Your source for CAWG and industry news
 April 26, 2018
CALENDAR

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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THE FRONT PAGE 
CAWG Represents at Farmers for Free Trade-CFBF Agribusiness Roundtable in Lodi
 
L to R: Michael Miiller, Randy Lange, Karen Ross, Bill Berryhill and Aaron Lange.

CAWG was among numerous organizations that gathered today for an agribusiness roundtable on the importance of trade and the impact of the tariffs on California agriculture. The event, hosted by Farmers for Free Trade and California Farm Bureau Federation, was held at CAWG member LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards and featured CDFA Secretary Karen Ross as the guest speaker. A 7-by-9-foot banner (seen in photo) was signed by organization representatives and farmers and will be shipped to Washington, D.C. for display.
 
Farmers Paying the Price: Farmers for Free Trade this week issued a new report looking at the impacts of retaliatory tariffs on American agricultural exports that arose from the steel and aluminum tariffs on China.


Government Relations Capitol Report
 
REPEAL THE GAS TAX
Last year,   SB 1 (Beall, D-San Jose)   was signed into law to increase the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, diesel fuel tax by 20 cents per gallon and sales tax on diesel fuels by an additional four percentage points. SB 1 also created an annual transportation improvement fee and an annual zero-emission vehicles fee. All in all, it is estimated that SB 1 would generate $52.4 billion in new taxes between 2017 and 2027.
 
While SB 1 was approved by two-thirds vote in the California Legislature, current polling shows roughly 58 percent of Californians oppose the gas tax and want to repeal this costly legislation. That is why at nearby shopping centers you may see folks with clipboards gathering signatures to  repeal the gas tax . The deadline is May 21 for filing the needed 586,000 signatures.
 
A previous effort to repeal the gas tax failed to gather the number of signatures necessary. However, in the last four months California Congressman Kevin McCarthy and a handful of congressional colleagues coughed up more than $300,000 for the effort. They strongly oppose the gas tax and believe the recall may energize moderate and conservative voters in November. Proponents of the initiative are expected to turn in at least 830,000 signatures this week, far above the number of signatures needed and well ahead of the deadline.

-- Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995


Proposed Expansion of Clarksburg AVA
 
A new petition to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) would expand the Clarksburg AVA to include Ryer Island and Grand Island, located south of the current AVA boundary. The petition -- submitted by Jamie Reamer of Reamer Farms, Inc. (CAWG member) -- was "accepted as perfected" on April 10 by the TTB and is now on the list of pending AVA petitions . Although this is an expansion, the final rulemaking may take a while. For example, the Petaluma Gap AVA petition was submitted in February 2015 and the final rule was published on Dec. 7, 2017.
 


Joint Resolution to Honor California Wines
 
Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry introduced ACR 208 to proclaim April 2018 as California Wines: Down to Earth Month, celebrating the sustainable leadership of California wineries and winegrape growers throughout the month. CAWG and other organizations are mentioned in the resolution.
 


CDFA's New Program, Website for Produce Safety Rule
 
CDFA introduced in January the California Produce Safety Program to educate fruit, vegetable and nut farmers about how to comply with FDA's Produce Safety Rule. This week the agency launched an educational website about the regulation. > WEBSITE
 
As reported in the March 29 issue , CAWG secured a  winegrape exemption from the Produce Safety Rule. CAWG will work with FDA and CDFA to identify methods for determining which grape varietals qualify for an exemption. The exemption will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2018 and CAWG is working to continue the exemption through the remainder of the 2018 harvest and into subsequent years.


INDUSTRY ARTICLES

VINEYARDS & WINE

At its April 23 meeting, the California PD/GWSS Board recommended funding 15 research projects.
Wine Business Monthly, April 26

Experts say the thirst for better-quality wine is growing, as is the willingness to pay more for it. Features Q&A with industry experts.
North Bay Business Journal, April 26
 
UC scientists will test how the smoke will affect wine quality.
Western Farm Press, April 25
 
CAWG member Wente Vineyards explains impact of tariffs on business.
NBC Bay Area, April 23
 
AGRICULTURE

In-depth article focusing on three San Joaquin Valley growers and their views on immigration raids, the worker shortage and tariffs.
Los Angeles Times, April 21


WATER & WEATHER
KCRA News Special Report: "California's Water Future: Tapped Out"
 
A half-hour special focusing on California water -- supply/storage, drought issues, snowpack, etc. -- aired this week on KCRA 3 News (Sacramento). The first video highlights Northern California's largest reservoirs, from Shasta to San Luis, and their combined capacity (comparing current to last year). Following the special, KCRA's chief meteorologist hosted a Facebook live segment to answer viewer questions.
 
 


Articles and Resources 

Despite getting a financial boost this month, California's project to build two new water tunnels still faces big regulatory and legal challenges.
News Deeply/Water Deeply, April 24

Extreme weather swings will become the norm. The study's author, Daniel Swain, also writes about it in his California Weather Blog.
Mercury News, April 24

California took a big step Friday toward launching a new multibillion-dollar wave of reservoir construction.
Sacramento Bee, April 20
 



RESOURCES
$135 Million Available to Help Farmers Upgrade Equipment, Reduce Pollution
 
The Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) Program is allocating $135 million for farmers to acquire cleaner heavy duty trucks, harvesting equipment, agricultural pump engines, tractors and other equipment used in their operations. The funds will be available this summer and administered through regional air districts. The program was developed by the California Air Resources Board to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
 


CAWG PAC
Show Your Support for CAWG PAC! Join Us at Vine Hill Ranch in Napa 
 
A strong CAWG PAC is imperative to our political agenda and goals. Please j oin your colleagues in supporting the CAWG PAC at our upcoming fundraiser in Napa. The evening includes entertainment, small bites, wine tasting, networking and a CAWG PAC update.

WHEN: May 31 / 5:30-8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Vine Hill Ranch, Oakville

EVENT HOSTS: Napa Wine Company/Yount Mill Vineyards, Vine Hill Ranch and Walsh Vineyards Management.



CAWG EVENTS & PROGRAMS
Sonoma Grower Education Meeting
More than 50 people attended the April 24 meeting, co-hosted by CAWG, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Farm Bureau. 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS
Are Federal Regulations Impacting Your Business? Provide Feedback at Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables
 
HOSTED BY: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy 
 
ABOUT: The SBA serves as a voice for small business within the federal government. The roundtables will allow small business owners to speak out about federal regulations that impact their business and to meet in-person with advocacy senior staff. 

 
WHEN / WHERE:
April 30 - Modesto ( register )
May 2 - Folsom/Sacramento ( register )
May 3 - Santa Clarita ( register )


2018 National WInegrape Policy Conference
 
WHEN / WHERE: June 18-21 at Renaissance Washington, D.C.

DETAILS: The conference will begin on June 18 with an evening reception. June 19 will feature speaker sessions and visits with legislators and staff on Capitol Hill. Additional legislative visits will be held on June 20 (and June 21 if needed). Winegrape Growers of America has negotiated a room rate of $259 per night.