Your source for CAWG and industry news
December 1, 2016

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
CAWG Foundation 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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Pesticide Use Near Schools: Public Comments Due Dec. 9 

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) released in late September proposed regulations restricting pesticide use near schools. The regulations would apply to all growers within a quarter mile of a school site, which includes K-12 schools, day care centers and employer-sponsored child care centers. Within the quarter mile "buffer zone," certain pesticide applications would be prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition, growers would be required to notify school officials annually and prior to pesticide applications. Public hearings have been held in Oxnard and Tulare; the final hearing is today (Dec. 1) at the Salinas Sports Complex at 6 p.m.  Comments regarding this proposed action must be submitted to DPR by 5 p.m. on Dec. 9.

California Vineyards Receive SWEEP Grants

Several vineyards are among the 167 projects CDFA has selected to receive grants from the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). The funding for all projects totals $22 million.  The objective of SWEEP is to provide financial incentives for California ag operations to invest in irrigation systems and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save water. 

An example of one of the projects (for CAWG member Fetzer Vineyards): implementing a real-time advanced irrigation management system using soil moisture sensors, ET and weather sensors, and flow and pressure indicators on 172 acres of winegrapes. A VFD pump control will be installed for more efficient irrigation across the widely variable small irrigation blocks. 

USCIS Revises Form I-9, Used for All New Hires in U.S.

By Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use a new version of form I-9 (employment eligibility verification), revised by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals - citizens and noncitizens - hired for employment in the United States. The new version includes changes designed to reduce errors and enhance form completion using a computer. By Jan. 22, employers must use only the new version dated 11/14/2016. Until then, they can continue to use the version dated 03/08/2013 or the new version. Employers and employees are responsible for completing their respective sections.

Workers' Comp: New Computation Rules for Experience Modifications

For the first time since 2010, the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) is changing the formula for calculating experience modifications ("ex-mods"), effective Jan. 1, 2017. This could impact workers' compensation premiums. Ascension has provided a Q&A about ex-mods and WCIRB has a resource page with information and a webinar video.

2017 California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards

California vineyards and wineries are encouraged to apply for the 2017 California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. Categories are Leader Award, Environment Award, Community Award and Business Award. Applications are now being accepted through Feb. 3. The awards are presented by CAWG, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and The Vineyard Team. Several regional winery and winegrowing association partners are also involved in promoting the awards.

Lodi Winegrape Commission Seeks Promotional Partnership with City

According to an article in the Lodi News-Sentinel, the Lodi Winegrape Commission has proposed an improved partnership with the city of Lodi that would provide economic benefits to the commission and the city. Grower Craig Ledbetter spoke to the Lodi City Council about ways they could work together to promote the wine industry and the Lodi region and attract more visitors. Suggestions from the commission and city included the city promoting the achievements of the Lodi wine region and wineries adopting parts of Hwy. 99 around Lodi.

CSWA Announces New Board Officers

The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) has announced new officers for its board of directors: Steve Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, chair; Aaron Lange, LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards, vice chair; Cheryl Murphy Durzy, Clos LaChance Winery, secretary; and Mike Boer, Stipp Ranch, treasurer. They will serve a one-year term and can be elected for an additional term. CSWA was created by CAWG and Wine Institute to promote the benefits of sustainable winegrowing practices, enlist industry commitment and assist in implementing the Sustainable Winegrowing Program.


California Democrats have again captured a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the Legislature.
Sacramento Bee, Nov. 28

Now that most wineries in the region have pressed off their 2016 reds, it appears that several may have had to deal with extensive smoke problems.
Wines & Vines, Nov. 28
Employers in certain industries are struggling to fill jobs due to a shortage of workers from Mexico. Agriculture is especially hard-hit by labor shortages.
The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 24
Three long-standing and continuously family-run wineries to know. Each has had a seismic impact on the local industry.
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 24

State Plan Calls for Long-Term Water Conservation

Highlighting the state's severe drought and uncertain climate change, five state agencies have drafted a comprehensive plan for achieving long-term efficient water use and meeting drought preparedness goals. The plan - "Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life" - builds on the success of mandatory water restrictions during the state's drought and aims to make conservation measures permanent. Agriculture is highlighted extensively throughout the report. Agriculture-specific recommendations include new water use targets, water shortage contingency plans, drought planning for small systems and rural communities, and agricultural management plans (see pages 3-16 through 3-25). The California Department of Food and Agriculture is one of the agencies that drafted the plan. Public comments on the report are due Dec. 19 - email to

Water Articles and Resources
It's only a beginning. But it's a strong beginning, and it offers at least a rain gauge's worth of hope to a state enduring its fifth year of drought.
Sacramento Bee, Nov. 28

Reminder: Renew Your CAWG Membership
CAWG logo no words

Thank you for your continued support in ensuring a strong unified voice for the winegrape industry. CAWG is proud to be the only statewide organization focused exclusively on issues affecting you and your operation.  If you did not receive your renewal invoice, contact CAWG Manager of Member Relations Natalie Collins at The CAWG membership year is Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017. Dues are $4.75 per acre and minimum grower dues are $150 a year for 31 acres or less. 

Have You Registered for Unified? Are You Considering an Ad or Sponsorship Opportunity?  

Promote your business/brand, stand above the competition and increase your visibility to THOUSANDS of attendees at Unified! Valuable opportunities are still available - but don't delay and miss out! Visit the Unified website or discuss opportunities with Jenny Devine at (916) 379-8995.

REGISTRATION:  To register by phone, call 888-559-9530 or 781-688-8229. ** If you are a CAWG member and need your Unified code, contact CAWG at 916-379-8995** Members receive a $200 discount before Jan. 17. 

PROGRAM:  Click on the link to see updated session information.

LODGING:  Hotel information and FAQs are posted on Unified's website. Attendees may also visit the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau website for additional hotels. 

Spread the Word: CAWG Foundation Scholarship Applications Available

Each year the CAWG Foundation awards two 4-year scholarships ($8,000 each) to students planning to attend a campus in the University of California or California State University system, and four 2-year scholarships ($2,000 each) to students planning to attend a California community college. The Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Central Coast student who plans to major in enology or viticulture at Allan Hancock College or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower.  The application deadline is March 24, 2017. Please share the information and link with your employees.

Shop AmazonSmile and Support the CAWG Foundation

Holiday shopping days are here! AmazonSmile is a simple 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. 

Video: Larry Bettiga on Powdery Mildew

At American Vineyard Magazine's Central Coast Grape Expo, UCCE viticulture farm advisor Larry Bettiga shared some tips for maintaining control of powdery mildew next season, as shared in a 3-minute interview with California Ag Network.

UCAIC Publishes New Cost Study for North Coast Winegrapes

The University of California Agricultural Issues Center has released a new study on the cost and returns of producing winegrapes in the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County. The study focuses on chardonnay and pinot noir and is based on a hypothetical vineyard owned and operated by a grower. The study's authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for production of winegrapes, material inputs and cash and non-cash overhead.

2016 Recent Advances in Viticulture and Enology (RAVE)

The UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology presents its semi-annual program to highlight many of its current grape and wine research projects. Register soon!

WHEN:  Dec. 9 / 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: UCD Activities & Rec Center, Davis

COST: $225 (includes breakfast, lunch and materials). 

2016 Pierce's Disease Research Symposium

This event draws researchers from around the world, with the goal of finding solutions to Pierce's disease and its vectors. The symposium will also include reports and presentations on other winegrape pests and diseases. It is a valuable event for researchers and winegrape growers to interact and find out about the latest research and activities. 
WHEN: Dec. 13-14

WHERE: San Diego