Your source for CAWG and industry news
February 2 , 2017

February 9-10
CAWG Leadership Forum, Sacramento

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 (correction)
National Grape & Wine Policy Conference, Washington, D.C. 

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California State Assembly Assignments Announced

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) announced on Jan. 20 the members of all Assembly committees. For the Assembly Ag Committee, Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) was appointed chair and Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) was reappointed vice chair. Other members include Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Heath Flora (R-Ripon), James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), Adam Gray (D-Merced), Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield).

Californians Appointed to House Ag Subcommittees

Four California representatives have been selected to serve on agriculture subcommittees. "From promoting a strong farm safety net to rolling back burdensome regulations on our producers, our subcommittees will play an integral role as this committee goes to work this Congress. The diverse background of my talented colleagues will be instrumental in crafting the next farm bill, and I look forward to working with each of these dedicated advocates," House Ag Committee chair Mike Conaway said.
  • Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research: Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and Jim Costa (D-Fresno)
  • Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit: Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale)
  • Conservation and Forestry: Denham and LaMalfa
  • Nutrition: Panetta
  • Livestock and Foreign Agriculture: Costa

CDFA's Full Statistics for Crop Year 2015 Now Available

California farms and ranches saw a nearly 17 percent drop in sales from 2014 to 2015, according to CDFA's just released California Ag Statistics Report. For the 2015 crop year, c ash receipts totaled $47.07 billion (down from $56.6 billion in 2014) and exports totaled $20.69 billion. The top five commodities in 2015 were milk and cream ($6.29 billion), almonds ($5.33 billion), grapes ($4.95 billion), cattle and calves ($3.40 billion) and lettuce ($2.26 billion). The top five ag exports were almonds ($5.14 billion), dairy products ($1.63 billion), walnuts ($1.49 billion), wine ($1.48 billion) and pistachios ($848 million).
On pages 81-85, the report features the grape crush report overview, summary of grape tonnages and prices, and leading grape varieties and districts. The 2015 grape crush totaled 3,868,459 tons, down 7 percent from the 2014 crush of 4,144,534 tons.

Winegrape Pest Project Earns 2016 IPM Innovator Award

A project to manage the Virginia creeper leafhopper - a tiny insect that was destroying vineyards in Lake and Mendocino counties - received the 2016 IPM Innovator Award from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation . Led by UC Cooperative Extension and Fetzer Vineyards, the project involved teaching growers to identify the insects and the use of IPM practices, such as releasing tiny parasitic wasps. The wasps lay their eggs in leafhopper eggs, destroying them before they hatch. Awardees are recognized for their innovative approaches to IPM, reduced-risk pest management and leadership in promoting IPM practices.


Arizona winegrape growers are using a high-tech software platform to manage their high-tech vineyard, including irrigation.
Growing Produce, Jan. 30
California can require Monsanto to label Roundup as a possible cancer threat despite an insistence from Monsanto that it poses no risk to people, a judge tentatively has ruled. California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal.
Associated Press, Jan. 27
CAWG board member Brad Goehring is interviewed in this article about how the decline of immigrant farm workers has spurred mechanization.
Bloomberg, Jan. 20

CAWG Day in the Capitol and CAWG Foundation Wine Reception 

CAWG Day in the Capitol and the CAWG Foundation Wine Reception - events that are beneficial for advocacy and educational efforts - will be held on March 15 in Sacramento.
The CAWG DAY IN THE CAPITOL will kick off with breakfast and several guest speakers. Elected officials, agency heads and political leaders will discuss legislative and regulatory issues pertinent to the winegrape industry. Following lunch, the CAWG delegation will spend the afternoon at the Capitol visiting with legislators.  "To strengthen our voice in Sacramento, it is essential that we have productive visits and relationships with numerous legislators and staff members," said Brad Goehring, chair of CAWG's state government affairs committee. "These personal meetings allow us to share our concerns and to advocate for or against legislation that affects us. Plus, it's a great experience and I encourage more CAWG members to participate."
The CAWG FOUNDATION WINE RECEPTION will be held that evening at the Sutter Club. The goal of the reception is to bring together legislators, other political leaders and CAWG members to promote the foundation's accomplishments and raise money for the scholarship fund. In addition to the outstanding food and delicious wine, there will be a silent auction and raffle. Like last year, the reception will feature a wine tasting competition with political VIPs judging various wines from across the state.

