Your source for CAWG and industry news
February 16 , 2017

March 15
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

March 15
CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, Sacramento

March 16
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

April 26-27
National Grape & Wine Policy Conference, Washington, D.C.

May 17-18
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

July 17
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Napa

July 17
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Napa

July 18
CAWG Summer Conference, Napa

July 19
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Napa

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Preliminary Grape Crush Report: Crush Up 8.5 Percent

CDFA, in cooperation with the National Agricultural Statistics Service, released the preliminary crush report for 2016 on Feb. 10. Statewide, the 2016 crush totaled 4,196,723 tons, an 8.5 percent increase from 2015's 3,868,459 tons. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 2,255,300 tons, a 10.5 percent boost from 2,037,083 tons in 2015. The white wine variety crush totaled 1,745,489 tons, up 4.9 percent from 1,662,159 in 2015. Average prices for the 2016 crop by type were: red winegrapes, $899, up 13.9 percent from 2015; and white winegrapes, $594, up 9.9 percent from 2015. The leading variety was chardonnay, with 16 percent of the total crush, and cabernet sauvignon was the leading red variety, accounting for 13.3 percent.

CAWG, Wine Institute Launch New Website Highlighting Impact of California Wine

CAWG and Wine Institute have partnered to launch a new interactive website featuring economic impact statistics for California wine and winegrapes. The website is based on The Economic Impact of California Wine and Grapes 2015, a report commissioned by both organizations and prepared by John Dunham & Associates of New York. The website provides customized reports highlighting the economic impact of California wine for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and for each of California's 53 congressional districts, 80 state Assembly districts and 40 state Senate districts. Each report measures California wine's annual economic impact, employment, wages and taxes paid for each state or district.

Farm Labor Contractor Bill Introduced

I n a recent survey of farm labor contractors by the California Farm Labor Contractors Association, 88 percent of those surveyed found the licensing process to be "somewhat difficult and time consuming, a total headache, and/or extremely frustrating." Only 13 percent had their license renewed before the expiration date of the prior license. More than 76 percent had their license renewed more than a month after expiration with nearly 40 percent receiving the license three months after expiration. To address this, CAWG is working with agricultural partners and is sponsoring AB 815 (Cooper). Our goal is to work with the labor commissioner in the next several weeks to identify ways to make the licensing process more efficient and less cumbersome. 

House Ag Committee Approves Two Pesticide-Related Measures

The House Agriculture Committee has approved two measures regarding the regulation of pesticides.
H.R. 1029 (Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act) extends a program of fee collection to support pesticide registration program at U.S. EPA. The bill has broad support among the agriculture community and crop protection companies.
H.R. 953 (Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act) would clarify Congressional intent regarding pesticide regulation in or around waters of the U.S. It would ease regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act for certain pesticide applications determined by the U.S. Sixth Court of Appeals to require discharge permits. Agriculture groups and the U.S. EPA long believe the regulatory review process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act obviated the requirement for regulation of pesticide applications under the Clean Water Act. H.R. 953 makes clear that discharge permits are not, generally, necessary.

PD/GWSS Board Announces New Officers

New officers were elected at the Jan. 23 joint meeting of the PD/GWSS Board and the PD Advisory Task Force. Pam Bond of Swanson Vineyards was named chair, succeeding Nat DiBuduo of Allied Grape Growers. Other officers include Ryan Metzler, Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc., vice chair, and Keith Horn, Constellation Brands, Inc., treasurer. 


News of expanding immigration raids has sent waves of fear through the state's rural fields and farmlands, where growers and immigrant laborers alike are bracing for possible crackdowns on the state's agricultural heartland
Politico, Feb. 12
The wine grape industry may have a largely mechanized harvest in California, but developing a completely no-touch vineyard eludes growers
Western Farm Press, Feb. 10
North Coast grape prices set new records in 2016, hitting an average of almost $3,000 per ton, a reflection of the value that vintners put on the region's premium fruit.
The Press Democrat, Feb. 10
The value of Napa County's grape harvest rose from $533 million in 2015 to $683 million in 2016.
Napa Valley Register, Feb. 10
Farmers here are deeply alarmed about what the new administration's policies could mean for their workers, most of whom are unauthorized, and the businesses that depend on them.
New York Times, Feb. 9
Bruce Cakebread interviewed about the virus.
Drinks Business, Feb. 9
Western Growers Association, Feb. 9

Request for Nominations: Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year

CAWG logo no words
It's time to submit nominations for the CAWG Grower and Leader of the Year! CAWG's Awards of Excellence Program spotlights exceptional people who have benefitted the broader community of winegrape growers through exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the well-being of the winegrowing industry, California communities and the environment. Visit the CAWG website to learn more about the program, the judging and nominations procedure. The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, April 14.

