Your source for CAWG and industry news
 March 15, 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

May 31
CAWG PAC Reception, Napa

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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Government Relations Capitol Report
The Pierce's Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board is a model for how government and the agricultural industry can successfully work together to protect crops. However, the PD/GWSS program is facing a potential federal budget cut that threatens its continued existence.
The president's proposed budget provides for a substantial cut, $13.5 million, in federal funding for the PD/GWSS program. Such a reduction in federal funding would, for all intents and purposes, result in a shutdown of the program, which has proved highly successful and important for California winegrape growers. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has requested $25 million in federal funding, the same amount requested last year. CAWG will work closely with CDFA to encourage support from the California congressional delegation for the request.

Winegrape growers have invested millions in the successful eradication of the disease and the vector. Continued trapping throughout the state will indicate if/when there are any reintroductions. Without adequate funding, the PD/GWSS program will have to decide which regions are most at risk and focus only on those regions. This is dangerous, as an infestation of Pierce's disease anywhere in California threatens winegrapes all over the state.   
Last year CAWG was successful in gaining $5 million in new state funding for the PD/GWSS program. This year CAWG will continue the effort of funding this critical program.
In addition to PD/GWSS funding, CDFA and CAWG are also seeking $6.55 million funding for European grapevine moth (EGVM) surveillance in California. Continued funding for surveillance activities is critical to ensuring timely response and eradication in the event of an EGVM reintroduction to the state.

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

2017 Final Grape Crush Report: Stats at a Glance
>The winegrape crush equaled 4,013,684 tons, down from 2016 total of 4,031,571 tons.   Red wine varieties totaled 2,248,260 tons, down 1.4 percent from 2016; white wine varieties totaled 1,765,424 tons, up 0.8 percent from 2016.

>Leading grape varieties crushed were chardonnay (14.5 percent), cabernet sauvignon (14.2 percent), zinfandel (8.6 percent), French colombard (7.9 percent) and pinot noir (6.2 percent).

>Average prices: Red wine grapes, $965.54, up 5.1 percent from 2016; white wine grapes, $587.73, down 1.8 percent from 2016.

>Chardonnay price of $923.67 was up 4.2 percent from 2016. Cabernet sauvignon price of $1,552.83 was up 5.6 percent from 2016. Average price for zinfandel was $591.05, down 2.2 percent from 2016.

>Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) had the highest average price of $5,225.04 per ton, up 11.4 percent from 2016. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) had the second highest return of $2,806.07, up 8.3 percent from 2016.

CDFA Appeals Ruling on Pesticide Use
In the March 1 issue of eNews, we reported that a Sacramento County Superior Court judge issued an injunction requiring CDFA to stop using nearly 80 pesticides to kill invasive pests until the agency addresses the impacts that spraying has on public health and the environment. The court case could affect efforts to fight pests such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter .

CDFA issued the following statement on March 12: "CDFA has filed an appeal of a recent Superior Court decision invalidating portions of CDFA's Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for Pest Prevention and Management. The appeal, filed in the Third District Court of Appeal for California, seeks to overturn the lower court order. CDFA will also request that the court lift an injunction on certain CDFA activities. Going forward, the Department is committed to fulfilling its legislative mandate to prevent the spread of harmful pests while complying with the California Environmental Quality Act to ensure the protection of agriculture, the environment and other natural resources."

House Committee to Hold Hearing on President's Trade Policy Agenda
The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a full committee hearing on March 21 to discuss President Trump's trade agenda, including NAFTA and the impact of the recent steel and aluminum tariffs. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is slated to be the only witness.  "I look forward to our discussion with Ambassador Lighthizer about how to create more opportunities to level the playing field for American workers, manufacturers and farmers through strong and enforceable trade agreements," said Kevin Brady (R-Texas), committee chair. Four California representatives are members of the committee. Click here to submit written comments for the hearing record.
>RELATED ARTICLE: Tariffs and a potential trade war are bad news for California (KPCC public radio, March 9)

Vineyard Employees Recognized Through New Award Program
The Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation is rewarding employees who are directly involved in vineyard production with its Vineyard Employee Sustainability Recognition Award. Each month highlights a different theme, such as leadership, pruning, conservation, canopy management, safety, harvest and communication. Employees are recognized for individual achievement and exceptional performance in these categories. 

