Your source for CAWG and industry news
 February 22, 2018

April 4
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

April 4
CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, Sacramento

April 5
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

July 16
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Napa

July 17
CAWG Summer Conference, Napa

July 17
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Napa

July 18
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Napa

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Predictions and Observations: Silicon Valley Bank Publishes State of the Wine Industry Report
Silicon Valley Bank (CAWG member) predicts the U.S. wine industry is at the tail end of a 20-year growth period, according to its State of the Wine Industry 2018 report. Released on Feb. 15, the 45-page report assesses current conditions in the wine industry and provides predictions for the year ahead. Following are some highlights:

INDUSTRY: The premium wine segment - which SVB defines as above $10 per bottle - will grow in the range of 4 to 8 percent, down from the estimate of 10 to 14 percent in 2017. For the industry as a whole, sales will rise by 2 to 4 percent, while volumes will increase up to 1 percent. Acquisitions will cool somewhat from the torrid pace of the past three years. SVB still sees foreign purchases of U.S. wineries and significant transactions for vineyard properties.


SUPPLY: Overall supply is balanced, with chardonnay demonstrating particularly strong demand. Cabernet is balanced with flat to downward pressure at the high end of the market. California vineyard prices in premium regions will flatten compared with strong growth for the past five years. The Central Valley is closer to being in balance after 2017 acreage removals, but some additional removals will be needed in the southern San Joaquin Valley to produce sustainable pricing opportunities.


DEMAND: Millennials are migrating away from red blends and introductory wines and starting to have a positive impact on lower-priced still wine categories (domestic and foreign). Boomers are still the leading consumers of fine wine, but they are consuming less as they age.


PRICE: Overall pricing should be flat with price increases difficult to pass through to consumers. 


Federal Immigration Legislation a Key Topic at CAWG Board Meeting
Discussions are expected to continue on proposed immigration legislation when members of Congress return from recess on Feb. 26. As reported in last week's eNews, the Securing America's Future Act ( H.R. 4760) includes the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act), but the program has divided support among agricultural groups. The legislation was a key topic at today's CAWG board of directors meeting in Temecula. CAWG will continue to provide status updates to members.
Earlier this month, House Judiciary Committee Republicans posted a 3-minute video on YouTube highlighting the Securing America's Future Act.

Submit Comments on Revised Draft for Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health held an advisory meeting on Feb. 8 to develop a proposed regulation for minimizing heat-related illness among workers in indoor places of employment. Based on comments received at that meeting, revisions were made to the draft Option B - Standalone Indoor Standard. Comments may be submitted on this revised version (2/15/18), instead of the version discussed at the meeting (2/8/18) . Email comments   to by March 1.

Government Relations Capitol Report

Today Sen. Tony Mendoza became the latest legislator to step down from office amid allegations of inappropriate behavior.  

Last week an investigative report confirmed the allegations and today the California Senate was prepared to remove him from office. To avoid a formal expulsion vote he sent a letter to his fellow senators announcing his resignation.  

The governor will call a special election to fill the vacancy. The special election will likely be concurrently with the June primary election.  

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

The Cute File: Winegrape Grower Kids, Grandkids on Sustainability
S ometimes adults have a difficult time explaining sustainability. Want to know how children define it? Watch this fun video produced by the Lodi Winegrape Commission featuring children and grandchildren of Lodi Rules growers and vintners. It's one part of a big effort to increase awareness about the sustainable winegrowing program among consumers, the industry and media. The group is also planning to launch a consumer-targeted website called

TTB Posts Monthly Statistical Reports for Wine
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) provides monthly statistical reports for still and effervescent wines (bulk and bottled). The reports show national statistics for the current month, prior year current month and cumulative year to date. They also show state statistics for bulk wine and bottled wine, including production, taxable withdrawals and stocks end of month. Reports are posted a few months after a particular reporting period (November 2017 was posted on Feb. 2).  



