Your source for CAWG and industry news
February 9 , 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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New "Part-Time Worker" Bill Would Impact Agriculture

CAWG is strongly opposed to a new bill targeted at California businesses that would make it nearly impossible for employers to hire a part-time worker. AB 5 was introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), who spearheaded the ag overtime bill in 2015. The legislation would require that employers must first offer the part-time hours to existing employees before hiring a new part-time worker. This would undoubtedly result in costly litigation and expose employers to onerous regulatory penalties. The California Chamber of Commerce has identified this bill as a "jobs killer." Numerous agricultural associations were part of a coalition of 90 groups signing a detailed letter of opposition to assembly members.

California Ag Exports Report: Wine Remains in No. 4 Spot

In 2015, California's agricultural exports totaled $20.69 billion, a decrease of 4 percent compared to the previous year. Wine was the No. 4 export commodity with an export value of $1.48 billion, an increase of 6.3 percent from 2014. For wine, California had a 91.8 percent share of the total U.S. export value, which was $1.6 billion. In addition to other statistics, the report shows the major destinations for wine exports as the European Union, Canada, China/Hong Kong and Japan.

NGWI Elects New Board Members, Officers

The National Grape & Wine Initiative (NGWI) announced its new leadership team for 2017. Craig Bardwell, National Grape Cooperative, was elected chair. Other elected officers include Rick Stark, Sun-Maid Growers of California, vice chair, and Dan Martinez, Martinez Orchards, secretary/treasurer. Board members elected for three-year terms are:

-Commodity Sector Representative-Wine: Jerry Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines
-Regional Representative-Northwest: Russ Smithyman, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
At Large Representatives:
-John Aguirre, CAWG
-Wendy Brannen, Lodi Winegrape Commission
-Sam Filler, New York Wine & Grape Foundation
-Franka Gabler, California Table Grape Commission
-Deborah Golino, UC Davis
-Allison Jordan, Wine Institute
-Anji Perry, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines
-Rich Schaefers, Silverado Premium Properties
-Tony Stephen, American Vineyard Foundation
-Jim Trezise, WineAmerica
-Michael Walker, Constellation Brands

Expanding Asia Trade the Focus of Letter From Ag Industry to Trump

More than 80 agricultural groups and companies signed a letter to President Donald Trump this week asking for stronger trade relations with Asia. The letter states, " Reducing and eliminating tariffs and other restrictive agricultural policies in this region will help American workers in our sector compete, creating an opportunity to supply Asian markets with high-quality food and agricultural goods." The Asia-Pacific region is referred to as the world's largest market for food and agriculture that is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. The signees are asking the administration to build upon the valuable aspects of the Trans Pacific Partnership to increase market access in the Asia-Pacific.

California Ag Groups Join Hundreds in Endorsement of Perdue as Ag Secretary

Nearly 670 agricultural businesses and organizations have endorsed Sonny Perdue for secretary of agriculture. In a joint letter to Senate Ag Committee leaders Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the signees cite Perdue's extensive background in production agriculture. Perdue, who was raised on a crop and dairy farm, would be only the third secretary of agriculture to have lived and worked in agriculture as an adult. He was also a practicing veterinarian and founded three agribusiness firms. His confirmation hearing is expected to take place sometime in February.


The organization has hired a new compliance manager and appointed two board members.
Feb. 2
A trade war could hurt U.S. farmers.
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 1


Growers discuss the current trends in mechanization and its future.  Wines and Vines
U.S. wine grape growers could face continued hurdles with strong dollar and cheap imports as consumers continue to "trade up" to more premium brands.   Western Farm Press

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 feature elected officials, agency heads and political leaders discussing legislative and regulatory issues pertinent to the winegrape industry. The CAWG delegation will spend the afternoon at the Capitol visiting with legislators.  CAWG members are strongly encouraged 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. The reception will feature a wine tasting competition with political VIPs judging 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) or anything creative you come up with!  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.

NASA Report: San Joaquin Valley Land Continues to Sink

New NASA radar satellite maps prepared for the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) show that land continues to sink rapidly in certain areas of the San Joaquin Valley, putting state and federal aqueducts and flood control structures at risk of damage. According to the report, subsidence caused by groundwater pumping in the Central Valley has been a problem for decades. There are thousands of groundwater wells near state infrastructure that could be contributing to the subsidence recorded by NASA. "The rates of San Joaquin Valley subsidence documented since 2014 by NASA are troubling and unsustainable," said DWR Director William Croyle. "Subsidence has long plagued certain regions of California. But the current rates jeopardize infrastructure serving millions of people. Groundwater pumping now puts at risk the very system that brings water to the San Joaquin Valley."

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.

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.

Heat Illness Prevention Training 

Employees and employers can learn how to prevent heat illness at work before the summer heat season arrives. Cal/OSHA and State Fund are holding 3-hour Heat Illness Prevention Trainings in several cities in February and March. Employers are required to take four steps to prevent heat illness: training, water, shade and planning.

PG&E Agriculture and Business Rebates for 2017  

PG&E is offering cash-back rebates for qualifying products. Applications must be submitted within one year from installation or purchase date, whichever is later.  

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.

Feb. 14: Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar, Assessment Workshop, 10-11:30 am

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