Your source for CAWG and industry news
 March 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

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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We are hoping for a strong turnout of CAWG members for these two important events! 

Grapes No. 2 California Commodity in 2016
The top five commodities in 2016 were milk and cream ($6.07 billion),  grapes/all ($5.58 billion), almonds ($5.16 billion), cattle and calves ($2.53 billion) and lettuce ($1.96 billion).  Winegrapes accounted for $3.64 billion of the $5.58 billion for all grapes.

On pages 78-82, the California Agricultural Statistics Review features the grape crush report overview, summary of grape tonnages and prices, leading grape varieties and districts, and other statistics.
The state's 76,700 farms and ranches generated $46.04 billion in 2016, down about 6 percent from 2015. The average value of California farm real estate increased in 2016 to $7,900 per acre, up 2.6 percent from 2015.

Wine No. 2 Export Commodity in 2016
Wine was the No. 2 export commodity in 2016 with an export value of $1.49 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent from 2015. It ranked second to almonds ($4.5 billion) and surpassed dairy products ($1.41 billion). In 2015, wine came in at No. 4 behind almonds, dairy and products, and walnuts. In addition to other statistics, the California Agricultural Exports report shows the major destinations for wine exports as the European Union, Canada, China/Hong Kong and Japan. The state's agricultural exports totaled $20.04 billion in 2016, a decrease of 3.5 percent from $20.76 in 2015. California's share of total U.S. agricultural exports for 2016 was 14.9 percent.

US Wine Exports Reach $1.53 Billion in 2017
According to Wine Institute, U.S. wine exports -- 97 percent from California --reached $1.53 billion in winery revenues and 42.2 million cases in 2017. Exports were down 5.5 percent in value and 7.9 percent in volume due in part to the strong dollar, heavily-subsidized foreign wine producers and competitors forging free trade agreements in key markets. 

The top 10 export markets for California wines are: the European Union's 28-member countries ($553 million), Canada ($444 million), Hong Kong ($119 million), Japan ($94 million), China ($79 million), South Korea ($25 million), Mexico ($23 million), Singapore ($17 million), Philippines ($14 million) and Dominican Republic ($13 million). Wine Institute also reports on key export markets, including Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Japan and China/Pacific Rim.

Government Relations Capitol Report
California lawmakers are authoring several bills related to immigration and foreign labor. For example, AB 1913 (Kalra) would subject H-2A employers to the California Labor Commissioner Office's foreign labor contractor registration program. Unfortunately, this bill fails to recognize that the H-2A visa program is already heavily regulated at the federal level.
The bill's author claims that without this change in law, "unscrupulous foreign labor contractors will continue to engage in human trafficking and worker abuses. Some will use the agricultural loophole to avoid complying with key provisions of the law, such as the requirement for fair and transparent contract terms and the right of workers to be free from retaliation for alleging violations of the law."
However, CAWG and other ag groups have argued that this bill is unnecessary as under federal law, ag employers must demonstrate the need to hire an H-2A visa worker, pay the highest of the adverse effect wage rate, guarantee work hours and provide housing at no cost to the worker. H-2A employees must also receive a copy of their work contract in a language that they understand.
CAWG will continue to oppose AB 1913 and inform the legislature that this bill is unnecessary as it is duplicative of federal law. 

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

Atkins is New Leader of State Senate, Makes History
State Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) was sworn in Wednesday as the new Senate president pro tempore. She  is the first woman to rise to that position and one of only three who has served as both Senate leader and Assembly speaker. She takes over the post from predecessor Sen. Kevin de Leon, who is running against U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Sen. Atkins has a reputation of being a consensus builder and able to work through political ideologies.

House Ways and Means Holds Hearing on Trade Policy Agenda
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified on trade policy before the House Ways and Means Committee this week. The testimony and discussion highlighted the trade deficit, the president's trade agenda, NAFTA and other trade agreements, and tariffs. In his lengthy opening statement, Committee Chair Kevin Brady said, "In a competitive world, it's not enough to buy American - we have to sell American to the billions of customers outside the U.S. That's how we help our local businesses and farmers, create American jobs, and spur our economic growth."

California Ag Day at the State Capitol
HAPPY AG DAY - CHEERS!  CAWG joined the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) and Wine Institute at the State Capitol on Tuesday to celebrate the wine industry's contributions to California agriculture. Pictured (L to R): Michael Miiller, CAWG; Kate Venugopal, CSWA; Natalie Collins, CAWG; Allison Jordan, CSWA; and Tyler Blackney, Wine Institute.  

In Memoriam ~ Richard Geringer
We are saddened to learn that former CAWG board member Richard Geringer passed away on March 12 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. A lifelong farmer who grew raisins and winegrapes, Geringer had a strong passion for viticulture and agriculture in Fresno. In addition to serving on the CAWG board, his extensive leadership contributions included Fresno County Farm Bureau president. A celebration of life service will be held at Biola Congregational Church (4717 Fifth Street, Biola, Calif.) on March 23 at 11 a.m.



The TTB has added a couple more questions and answers to its wine page: Question G7: How should the reduced tax rates and credits be shown on the tax return, TTB Form 5000.24? Question W9: I f I blend wine that I produced with wine produced by another winery and then remove the blended wine product subject to tax, is it eligible for the tax credit?


Ag Day celebration in Sacramento.
CDFA, March 20

The comedy tells the story of old friends who go to Napa for a weekend getaway to celebrate a 50th birthday.
Hollywood Reporter, March 20

Articles and Resources 

Democrats in Congress have stalled an attempt to jump start an expansion of Shasta Dam, California's largest reservoir and a major water source for the Central Valley.
Sacramento Bee, March 19

The California Weather Blog "Pineapple Express deluge in California" (March 19)

CAWG Dues and Membership Directory
CAWG logo no words
Make sure your CAWG dues are current by March 30, 2018 in order to be listed in CAWG's 2018 Membership Directory. This annual publication is a great way to be seen in the winegrape industry. The directory is a valuable communications vehicle with that features grower member listings, associate member listings and additional informational content. If you have membership questions, contact   Natalie Collins at 916-379-8995 or

CAWG-LDGGA / Lodi Grower Education Meeting
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.

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