The first issue of a new report from The Ciatti Company. It focuses on chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and sauvignon blanc.
Vines in the area are typically the first in Napa County to begin the growing season and are among the first to be harvested each year.
Napa Valley Register, Feb. 17
Below-freezing temperatures are prompting some growers to launch an unusually early campaign to protect their vineyards.
The Press Democrat, Feb. 20


As the immigration debate continues in Washington and Sacramento, agricultural employers find themselves walking a legal tightrope between the two capitals. CAWG member Jay Mahil of Creekside Farming Co. is quoted.
Ag Alert, Feb. 21

Concern and fear continued to spread across central San Joaquin Valley farmers and thousands of farm workers after three more farms were hit by employee audits ordered by  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Fresno Bee, Feb. 15

2018 Water Supply Allocation Conservative Due to Lack of Rain, Snow  
The Bureau of Reclamation has announced the initial 2018 water supply allocation for many Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors.  South-of-Delta contractors were allocated 20 percent of their contract total, Friant Division contractors were allocated 30 percent of class 1 supplies, and Eastside water service contractors were allocated 100 percent of their contract total. Reclamation considers several factors when determining CVP allocations: hydrologic conditions, reservoir storage levels, water quality requirements, water rights priority, contractual obligations, and endangered species protection measures.  CVP supplies could change depending on rainstorms in the coming months.

Predicting Atmospheric Rivers Three Weeks Out  
Typical weather data predicts weather two weeks ahead, so researchers are trying to make preliminary experimental forecasts that offer 3-week lead times on the probability of atmospheric river (AR) conditions, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR). AR storms provide much of California's water supply and were abundant in 2017. The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are collaborating on the research and testing methods to provide the forecasts for DWR. Unfortunately, no ARs are predicted for the remainder of February.

It's Time to Submit Nominations for CAWG Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year
The CAWG 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 20.

CAWG Member Offers Harassment Prevention Training (Legally Required)
AB 1825 mandates statewide sexual harassment training for any employee who performs supervisory functions within a company of 50 employees or more.  SB 396  made California the first state to require that anti-harassment training covers gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. This workshop  will satisfy AB 1825 and SB 396 anti-harassment training for supervisors and managers. There is also an optional train-the-trainer session for HR professionals.
HOSTED BY: Fisher Phillips
WHEN: Feb. 26, Sacramento; Feb. 27, Irvine; March 1, San Diego; March 2, San Francisco.

Scholarship Applications are Due March 16!
Please remind employees that the deadline to apply for a CAWG Foundation scholarship is March 16. The foundation is proud to provide scholarships every year to several high school seniors whose parents or legal guardians are employed by California winegrape growers. Since the program's inception in 1998, more than $403,000 in scholarships have been awarded.

NorCal Ag Labor Management Forum
(Formerly the Wine & Vine Workforce Management Conference) Industry experts, government representatives and attorneys will provide updates on a wide range of labor and compliance issues affecting agriculture. Who should attend? FLCs, growers, HR and safety manager, supervisors and insurance professionals.
ORGANIZED BY: California Farm Labor Contractor Association
WHEN: March 21-22
WHERE: Sonoma County Sheraton

UC Extension: Tasting Room Design & Management
This class is for those considering starting a tasting room or remodeling an existing one. Instructed by Craig Root, a 30-year industry veteran and tasting room consultant. What you'll learn: creating a profitable wine club, room design, tasting strategies, special events tips, improving tours and trade social media and other strategies to increase business.
WHEN: Feb. 28 / 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
WHERE: 1632 DaVinci Court, Davis
COST: $210

Fertigation Course at Cal Poly's Irrigation Training & Research Center
Course 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.  Increasing yields per acre-foot of evapotranspiration (ET) through better fertility management - and other issues - will also be discussed.

WHEN: March 5
WHERE: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
COST: $50

Conference on NAFTA, H-2A, Immigration and the ALRB 
Conference examines labor-related issues: implications of NAFTA renegotiations for California agriculture, the growth of the H-2A guest worker program, immigration policy under President Trump, and ALRB activities. Seating is limited, so register early!
WHEN: April 13
WHERE: UC Davis Law School
COST: Free (breakfast and lunch provided)