Your source for CAWG and industry news
April 13 , 2017

April 25
CAWG Webinar: Joint Liability-Growers and Farm Labor Contractors

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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Senate Sets April 24 Vote for Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture

According to a unanimous consent agreement, the Senate is scheduled to vote on Sonny Perdue's nomination as agriculture secretary on April 24 at 5:30 p.m. (ET) - after senators return from a two-week recess. Two weeks ago, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee voted to favorably report Perdue's nomination to the full Senate, advancing the process for a final vote. However, several Democratic senators were reported to have placed a procedural hold on advancing the nomination due to some concerns, including Perdue's stance on Cuban trade. -Cornerstone Government Affairs

Coalition Objects to Indoor Heat Illness Draft Regulation

A coalition that includes California agricultural and wine industry groups is criticizing a draft regulation to prevent heat illness in indoor workplaces. More than 30 groups signed an April 4 letter to Cal/OSHA, stating that the "draft proposal creates a program to prevent heat illness for indoor employees that is unnecessarily burdensome, expensive, and overly complex and confusing." The coalition also argues that "the requirements for indoor heat exposure are more onerous than those for outdoor heat exposure and not proportionate to the risk posed." The coalition recommends a performance-based approach similar to the illness and injury prevention program and the outdoor heat illness prevention program.

Government Relations Capitol Report

The California Legislature's deadline for introduction of legislation was Feb. 17. However, last Thursday a new bill was introduced to include wine and distilled spirits bottles in the California Redemption Value (CRV) beverage container recycling program. This was done through the "gut and amend" process whereby existing legislation is gutted and a new bill is amended in. The new bill, SB 168 (Wieckowski), will be heard next week in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee (Wieckowski, chair). Wine and spirits bottles represent a very small portion of the waste stream, making up only 12 percent of the glass containers shipped in the U.S. In contrast, beer and beverage containers make up 67 percent and food containers make up 18 percent. Additionally, about 70 percent of wine and spirit bottles are already being recycled through curbside recycling. If SB 168 passes, consumers will continue to utilize curbside recycling, which means they will be paying a CRV fee that will never be redeemed.  Consequently, this bill will not increase recycling of wine and distilled spirits bottles and instead uses the CRV on wine and distilled spirit bottles to subsidize the entire CRV program.
Gas Tax Follow Up
A correction to a number in last Friday's e-blast on SB 1: The Legislature passed ACA 5 (not ACA 3), a Constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in 2018 to require that the fuel tax moneys in SB 1 be used for transportation funding and cannot be diverted by the Legislature and the governor for other purposes.
Ag Alert, April 12
Sacramento Bee, April 11

-Michael Miiller /

New President Leads National Grape & Wine Initiative

Donnell Brown began her role as president of the National Grape & Wine Initiative on April 3. The position had been vacant for several months following the departure of Camron King. CAWG President John Aguirre was a member of the interview committee. Brown has worked in the wine industry since 2009. She has operated a private consulting firm, Between the Vines LLC; served as senior marketing director for Wolffer Estate Vineyard in New York; and was marketing director for Visit Temecula. While running Between the Vines, she served as executive director of the Long Island Merlot Alliance and was event planner and board member of Harvest East End on Long Island. An April 10 article in Wines & Vines highlights Brown and new developments in the organization.
Wines & Vines, April 10

2017 California Green Medal Awards Luncheon

The third annual California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards will be presented on April 19 at Mulvaney's B&L 'Next Door' in Sacramento. Tickets for the luncheon and ceremony are $45. Awardees are Francis Ford Coppola Winery (Leader Award), Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery (Environment Award), St. Francis Winery & Vineyards (Community Award) and Monterey Pacific, Inc. (Business Award). CAWG is one of seven wine industry organizations presenting the awards.


