Your source for CAWG and industry news
February 23 , 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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CAWG Special Report Video: Flood Damage and Crop Insurance

The heavy winter rains may have caused flood damage in many vineyards, and winegrape growers are questioning the status of their vineyards and how the excess precipitation may affect their crop come harvest. CAWG Manager of Member Relations Natalie Collins and Pan American's Greg Merrill discuss flood damage and crop insurance in this brief video. > VIDEO
Federal crop insurance policy protects the fruit, not the vine. It may not be clear now if the excess precipitation will cause damage to your crop come harvest, but it is always safe to report potential damage as it occurs.You must file a claim within 72 hours of when potential damage occurs. You may call or email your agent with the following information: varietals that are affected, date of potential damage and cause of potential loss (in this case, excessive precipitation or flooding). For additional questions regarding crop insurance, contact Greg Merrill at or 559-492-5384

DHS Releases Memoranda on Immigration and Border Security Executive Orders

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly on Feb. 21 issued two memoranda that provide further direction to implement President Trump's recent executive orders on border security and enforcement of the immigration laws. In addition to the implementation memos, DHS posted fact sheets and Q&As on immigration enforcement, border security and enhancing public safety. On its website, the Farm Employers Labor Service (FELS) provides a summary about the memoranda, as well as compliance tips for employers and common mistakes employers make dealing with I-9 forms.

Record Year for Wine Exports

U.S. exports of wine - 90 percent from California - set a record in 2016, according to the Wine Institute. Exports totaled $1.62 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2015 and $1.49 billion in 2014. More than 412 million liters, or 46 million cases, were exported last year. The top 10 export markets for California wines were the European Union's 28-member countries ($685 million), Canada ($431 million), Hong Kong ($99 million), Japan ($87 million), China ($82 million), Mexico ($24 million), South Korea ($23 million), Switzerland ($19 million), Singapore ($14 million) and Philippines ($13 million). In a press release, Wine Institute's regional trade directors highlight 2016 exports for key export markets, including Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Japan and China.

TTB Posts Wine Statistics for November 2016

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 stats by state 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 2016 was posted on Feb. 1).  

CAWG Among 200 Ag Groups Pushing for Support to Rebuild Rural Infrastructure

CAWG logo no words
CAWG joined more than 200 agricultural organizations in a joint letter asking President Trump for rural infrastructure support as part of the administration's comprehensive infrastructure renewal efforts. " Those of us in rural communities have seen our infrastructure deteriorate, jeopardizing jobs, our agricultural competitiveness, and the health of rural families," the letter states. "Past infrastructure initiatives often focused on urban and suburban infrastructure while not adequately addressing the unique needs of rural communities." The letter stresses that highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors and port facilities all need major investment to continue to efficiently deliver agricultural products to market. The groups recommend that funding should come from federal, state and local governments, as well as private sources.

USDA Extends Comment Period for Organic Substances List and Guidance Document

USDA is allowing more time for public input on its proposed rule to remove 11 substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for use in organic production and handling. Comments are due April 19. > DETAILS  
The agency is also extending the comment period regarding the draft guidance document, Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products. Comments are due April 7. > DETAILS


International connections permeate economic relationships in California agriculture. While new agreements can achieve additional gains from trade, there is also much to lose from destabilizing current agreements. Daniel Sumner and William Matthews write about the role of international trade in the economics of California agriculture.
ARE Update (UC Davis), February 2017

How is the weather affecting the great wine regions of California? And what will the impact be for the 2017 vintage?
Forbes, Feb. 23
Ag leaders in Idaho are speaking out about how immigration policies will affect the industry and economy.
Idaho Statesman, Feb. 21
Two ag economists write about ag trade, the border adjustment tax and renewable fuels standard.
Ag Economic Insights, Feb. 20

Request for Nominations: Grower of the Year 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.

Nominations are due Friday, April 14.

CAWG DAY IN THE CAPITOL:  CAWG members are strongly encouraged to participate!  This is an important opportunity to visit with legislators and staffers at the Capitol, advocating on behalf of winegrape growers. 
CAWG FOUNDATION GALA:  Nominated w ineries that have confirmed for the wine judging competition include Beach House Winery, Bloomfield Vineyards, Claiborne and Churchill Winery, Cooper Vineyards, Doffo Winery, Fiddletown Cellars, Four Brix Winery, Gratta Wines, Iron Horse Vineyards, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, Michael David Winery, Oak Farm Vineyards, Opolo Vineyards, Rosenblum Cellars, Scheid Vineyards, The Steven Kent Winery, Wiens Family Cellar and Wilson Creek Winery.

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

Report Evaluates Governor's Budget Proposals for Drought, SGMA

In a new report, the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) assesses and provides recommendations for Gov. Brown's budget proposals in the resources and environmental protection areas - including water policies. Regarding drought response funding, the LAO recommends the California Legislature delay decisions until May when statewide conditions are more certain, approve some amount of one-time funding for continued emergency response and consider making some funding ongoing to increase the state's resilience for future droughts. Regarding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) funding, the LAO recommends the Legislature adopt the governor's proposals (for Department of Water Resources and State Water Resources Control Board) and continue to monitor successes and challenges of SGMA implementation. The LAO serves as the "eyes and ears" for the Legislature to ensure that the executive branch is implementing legislative policy in a cost efficient and effective manner.

Water Articles and Resources

The sustainable management of groundwater resources for use in agriculture is a critical issue in California and globally. When designing groundwater management policies, it is important to consider any possible perverse consequences from the policy.
ARE Update (UC Davis), February 2017
Solutions from the prize competition may lead to more effective, affordable and reliable methods to monitor and assess reservoir storage loss due to sedimentation.
Reclamation, Feb. 22
An in-depth article analyzing federal data found flaws in the state's dam safety efforts.
San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 19


USCIS Updates Form I-9 Handbook for Employers

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted a revised version (dated 1/22/17) of the guidance manual,  Handbook for Employers-Guidance for Completing Form I-9 The publication provides employers with detailed instructions on completing the  Form I-9 ( used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals - citizens and noncitizens - hired for employment in the United States).

New CSWA Video Showcases Sustainable Winegrowing

What is California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing? An educational 100-second video from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) succinctly answers that question. With beautiful images of California wines, vineyards, grapes and natural scenery, the video outlines key elements of sustainable winegrowing - water conservation, energy efficiency, pest management and more. Share the video on your social media sites!

The Permit Process for Restricted Use Pesticides

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has updated this three-page Q&A bulletin.

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

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

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

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. 

WHEN: March 23
WHERE: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo