Your source for CAWG and industry news
 April 5, 2018

April 24
Sonoma Grower Education Meeting, Santa Rosa

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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CAWG Day in the Capitol - April 4
Thank you to the more than 40 CAWG members who advocated on behalf of winegrape growers at the state Capitol! During 2 ½ hours of grassroots lobbying, CAWG members met with 40 legislators and/or legislative staff members. It was a valuable opportunity to engage and educate policy makers about important industry issues -- such as agricultural labor availability and an adequate water supply -- and to express support or opposition about specific bills. 

During the morning speaker session, attendees heard from Travis Allen, California gubernatorial candidate; Brian Dahle, Republican leader of the state Assembly; Ben Ebbink, Fisher & Phillips; and Mike Madrid, Grassroots Lab. Details and photos from the day will be featured in the April issue of The Crush.

CAWG Foundation Gala and Wine Judging Competition
(L to R): Sen. Ben Allen, CAWG board chair Bill Berryhill and CAWG President John Aguirre.

It was a packed and lively room last night at The Sutter Club with CAWG members, government leaders and industry friends. The gala -- in its third year -- raises awareness and funds for the CAWG Foundation's scholarships to children of California winegrape grower workers. It includes a silent auction, raffle and blind wine tasting competition.
THANK YOU to everyone who attended, supported and donated items to this wonderful event!
In the friendly wine competition -- with 24 red and white wines from 21 California wineries -- legislators awarded gold medals to six wines.
2014 Chardonnay, Caraccioli Cellars, Santa Lucia Highlands (wine nominated by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero)
Other White Wines
2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Honig Vineyard & Winery, Napa Valley (wine nominated by Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry)
Cabernet Sauvignon
2015 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael David Winery, Lodi (wine nominated by Assemblyman Jim Cooper)
Pinot Noir
2015 Pinot Noir, Rusack Vineyards, Santa Catalina Islands (wine nominated by Sen. Benjamin Allen)
Red Blends
2015 5150 Red Blend, Keys Creek Winery, Escondido (wine nominated by Assemblywoman Marie Waldron)
Other Reds
2015 Rinaldi Vineyard Zinfandel, Jeff Cohn Cellars, Santa Rosa (wine nominated by Assemblyman Rob Bonta)
CAWG in the News, Commenting on Tariffs
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FOX40 NEWS-Sacramento aired a story featuring an interview with CAWG President John Aguirre (Amid tariffs, valley winegrape growers fear US trade war with China). The interview took place during CAWG Day in the Capitol. Look for familiar faces in the video...CAWG members walking to the Capitol.
Aguirre was also interviewed this week by the following news outlets:

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Issues Report on Tariffs
A GAIN Report published this week by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service contains a summary of three Chinese government announcements relating to tariffs (effective April 2) on U.S. products. The report also includes a table of the new tariff schedule (wine is on page 5) that reflects the additional tariffs.

Government Relations Capitol Report
The recent droughts combined with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) are going to vastly change the landscape of farming if we do not adequately prepare. For example, SGMA requires that aquifers be replenished. However, groundwater recharge is not currently classified as a beneficial use of water.
In 2015, Gov. Brown issued an executive order which recognized the need to capture rainwater in heavy storms and encouraged groundwater recharge. Consistent with SGMA and the executive order, AB 2649 (Arambula, D-Fresno) proposes to create in law a temporary permit for capturing rainwater and deems groundwater recharge a beneficial use consistent with groundwater sustainability plans.
AB 2649 is much needed as it will help assure that our precious water won't flow just out to the Pacific Ocean and instead can be captured allowing for critically over-drafted aquifers to be replenished.

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

RSVP for 2018 California Green Medal Awards Ceremony
RSVP as soon as possible for next week's Green Medal Awards ceremony honoring the 2018 winners. Awardees are Bogle Vineyards (Leader Award), St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery (Environment Award), KG Vineyard Management (Community Award) and Cakebread Cellars (Business Award).

WHEN: April 11 / ceremony at 4 p.m., reception at 5-6 p.m.
WHERE: Ceremony in state Capitol room 3191 / reception in room 317

Lodi Winegrape Commission Names New Executive Director
Stuart Spencer is the new executive director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission (LWC). As LWC's program manager since 1999, Spencer led many of the marketing, promotional and educational efforts for the Lodi winegrape industry. He has played a key role developing the LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing program, Lodi Wine & Visitor Center and LoCA advertising campaign.



The Senate Select Committee on California's Wine Industry and Assembly Select Committee on Wine will hold a joint hearing to discuss status of wildfire recovery and water supply issues. The hearing will be livestreamed.


American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers report highlights land values for vineyard acres > premium acreage in Napa at $400,000 per acre; Sonoma, $150,000 per acre; Central Coast, $$25,000-$75,000 per acre.
Western Farm Press, March 29

March numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
April 4

April Snow Survey: Still Below Average
March storms were helpful, but not quite enough. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted a manual snow survey on April 2 in the Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento. It revealed a snow depth of 32.1 inches and snow water equivalent (SWE) of 12.4 inches, which is 49 percent of average for this time of year. Readings from 103 stations throughout the Sierra show that statewide, the snowpack's SWE is 14.6 inches, or 52 percent of the April 2 average (an increase from 23 percent of the March 1 average). "These snowpack results...still underscore the need for widespread careful and wise use of our water supplies," said DWR's Karla Nemeth. 

Articles and Resources 

The MWD of Southern California is dropping plans to move forward with a two-tunnel proposal, opting to pursue a scaled-back version instead. Officials said the decision followed discussions with major agricultural districts that are unwilling to finance the project.
Los Angeles Times, April 2
The April 3 meeting featured state and federal officials who provided updates on water conditions and the outlook for summer.
CDFA, March 27

Grower of the Year + Leader of the Year: Recognize Your Colleagues Who Have Made a Difference!
Please take the time to submit a nomination for an exceptional industry colleague. Award nominations of CAWG members may be made by any individual or organization. Additional details and nomination forms are available here . Please return the completed forms by  April 20  to or fax to 916-379-8999.

Sonoma Grower Education Meeting
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Hosted by CAWG, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Farm Bureau. The meeting is free to members of these organizations.
WHEN:  Tuesday, April 24 / 8:30-10:30 a.m. (includes coffee and pastries)

WHERE: Sonoma County Farm Bureau, 3589 Westwine Blvd., Santa Rosa
-What do the New Tax Laws Mean for Growers?
Presenting: Robert Murphy and Ryan Vas Dias, Frank Rimerman + Co LLP
-The State of the State
Presenting: Michael Miiller, CAWG Director of Government Relations
-Federal Review for Growers
Presenting: John Aguirre, CAWG President 

How Scientists Saved the California Wine Industry
After the repeal of Prohibition, the wine industry was not in good shape. California wines were selling, but they were really bad, and about 20 percent of the wines made in 1933 had spoilage. A recent One Bold Idea podcast from the University of California explains how a team of scientists at the Department of Viticulture at the University Farm (later UC Davis) used science to help California growers and winemakers develop world-class wine and put California wines on the map.