Your source for CAWG and industry news
 May 10, 2018
May 30
Grower Meeting - Taxes + State & Federal Updates

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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PG&E Opens Wildfire Safety Operations Center to Monitor Fire Threats, Coordinate Responses
In an effort to adapt to challenges created by the "new normal" of wildfire risks, PG&E has opened a state-of-the-art Wildfire Safety Operations Center in San Francisco. It is designed to quickly identify and respond to potential fire risks and work safely with fire agencies to reduce or respond to the threat. The center will operate 24/7, mostly during wildfire season, and will be operational during other times of the year depending on conditions. It will be staffed with employees specializing in electric operations, safety, engineering and meteorology; they will work closely with emergency and wildfire response teams, fire agencies and community partners to coordinate emergency efforts.

Government Relations Capitol Report
What's Good For The Goose
For a long time, whenever the legislature would pass increased labor requirements for employers, they would make sure that those laws apply only to the private sector. This means that local and state agencies; which employ hundreds of thousands of workers, do not have to comply with the various requirements for pay periods, leave laws and more. 
However, there is a new twist to how labor laws are being written:  Unions are exempting themselves from these laws. For example, in January, the new ag overtime law takes effect. But it was written so that it does not apply to workers who have a collective bargaining agreement.
Also, AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher) is currently pending in the legislature and would prohibit binding arbitration in employment contracts. This would force all labor disputes into court. However, this bill does not apply to collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, if a worker hires a lawyer to go to court, that lawyer can include binding arbitration in the representation agreement.
In short, AB 3080 would not apply to unions or trial lawyers. As the Church Lady on SNL used to say, "Well, isn't that special?"
-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995  
California Now World's Fifth Largest Economy, Surpassing U.K.
The Golden State is the fifth largest economy in the world, behind the U.S., China, Japan and Germany. According to data released on May 4 by the U.S. Department of Commerce, California's gross domestic product was $2.747 trillion. All economic sectors except agriculture contributed to the higher GDP, said Irena Asmundson, chief economist at the California Department of Finance. "Agriculture...that was the one sector in 2017 that did not add to GDP," she said in an interview with KSEE-Fresno. "These are in nominal terms so they're still doing fine, they are still a positive force for our economy, but they just weren't growing very much." The key drivers contributing to the growth were financial services, real estate and information, which includes technology companies.

SJV Air Pollution Control District to Receive $6.3M to Improve Air Quality
The U.S. EPA has  awarded $6,369,750 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help with air quality challenges. The funds will be used to replace 144 older diesel trucks with newer trucks that run 80-90 percent cleaner, and to replace 237 older agricultural tractors with those that meet the latest tier 4 emissions standards. "These grants will help make improvements to equipment that our local farmers and ranchers use every day to put food on the table for families here in the San Joaquin Valley and across America," said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock).
Wanted: Grower Reports for The Crush
We are seeking CAWG grower members to provide reports for the What's Happening in Our Vineyards section in upcoming issues of The Crush. We believe the reports are valuable ways to share information about production and other issues in different regions. It's a simple process: either you write the report (250 words) or you can provide your report via phone to Natalie. A list of questions will be emailed to you ahead of time. Please contact Natalie at
if you are interested in providing a report in an upcoming issue.  

Trying to improve quality is increasingly an issue in one of the hottest regions of California, the San Joaquin Valley.
Western Farm Press, May 9
Vintners and winegrape growers are being alerted to sustainability practices that will give them the greatest bang for their buck.
Western Farm Press, May 9


Lengthy Q&A with Robert Guenther of United Fresh Produce Association and Craig Regelbrugge of Industry Advocacy & Research at AmericanHort. Topics include labor, transportation, immigration and the farm bill.
Growing Produce, May 7


Ag employers in Washington seeking innovative ways to put up H-2A workers - former hotels, nursing homes and childcare centers.
Good Fruit Grower, May 9

New Study to Help Improve Crop Water Use in Delta
In the recent drought, lack of accurate and timely insight about crop water use in the Delta hindered water resource management and water use regulation. So, in 2015, several California agencies and universities convened the first rigorous scientific effort to compare and improve seven emerging methods for estimating crop water use in the Delta. Vineyards are mentioned throughout the study.
STUDY : A Comparative Study for Estimating Crop Evapotranspiration in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

Bay Area Water Agency Says Yes to Delta Tunnels
The Santa Clara Valley Water District on May 8 voted 4-3 to provide $650 million toward California WaterFix. This follows the Metropolitan Water District's announcement last month that it would spend $10.8 billion on the project. "The board's vote today means that Santa Clara County will have a better chance of sustaining its imported water supply in the face of earthquakes, climate change and sea-level rise that threaten the Delta," said a director with the water agency. "The Santa Clara Valley Water District...showed decisive leadership with its vote to fund WaterFix," said DWR in a statement. "In the coming days, the state and the public water agencies funding WaterFix will enter into an agreement to implement final design and construction."

It's California Wildfire Awareness Week
A proclamation was issued this week by Gov. Jerry Brown declaring May 6-12 as Wildfire Awareness Week, which serves as a reminder that now is the time to prepare for upcoming threats. California experienced five of the most destructive wildfires in the state's history last year. In conjunction with the official week, CAL FIRE has launched a campaign to educate residents about steps they should take to protect lives, homes and land in the event of wildfires. Check out the CAL FIRE website for guides, videos and a helpful app. 

Articles and Resources 
Groundbreaking Ceremony for Cal Poly's New Viticulture Center
The multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art Cal Poly Center for Wine and Viticulture is under way after a groundbreaking ceremony on May 4. A brochure provides details and designs of the center, which will have a 15,500-square-foot, bonded 5,000 case production and research winery, as well as an 11,800-square-foot grange hall. More than $14 million has been raised to fund the center.

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.

Economics of Vineyard Land Conservation
WHEN: May 16 / 1-3:30 p.m.  

WHERE: Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, 747 Mendocino Ave. # 100,  Santa Rosa

DETAILS: Gain a solid understanding of the financial benefits of vineyard conservation and discover how easements can be highly customized to meet individual and business needs. 

Increasing Your Performance in IPM
WHEN: May 30 / 9 a.m. - noon  

WHERE: Dutton Sunnyview Vineyard, Santa Rosa

DETAILS: Free workshop on sustainable winegrowing, IPM best practices and pest monitoring. Hosted by California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and Sonoma County Winegrowers.

UC Davis Grape Day at the Oakville Station
WHEN: June 6 / 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

WHERE: UC Davis Oakville Station, 1380 Oakville Grade Road, Oakville

COST: $45 includes breakfast, lunch and demos

DETAILS: New trellis systems, weed control options, red blotch demonstrations of mechanical shoot removal and suckering, leaf removal and harvesters.

Vineyards Economics Symposium
WHEN: June 18 / 8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.  

WHERE: Napa Valley Marriott, Napa

DETAILS: Conference will cover vineyard economic and financial issues. Speakers include CAWG members.

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.