March 7, 2019
No GWSS Found in Nursery Shipments in 2018
The Pierce's Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board posted the following announcement this week: From Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018 there were 34,400 nursery stock shipments from the GWSS generally-infested areas to non-infested areas of the state. Shipments were down by 2,300 compared to 2017. For the first time since the Pierce’s Disease Control Program’s inception, no viable GWSS life stages were found in any shipments at destination. In 2018, origin county inspectors stopped 51 egg masses, one nymph, and three adults from moving in nursery stock shipments.
Dodd, McGuire Reappointed to Lead Select Committee on Wine
Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Sen. Mike McGuire (D-North Coast) this week were reappointed co-chairs of the Senate Select Committee on California’s Wine Industry for the 2019-20 legislative session. They also co-chaired the committee during the 2018-19 legislative session. “The wine industry is one of California's major economic drivers and I'm proud to be chosen again for this leadership role along with Sen. Mike McGuire,” Dodd wrote on Twitter.

Other committee members include:
Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno)
Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton)
Sen. Steven M. Glazer (D-Orinda)
Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger)
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara)
Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel)
Sen. Jeff Stone (R-Temecula)
$72M Available for Specialty Crop Grants
USDA today announced that it is making $72.4 million in grants available to support farmers growing specialty crops. The  Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds are allocated to states based on a formula that considers specialty crop acreage and production value. In California, grant proposals were due in February and recipients will be announced in fall 2019. Last year,  CDFA received $22.6 million in SCBGP funds ; seven of the 83 funded projects included wine or winegrapes.
Government Relations Report
The State Water Resources Control Board is holding an informational meeting about the proposed  Water Rights Enforcement Policy . The meeting is Monday, March 11, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Board office, 1685 E Street, Fresno.
The State Water Board states the purpose of the meeting is to:
  • Solicit public input;
  • Notify interested parties how to provide comments and recommendations; and
  • Outline the State Water Board’s process and timeline for developing the policy. 
There is a lot at stake in this proposed policy as it will include penalties which will be based on the following:
  • Extent of harm caused by the violation
  • The nature and persistence of the violation
  • All relevant circumstances
  • The length and time over which the violation occurs
  • Any corrective actions taken by the violator
Local growers may wish to participate in this meeting to provide your input into this important policy, which could affect the protection of water rights. 

Jared Blumenfeld, former regional administrator for the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration, is the new leader of its mirror agency in Sacramento, the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA). In this role, he oversees regulatory agencies with responsibility for air, water, pest management and environmental health.   
Blumenfeld, who has law degrees from the University of London and UC Berkeley, left his federal job in May 2016. Prior to that he worked for then-Mayor Gavin Newsom as San Francisco’s environmental director. Three years ago, after leaving his federal position, Blumenfeld took a 2,600-mile hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. The enviro-czar also founded a green-tech consulting company and started a podcast, Podship Earth.  
Environmental organizations championed Blumenfeld’s appointment. A few weeks into the Newsom administration, many industries are encouraged that he will take a pragmatic approach to his new role at Cal EPA. Blumenfeld told, “Let’s not just jump to the next shiny-cool environmental thing that we could do. Our first order of business is to look at what we’re doing and make sure we’re doing it according to the plans that are already there.”

-Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
Wine Cited in President's Trade Agenda and Annual Report
The U.S. Trade Representative on March 1 released President Trump’s 2019 Trade Policy Agenda and 2018 Annual Report, outlining the administration’s trade policies. Wine is cited numerous times throughout the extensive 373-page document (download the PDF, click find and type in wine). The report provides summaries and comments on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which the administration is urging Congress to approve, and discusses the new trade negotiations with Japan, the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Karen Ross Honored with Prestigious California State Fair Award
Congratulations to CDFA Secretary and former CAWG President Karen Ross, who was selected as the Agriculturalist of the Year by the California State Fair board of directors. She will be recognized at the State Capitol on March 20 and at the State Fair Gala on June 27. The award is presented to an individual who has contributed extensively, in a professional capacity, to California’s agricultural industry.
TTB Approves New Grape Varieties for Wine
The TTB recently granted administrative approval for the use of three new  grape variety names on American wine labels:
  • Cabernet dorsa
  • Crimson pearl
  • Prieto picudo
  • Ruche
  • Xarel•lo

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Garamendi Introduces Bipartisan Sites Reservoir Project Act
California Congressional Rep. John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) on Feb. 28 introduced the Sites Reservoir Project Act ( H.R.1453 ) to provide federal support for the construction of Sites Reservoir and related water infrastructure in Colusa and Glenn counties. The Sites Reservoir project is a 1.8 million acre-foot off-stream reservoir west of Maxwell. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) is a co-sponsor. The Sites Reservoir Project Act would direct the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to complete a necessary feasibility study for the project and, if deemed feasible, authorize additional funding and technical support. The legislation comes about three months after USDA announced it would invest $449 million toward the project.

Video: New Nematode Resistant Rootstocks for Grape Growers
Karl Lund, UCCE viticulture farm advisor, talks about the characteristics and availability of these rootstocks at Malcolm Media’s Tree & Vine Expo.


Support CAWG PAC: Join Us at Balletto Vineyards in Santa Rosa
live music * food * wine * networking

We hope you'll attend this special evening event that will also include a recap of our recent legislative efforts, what lies ahead for our industry in California, and insights into the 2020 election.

WHEN: April 4 / 5:30-8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Balletto Vineyards, 5700 Occidental Road, Santa Rosa

EVENT HOSTS: Balletto Vineyards and Vino Farms, Inc.

Call for Nominations!
Nominations for CAWG Grower of the Year and CAWG Leader of the Year are due April 12. The Awards of Excellence program honors CAWG members who have distinguished themselves within the winegrape industry, have achieved excellence and have benefitted the broader community of winegrape growers through exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the well-being of the industry, California communities and environment.

Vineyards & Wine
Ag Labor
Efforts are underway at the White House and in Congress to craft immigration legislation that could address the labor shortage in agriculture.
Agri-Pulse, March 6
UCD Viticulture and Enology On the Road in Monterey County
WHEN: March 8 / 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas
TOPICS: Professors and UCCE specialists will cover: managing vector spread/virus disease of grape, effects of red blotch virus on wine quality, understanding how grapevine roots respond and recover, current and future objectives of the UCD grapevine breeding program, and precision agriculture. 

Celebrate California Ag Day on March 20 in Sacramento
Legislators, government leaders, students and the public will gather at the State Capitol to celebrate the event.

TRAVEL BY TRAIN! If you want to skip the traffic and parking hassle, consider riding Amtrak to Sacramento. Free wi-fi on board. 

April 4
CAWG PAC Fundraiser, Balletto Vineyards, Santa Rosa

April 10
CAWG Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

April 10
CAWG Foundation Wine Reception, Sacramento

April 11
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

June 24
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Summer Conference, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Sonoma

June 26
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Sonoma