AUCTION ITEMS NEEDED: Large or small, items are needed for the silent auction at the reception, which serves as the main annual fundraiser for the foundation's scholarship fund. Items can be wine, gift baskets, weekend or overnight getaways, fishing trips, golf lessons, autographed memorabilia, tickets (sports events, concerts, movies, etc.) or anything creative you come up with!  If you would like to donate, contact Carolee Williams at 916-379-8995 or  

Snowpack "Very Robust," 173 Percent of Average

The major January snowstorms resulted in a huge increase in the snowpack. The Department of Water Resources' announced electronic readings today from 101 stations scattered throughout the Sierra Nevada. Statewide, the snowpack holds 31 inches of water equivalent, or 173 percent of the Feb. 2 average (18.1 inches). Snow water equivalence is the depth of the water that theoretically would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously. DWR also conducted its second manual snow survey today off Highway 50 near Sierra-at-Tahoe and found a snow water equivalence of 28.1 inches, a significant increase since the Jan. 3 survey, when just 6 inches was found there. Good news for the drought - and more snow is on the way this week.

Water Articles and Resources

A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California > California has made progress on water management. Population growth and climate change are likely to intensify the challenges, and solutions will require difficult and sometimes costly tradeoffs. 

If you live in the West, you need to understand atmospheric rivers - airborne water streams that deliver as much rain as hurricanes or tornadoes. Scientists are developing tools to predict and explain these storms.
News Deeply, Jan. 31
Op ed by Jay Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 27

The atmospheric river weather patterns that pummeled California may have recouped 37 percent of the state's five-year snow-water deficit.
NASA, Jan. 27


New Research on Red Blotch Disease

UC Davis researchers and colleagues have published research showing that g rapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) infections disrupt normal berry development and stress responses by altering transcription factors and hormone networks, which result in the inhibition of ripening pathways involved in the generation of color, flavor and aroma compounds.

Video: Taking a Stab at Pierce's Disease / Adventures in Genomics

A new video highlights Pierce's disease, its impact and what researchers are doing to find solutions. Caroline Roper of UC Riverside is interviewed about her research, which focuses on the relationships that perennial crop plants have with their associated microbes. Her goal is to define how the microbiome affects plant health and disease outcomes in real-world agricultural settings. The video describes how radicinin from the fungus Cochliobolus sp. inhibits Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of Pierce's disease. The video was shot at CAWG member Wiens Family Cellars in Temecula and features Jeff Wiens talking about how Pierce's disease affects his business.

IRS Renews Alert on W-2 Scam

The Internal Revenue Service has renewed its warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer's name to request employee W-2 forms from company payroll or human resources departments. According to a press release, the IRS already has received notifications that the email scam is making its way across the nation for a second time. The IRS urges company payroll officials to double check any executive-level or unusual requests for lists of W-2 forms or Social Security numbers.

CSWA Workshops and Webinars

CSWA has several workshops scheduled on sustainable winegrowing and certification. Click on the links for more information and to register.

FEB. 7: Certified Sustainable Update Webinar, 10-11:30 a.m.


65th Annual Lodi Grape Day

Half-day seminar will feature presentations on high cordon machine pruned trellis trials, trellis system evaluation for mechanization, vine mealybug control and grapevine trunk disease management. Luncheon speaker is Dale Stratton with Constellation Brands.

WHEN: Feb. 7, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: 125 South Hutchins Street, Lodi
COST: $25 for lunch

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