CAWG DAY IN THE CAPITOL:  CAWG members are strongly encouraged to participate!  In the morning, hear from political leaders discussing legislative and regulatory issues pertinent to the winegrape industry. Spend the afternoon visiting with legislators at the Capitol - advocating for winegrape growers! 
CAWG FOUNDATION GALA:  Delicious food and wine, a silent auction with fantastic items, and a friendly wine competition judged by political VIPs. Don't miss out! Join us and help raise money for the foundation's scholarship fund.  Nominated wineries that have confirmed for the competition so far are: Beach House Winery,  Bloomfield Vineyards, Claiborne and Churchill Winery, Cooper Vineyards, Fiddletown Cellars, Four Brix Winery, Iron Horse Vineyards, Michael David Winery, Opolo Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars, Scheid Vineyards, The  Steven Kent Winery, Wiens Family Cellar and  Wilson Creek Winery.

ITEMS ARE NEEDED for the silent auction at the gala.  If you would like to donate, contact Carolee Williams at 916-379-8995 or  

HOTEL RESERVATIONS: CAWG has a block of rooms at The Citizen Hotel. The negotiated room rate is $189 per night. The deadline to book a room at this rate is Feb. 21. To reserve, contact The Citizen Hotel at 916-447-2700 and mention the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

Water Articles and Resources

Shows drought map statistics for current, last week, three months ago, start of water year and one year ago. Current numbers show that 41.5 percent of the state is NOT in a drought.

Look beneath the surface for an unresolved crisis.
Smithsonian, Feb. 14

Form 300A Posting Requirement for Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

All establishments covered by 8 CCR sec. 14300 are required to post the Cal/OSHA Form 300A -- summary of work-related injuries and illnesses from 2016 -- at their place of business from Feb. 1 through April 30. Employers must complete the summary page, even if no work-related injuries or illnesses occurred during the year.

Habitat Modification to Enhance Biological Control of Vineyard Leafhoppers

A new video from American Vineyard magazine features an interview with Houston Wilson from UC Berkeley, who discusses some new research on improving biological control on vineyard leafhoppers using cover crops to invite beneficial insects into the vineyard.

CDFA Posts Video About Farm Bill

"A Farm Bill for Everyone" is a short video about what the farm bill means to Californians, from consumers and farm workers to students, researchers and exporters.

2017 National Grape & Wine Policy Conference

The 2017 National Grape & Wine Policy Conference is slated for April 26-27 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The theme is "Voice Your Value: Positioning the Wine Industry to a New Administration." The conference will begin on April 26 and feature expert speakers and an evening congressional reception. On April 27, participants will visit with legislators and staff on Capitol Hill. 

CSWA Webinars

Several CSWA webinars/workshops on sustainable winegrowing and certification are scheduled in the coming weeks. Click on the links for more information and to register.

March 7: Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar , Assessment Workshop, 10-11:30 am

March 14: Certified Sustainable Update Webinar, 10-11:30 a.m.

March 7: Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar, Assessment Workshop, 10-11:30 am

April 18: Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar, Assessment Workshop, 10-11:30 am

Fertigation Course at Irrigation Training & Research Center

Cal Poly's Irrigation Training & Research Center and CDFA's Fertilizer Research and Education Program are offering a 1-day short course on fertigation. It will cover new techniques in the control and application of fertilizers through irrigation systems and strategies to conform with the intent of the new nitrogen regulations in California. Several other topics will also be covered.

WHEN: March 23
WHERE: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Third Annual Wine & Vine Workforce Management Conference

Industry and legal experts will provide updates and best practices on a range of human resource and safety issues. FLCs, growers, HR, safety and supervisory personnel will gain powerful insights on how to manage their workforce in these critical times of increasing regulations and decreasing workers.
WHEN: March 15
WHERE: Hampton Inn & Suites, Napa