The fundraising campaign for Cal Poly's 27,300-square-foot Center for Wine and Viticulture is near the halfway point, with more than $7 million committed to the project.
Yahoo Finance, April 11
Largely overlooked, the Arroyo Grande and Edna Valleys illustrate the triumphs and challenges faced by California's many wine regions. CAWG members featured in article.
Wine Enthusiast, April 11
With wine, it's all about tiny differences in taste and smell. The danger is in getting too poetic. The article mentions the "aroma wheel" developed by UC Davis professor Ann Noble to identify wine aromas.
NPR/Capital Public Radio, April 10

Drought Emergency is Over; Water Conservation Still a Priority

Following heavy rainfall, above average snowpack and increased levels of water conservation, Gov. Jerry Brown on April 7 lifted the drought state of emergency in most regions of California. Executive order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects are addressing diminished groundwater supplies. The order also rescinds emergency proclamations from January and April 2014 and four drought-related executive orders issued in 2014 and 2015.
In a related action, state agencies on April 7 issued a long-term plan to prepare for future droughts and continue making water conservation a top priority. The framework requires new legislation to establish long-term water conservation measures and improved planning for more frequent and severe droughts. One of the plan's key elements is r equiring more agricultural water suppliers to submit plans that quantify measures to increase water use efficiency and develop adequate drought plans.

Reclamation Boosts South-of-Delta Water Allocation to 100 Percent

The Bureau of Reclamation this week announced a significant water allocation increase for agricultural water contractors South-of-Delta to 100 percent of their contract supply for the first time since 2006. The allocation was 65 percent three weeks ago. Reclamation made the decision after the California Department of Water Resources conducted its snow survey on March 30. According to a Sacramento Bee article, farm groups said that while they were pleased with the increase, the announcement came too late for some growers.
Sacramento Bee, April 11
Western Farm Press, April 12

Water Articles and Resources

Joe Valente video interview about the impact of rain and flooding in a Kautz Farms vineyard near Thornton.
ABC10, April 6
UC Davis researchers outline parameters for irrigation water.
Wines & Vines, April 6


Save the Dates! 
2017 CAWG Summer Conference in Napa

CAWG logo no words
6th annual CAWG PAC Golf Tournament at the Silverado Resort Golf Course. Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. An awards ceremony and reception will follow.
6th annual Awards of Excellence Program at the Silverado Resort and Spa. This event will include a reception, dinner, and awards for CAWG Leader of the Year and CAWG Grower of the Year.
CAWG Summer Conference. The speaker program will feature presentations from wine industry experts who will educate and inform on key 2017 issues affecting our business operations. CAWG's annual business meeting will take place after the speaker program. 
CAWG board of directors meeting.

Registration and additional details will be available on the CAWG website soon. Please contact the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities.
CAWG has negotiated a discounted room rate of $229 at the Silverado Resort and Spa. The deadline to book a room at this rate is Friday, June 16. To make a reservation under the CAWG room block, contact the hotel at 707-257-5440. 

CAWG Webinar: Joint Liability - Growers and Farm Labor Contractors

CAWG logo no words
APRIL 25 / 10-11 A.M.

Presented by Lupe Sandoval, managing director of the California Farm Labor Contractor Association.  

Learn more about:  
  • Understanding joint liability
  • Factors that increase the potential for joint liability claims 
  • Legal requirements and best practices to manage joint liability
  • Resources to managing joint liability 
NOTE:  Any vineyard management company that provides workers to a grower or other entity, is, by law, a farm labor contractor and must be licensed by the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement.

AgSafe Heat Illness Prevention Classes in April

AgSafe is conducting classes in Oxnard (April 18), Santa Maria (April 19), Soledad (April 20) and Napa (April 26). Participants will review the fundamentals of a successful heat illness prevention plan, and discuss indoor heat regulations and industry best practices. Instructed by Cal/OSHA trainer Michael Alvarez, the courses will provide important information, training tools and resources to strengthen current plans. Businesses can also arrange for classes to be conducted on-site.

CSWA Workshops and Webinars

Click on the links for more information and to register.
APRIL 18: Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar , Assessment Workshop, 10-11:30 am

APRIL 19: LandSmart Vineyard Planning Workshop, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Napa

APRIL 21: Healthy Foodwebs, Healthy Soils with Dr. Elaine Ingham, 9 5 p.m., Morro Bay

MAY 16: Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar , Assessment Workshop, 10-11:30 am

2017 Sustainable Winegrowing Field Day - Santa Rosa

WHEN: April 25 / 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Santa Rosa Junior College Shone Farm
This event is focused on helping growers improve their sustainability practices, learn new viticulture innovations and methods, and provide opportunities to hear from peers about effective sustainable farming practices.  Speakers will focus on IPM, soil nutrition, soil management and powdery mildew.