High-Speed Rail Authority Seeks Comments on Draft 2018 Business Plan
The California High-Speed Rail Authority this week released a 100-plus page draft business plan that identifies the project's challenges, highlights progress and outlines a better strategy for building the state's high-speed rail system. The group is seeking public comments through May 7.



DiBuduo will be honored at the Outlook 2018 Agribusiness Conference in Visalia on March 22.
Press release, March 15

Reports on California, Argentina, Chile, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Ciatti Company
UCCE researchers have issued a warning to farmers to be on the lookout for the destructive pests.
Fresno Bee, March 12
Low cost of DNA sequencing allows breeders to incorporate disease resistance
Wines and Vines, March issue


A lawsuit claiming  Roundup causes cancer was dealt a blow by a judge's conclusions that the opinions of the experts testifying against it are "shaky," a potentially devastating development for the case getting to trial.
Reuters, March 14
Several Democratic states are suing the EPA over its decision to allow farmers' use of chlorpyrifos. Maryland farmers argue that the pesticide might be the last weapon against the spotted lantern fly, a major threat to the state's vineyards.
Pew Charitable Trust, March 8


CalChamber and other groups maintain that the rule remains overly burdensome, without increasing employee protections.
CalChamber, March 12

SoCal's Drought Was Among Worst Ever: Tree-Ring Study 
Results from a new study show that the 2012-16 drought was, for most of Southern California, the driest or second-driest 5-year drought dating back to the 1400s. The study -- prepared by the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research for the  Department of Water Resources --examined Southern  California tree-ring data. It is part of ongoing work to improve the state's preparedness for dry conditions and better adapt to climate change.

Articles and Resources 

The California Weather Blog - "March mitigation" commences as unusually cold late-season storm sequence arrives (March 12)

CAWG Dues and Membership Directory
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Make sure your CAWG dues are current by March 30, 2018. Otherwise, you'll miss your opportunity to be listed in CAWG's 2018 Membership Directory. This annual publication is a great way to be seen in the winegrape industry. The membership directory is a valuable communications vehicle with a long shelf life and features grower member listings, associate member listings and additional valuable informational content. If you have membership questions, contact  Natalie Collins at 916-379-8995 or

CAWG-LDGGA / Lodi Grower Education Meeting
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Join us for this informative meeting - free to grower members of CAWG and the Lodi District Grape Growers Association.

WHEN:  March 29 / 8:30-10:30 a.m. (includes coffee and pastries)

WHERE: Lodi Grape Festival, Burgundy Hall, 413 E. Lockeford St., Lodi

What do the New Tax Laws Mean for Winegrape Growers?
Presenting: Christopher Crifasi and Adam Hite of Moss Adams
The State of the State
Presenting: Michael Miiller, CAWG Director of Government Relations
Federal Review
Presenting: John Aguirre, CAWG President 

Please RSVP to Amy Blagg, LDGGA at or Natalie Collins, CAWG at

Honor Your Peers! Nominations Due April 20
Click image for nomination forms

NorCal Ag Labor Management Forum
ORGANIZED BY: California Farm Labor Contractor Association
WHEN: March 21-22
WHERE: Sonoma County Sheraton

Current Issues in Vineyard Pest and Disease Management Strategies 
WHEN: March 21 /   8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
WHERE: UC Conference Center,  550 Alumni Lane, Davis
TTB Trade Practice Seminars  
WHEN: May 9 (8 a.m. - 12 p.m. or 1 - 5 p.m.)
WHERE: San Francisco