Your source for CAWG and industry news
 March 8, 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

Mission: We provide creative, integrated solutions for our beverage and ag industry partners with quality packaging products and supply chain services.
CAWG's preferred partner 
for insurance products 
for more than 20 years. 

Group Workers' Comp
  Wine Industry Package 
Federal Crop Insurance 
Employee Benefits
& More...  
888-640-0593 or 
Paid Sponsorship
  CA LIC No. 0F89850

 Providing the very best California crop insurance services.

Call 916-379-8995

Final Grape Crush Report to be Released March 9

The Final Grape Crush Report for the 2017 season is scheduled to be released on March 9 at 12 p.m. PST. Numbers may change slightly from the Feb. 9 preliminary report. CAWG will send an email upon release.

Breaking News: Trump Announces Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum Imports
President Trump announced today that he will impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. In the March issue of The Crush (in mailboxes soon), CAWG President John Aguirre and Cornerstone Government Affairs report on this issue and the potential impact it will have on the winegrape industry.

Government Relations Capitol Report
Late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, "If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable." Today, as California adopts foolish laws challenging federal authority, Brandeis' decades old sentiment is ringing true.
For example, in January, a new state law took effect prohibiting California employers from allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to enter a workplace without a warrant. CAWG was opposed to this legislation, as it puts employers in a lose-lose situation where they may be required to comply with contradicting state and federal laws.  
The Trump administration's response was predictable. This week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sued the State of California seeking a court order blocking California's interference with ICE actions. The suit was assigned to U.S. District Judge John Mendez, a former federal prosecutor appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush.  
Regardless of how Mendez rules, his decision will likely be appealed. This could ultimately go to the U.S Supreme Court.

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

California Supreme Court Rules on Overtime (Flat Sum Bonuses)
The California Supreme Court on March 5 issued a ruling on how an employee's overtime pay rate should be calculated when the employee has earned a flat sum bonus during a pay period. The court had to decide whether the divisor for purposes of calculating the per-hour value of the bonus should be 1) the number of hours the employee actually worked during the pay period, including overtime hours;  2) the number of non-overtime hours the employee worked during the pay period ; or (3) the number of non-overtime hours that exist in the pay period, regardless of the number of hours the employee actually worked. The court ruled that option No. 2 must be used.
According to CAWG member Fisher Phillips, the ruling will have far-reaching effects for employers who pay employees a flat rate bonus and overtime. It recommends that employers who pay such bonuses review their policies and pay practices to ensure compliance.

UC Study: Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture
University of California researchers say that changes in climate are placing increasing pressure on agricultural production and will continue to pose serious threats in the future. In a new study published in Agronomy, researchers developed key findings and potential adaptation strategies for California agriculture with respect to a changing climate. They looked at the negative influences of temperature, heat waves, precipitation, snowpack, drought and flood events. Impacts on agriculture were crop yields, chill hours, pests and diseases, water, and agricultural vulnerability to climate risks. "The urgency of addressing these issues has become critically important," says the study. "Without timely and effective actions, negative climate change impacts may further intensify the challenges to meet local and global food demands."  Winegrapes are mentioned throughout the study.
> STUDY (click on table 4 icon to see key findings)

House Resolution Honors 40th Anniversary of AVAs
Two Congressmen this week introduced a bipartisan congressional resolution to celebrate wineries and vineyards and recognize the contributions of American Viticultural Areas. The government began accepting petitions for AVAs in 1978. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said, "With more than 10,000 wineries operating in all 50 states, American wines contribute to the economic and cultural life of our nation. Our wineries generate hundreds of billions of dollars for the U.S. economy in any given year and employ nearly 1 million Americans. We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues to promote awareness of, and appreciation for, distinctive American wineries and vineyards for years to come."

Short Survey: WineAmerica Wants Your Feedback on Excise Tax Reform
WineAmerica wants to share with federal lawmakers how the wine industry is benefiting from the long overdue reform of federal alcohol excise taxes. The organization has a short five-question survey that includes a section for testimonials that can be used when talking with members of Congress.



The joint operation is in Napa and Sonoma counties.
Press release, March 1


Growers gathered this week to learn about the new regulations regarding pesticide use near schools. CAWG members quoted.
Lodi News-Sentinel, March 7
A federal judge in San Francisco is holding court hearings this week to hear from experts to help him decide whether there is valid scientific evidence to support claims that glyphosate causes cancer. It has big stakes for Monsanto, farmers and others.
Associated Press, March 5


House conservatives' effort to enact a controversial immigration bill, authored by Rep. Goodlatte, has met a quiet but fierce foe: California farmers. 
Sacramento Bee, March 5


China, the EU, Mexico, Canada and other trading partners have sent strong signals that they may retaliate if Trump succeeds in imposing stiff tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.
Los Angeles Times, March 2

March Snow Survey: Storm Brought Much-Needed Snow
The water content is still below average, but the early March storm resulted in a major boost in the snowpack. The Department of Water Resources conducted a manual snow survey on March 5 in the Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento. It revealed a snow depth of 41.1 inches and snow water equivalent (SWE) of 9.4 inches, which is 39 percent of normal for early March. The Feb. 28 numbers were a snow depth of 13 inches and SWE of 1.7 inches. Readings from electronic sensors at 103 stations throughout the Sierra Nevada indicate that statewide, the snowpack's SWE is 9.5, or 37 percent of the March 5 average. 

Articles and Resources 
Final Reminder: CAWG Foundation Scholarship Applications Due March 16
Please remind employees that the deadline to apply for a CAWG Foundation scholarship is March 16.

The foundation looks forward to providing thousands of dollars in  scholarship funds again this year to several high school seniors whose parents or legal guardians are employed by California winegrape growers. Since the program's inception in 1998, more than $403,000 in scholarships have been awarded.

CAWG-LDGGA / Lodi Grower Education Meeting
CAWG logo no words
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


Independent Grape Growers of Paso Robles Area - March Seminar 
WHEN: March 14 / 1-4 p.m.
WHERE: J. Lohr Vineyards & Winery, Paso Robles

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

NorCal Ag Labor Management Forum
ORGANIZED BY: California Farm Labor Contractor Association
WHEN: March 21-22
WHERE: Sonoma County Sheraton
TTB Trade Practice Seminars  
WHEN: May 9 (8 a.m. - 12 p.m. or 1 - 5 p.m.)
WHERE: San Francisco