Your source for CAWG and industry news
March 16 , 2017

March 21
Santa Barbara Grower Education Meeting, Buellton

March 22
Webinar: ICE Raids & Employment Documentation 

March 23
Webinar: Tree Assistance Program & Vineyard Replants

March 29
CAWG 401(k) MEP Meeting, Acampo

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 Day in the Capitol

March 15 was a very productive day in Sacramento, with a strong showing of CAWG members at the Capitol to advocate on behalf of winegrape growers. It was a great opportunity to educate decision makers about a number of important issues. CAWG members expressed opposition to AB 5, which would require employers to offer additional part-time hours to all existing employees prior to hiring new employees, temporary employees or contractors. They expressed support for AB 1420, which would make important changes so that registrations for small irrigation ponds may be processed more efficiently. They also expressed support for the construction of water storage projects and a $5 million general fund appropriation in the state budget for the Pierce's Disease Control Program. During the morning program, attendees heard from several speakers about current legislation, policies and programs that would have an impact on the winegrape industry.

CAWG Foundation Gala

L to R: Sens. Ben Allen and Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin display the winning wines they nominated.

More than 100 growers, vintners and government leaders attended the March 15 event at The Sutter Club in Sacramento. The gala raises awareness and funds for the CAWG Foundation's scholarships to children of California winegrape grower workers. It included a silent auction, raffle and blind wine tasting competition judged by legislators and elected officials.  Thank you to everyone who attended, supported and donated items to this wonderful event.

Seven Wines Win Gold in Gala Wine Competition
The friendly wine competition at the gala featured 30 red and white wines from 23 California wineries. Legislators and elected officials who served as judges awarded gold medals to the following seven wines. Congratulations!
2015 Chardonnay, Rusack Vineyards, Santa Catalina Island (wine nominated by Sen. Ben Allen)
2015 Viognier, Bloomfield Vineyards, Contra Costa (wine nominated by Assemblyman Jim Frazier)
Other White Wines
2015 Vermentino, Ponte Winery, Temecula (wine nominated by Sen. Jeff Stone)
Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Paso Robles (wine nominated by Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham)
Pinot Noir
2012 Seven Twenty Eight Pinot Noir, Fiddlehead Cellars, Lompoc (wine nominated by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson)
2014 Mountain Zinfandel, Opolo Vineyards, Paso Robles (wine nominated by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin)
Other Red Wines
2014 Freakshow Red, Michael David Winery, Lodi (wine nominated by Assemblyman Jim Cooper)

Government leaders attending the gala were Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey; Sens. Ben Allen, Ted Gaines, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Connie Leyva, Nancy Skinner, Jeff Stone and Bob Wieckowski; and Assembly members Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Frank Bigelow, Jim Cooper, Brian Dahle, Susan Eggman, Laura Friedman, James Gallagher, Adam Gray, Jacqui Irwin, Eloise Gomez Reyes, Ash Kalra, Marc Levine, Monique Limón, Jim Patterson, Randy Voepel and Jim Wood. (Note: not all served as judges.)

Final Grape Crush Report Posted

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service and CDFA on March 10 released the Final Grape Crush Report for the 2016 season. Some numbers changed from the Feb. 10 preliminary report.
The 2016 grape crush totaled 4,227,110 tons, up 9.3 percent from the 2015 crush of 3,868,459 tons. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 2,278,593 tons, up 11.6 percent from 2015. The 2016 white wine variety crush totaled 1,752,554 tons, up 5.3 percent from 2015. Average prices for the 2016 crop: red wine grapes, $918.34, up 16.3 percent from 2015, and white wine grapes, $598.07, up 10.7 percent from 2015. Grapes produced in district 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $4,685.58 per ton, up 7.8 percent from 2015. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second highest return of $2,590.23, up 6.1 percent from 2015.  

Trump's Budget Blueprint Proposes Billions of Dollars in Spending Cuts

President Donald Trump, through the White House's Office of Management and Budget, today released a basic federal budget proposal that emphasizes national security and public safety. Spending increases for defense and public safety will be offset and paid for by deep cuts to certain programs and agencies. The proposed budget requests $17.9 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (pages 11-12), a 21 percent decrease. The budget also requests $44.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (pages 23-24), a 6.8 percent increase. The DHS budget highlights border security, immigration enforcement and laws, and the E-Verify Program.

Subcommittee Examines Importance of Agricultural Research

The House Ag Committee Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research held a hearing on March 16 about agricultural research priorities in the next farm bill. " If the U.S. is going to remain competitive going forward, we must continue making key investments in our agricultural research system and we must look for ways to do that in the most efficient manner possible,"  Agriculture Chairman Michael Conaway said.


