking Effect in 2019
CAWG logo no words
For members who were not able to participate in CAWG's webinar this week, you can now listen to it  online .
Ben Ebbink, Fisher & Phillips, LLP

-New sexual harassment laws
-Fair employment and housing 
-Lactation accommodation
-Salary history inquiries
-Paid family leave uses
-Minimum wage + overtime
-Copy of payroll records
-Port trucking joint liability


Tillage and Compost Field Trial Workshop   

Join Sonoma RCD and Jackson Family Winery to learn about their Healthy Soils demonstration project, which is looking at how tillage and compost application influences soil health and productivity within a working vineyard. 

WHEN:  Dec. 4 / 9 to 11:30 a.m.
WHERE:  La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard, 3575 Slusser Road, Windsor

Maintaining Rural Roads: Workshop for Equipment Operators   

Learn how to maintain rural roads to reduce annual maintenance costs and prevent erosion. 

WHEN:  Dec. 7 / 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WHERE:  Private vineyard in southern Sonoma (address to be attendees)

UC Davis Viticulture and Enology On the Road in San Diego County   

WHEN: Nov. 29 / 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: California Center for the Arts Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. Escondido
COST: $50