Includes CDFA PD Control Program nursery stats for 2016, plus articles mealybug research in New Zealand and red blotch. 
March 2017 issue
Column from Kim Stemler, executive director of the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association.
Salinas Californian, March 14

The past week of warm weather has started annual bud break of area vineyards.
Press Democrat, March 13
As resentment over immigration bubbles away, Napa works out how to talk about the elephant in the room.
Wine Searcher, March 10

Some unusual orange-colored growths have been noticed recently on pruning wounds in local vineyards. These appear as oozing clumps that can cover an entire spur and stain the cordon with their bright orange residue.
UCANR Grape Notes (SLO and Santa Barbara counties), March 9

National Geographic Airs New Documentary: "Water & Power: A California Heist"

The National Geographic Channel aired a new documentary this week that explores California's water supply and the influence and control of key players. According to the Fresno Bee, " Through interviews with journalists, local citizens, activists, state officials, environmental attorneys, farmers, investors, scientists and developers, the documentary examines pivotal events that affect management of the state's groundwater reserves. It also explores the issue of privatizing a natural resource." Check your local listings.

Central Coast Water Board Approves Irrigated Lands Ag Order

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board recently approved a new irrigated lands agricultural order that continues the monitoring and reporting requirements for nitrate and pesticides of the 2012 order, while expanding the number of ranches included in the requirements. The order addresses serious groundwater and surface water contamination in Central Coast farming areas brought about by over application of fertilizers and pesticides.

Water Articles and Resources

The California Water Commission is officially accepting applications for water projects that seek some of the funding from Proposition 1 that passed in 2014. 
AgNet West, March 15

FSA is accepting applications for loans from flood-damaged farms in counties covered by federal disaster declaration, which includes most of Northern and Central California.
March 15, Capital Press
Lodi News-Sentinel, March 9


Call for Nominations: Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year

Recognize your colleagues who have made a difference! 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. Nomination forms are available on the  CAWG website

Upcoming CAWG Meetings and Webinars

Santa Barbara Grower Education Meeting
MARCH 21 / 8:30-11 a.m. / Buellton Rec Center
The meeting will cover federal and state issues, winegrape grower contracts and liens, and CAWG's 401(k) multiple employer plan and the benefits it can provide for you and your employees.
ICE Raids & Employment Documentation Webinar
MARCH 22 / 10-11 a.m.
With the release of immigration executive orders, it is important that growers are prepared for I-9 audits, ICE raids and how to handle social security mismatch letters. Presented by Cassandra Ferrannini and Alexandra LaFountain of Downey Brand.
Tree Assistance Program & Vineyard Replants Webinar
MARCH 23 / 10-11 a.m.
Disease, fire, wind, rain and other factors have destroyed many California vineyards and affected production. Financial assistance for lost vines due to natural disaster is available through the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), which was authorized through the 2014 farm bill. Presented by Navdeep Dhillon, farm program chief with Farm Service Agency. 

CAWG 401(k) MEP Meeting - Lodi
MARCH 29 / 9 a.m. / LangeTwins Winery & Vineyard
Learn more about CAWG's 401(k) multiple employer plan and the benefits to your company and employees. Presented by Kristina Keck of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
>RSVP to natalie@cawg.or or 916-379-8995.

CAWG Foundation
2017 CAWG Foundation Scholarship Applications Due March 25

The deadline for scholarship applications is next week. If you have not yet shared the information with your employees, please do so as soon as possible. The CAWG Foundation awards the following scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is an employee of a California winegrape grower. 

California Agriculture: Water, Labor and Immigration Conference

This free conference examines current issues in agriculture and farm labor. Farm labor and farm labor law have changed over the past four decades. There are fewer newcomers to the farm workforce, prompting farm employers to take steps to satisfy current workers, stretch them with mechanical aids and substitute machines for hand workers, and supplement with H-2A guest workers.
When: April 14 / 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Kalmanovitz Appellate Courtroom , King Hall, UC Davis, One Shields Ave.

Current Issues in Harvest Logistics
When: April 20 / 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: UC Davis Conference Center (and vineyard)
Hosted by Dr. Kaan Kurtural, this seminar will focus on current research in vineyard mechanization and precision management. Highlights: terrain and water status modeling, management zone delineation in vineyards, canopy and water stress modeling, crop estimation sensing, kinetics of sugar and flavonoid accumulation in vineyards, and decision making process for harvest logistics. Cost is $250.

UCD Viticulture and Enology On the Road - Paso Robles
When: March 20 / 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center

UCD Viticulture and Enology On the Road - Yountville
When: March 24 / 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: J. Lohr Paso Robles Wine Center

2017 National Grape & Wine Policy Conference

Voice Your Value: Positioning the Wine Industry to a New Administration

The 2017 National Grape & Wine Policy Conference is slated for April 26-27 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The conference will feature expert speakers and an evening congressional reception. Participants will also visit with legislators and staff on Capitol Hill.