Your source for CAWG and industry news
May 11, 2017
CALENDAR

May 17-18
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

July 11
CAWG PAC fundraiser, Goehring Vineyards, Inc., Lodi

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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THE FRONT PAGE 
Government Relations Capitol Report
 
UC's OVERHEAD FEES FOR AG RESEARCH: 
On behalf of CAWG, Agricultural Council of California and other agricultural groups, this week the  Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3   took up a request from Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) to prohibit the University of California from charging overhead fees for agricultural research. This was triggered in part by a recently-released  scathing audit report of UC , which concluded in part, "The office of the president cannot accurately determine its or the campuses' administrative costs." 
 
However, in January, the Pierce's Disease/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (PD/GWSS) Board was notified that UC would begin charging administrative overhead costs of 10 percent, which would increase annually to 25 percent in 2020 and to as much as 40 percent thereafter. The PD/GWSS program spends between $2 million and $3 million annually at UC for agricultural research. This research is funded entirely by an assessment on growers.
 
As the university has recently been found - through an independent audit - to be inaccurately determining administrative costs, the state Legislature is now exploring whether the university should be prohibited from passing on those costs when doing agricultural research. 
 
AB 479 UPDATE:  
In the March 30 issue of eNews, we reported on AB 479 (Gonzalez Fletcher and C. Garcia), a bill that would exempt diapers and feminine hygiene products from sales taxes - and pay for it by increasing a distilled spirits excise tax. This week AB 479 failed passage in the Assembly Tax and Revenue Committee after being criticized by most members of the committee as bad public policy. 
 
  -- Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
Governor Releases Revised State Budget Plan
 
Every year as the June 15 deadline quickly approaches for the Legislature to adopt the annual state budget, the Governor releases what is referred to as the May Revise, a revised state budget that reflects economic changes since the Governor released his proposed budget in January. Today's May Revise reflects a small uptick in projected revenue, but also warns of a potentially slowing economy.
 
Today Governor Brown stated, "The world of Washington is changing by the hour. It's very hard to predict what they will do. But we've got to be wary and prudent. Make no doubt about it, cuts are coming in the next few years, and they'll be big."
 
Recognizing problems at the UC, the May Revise also included a requirement that the UC Office of the President correct deficiencies identified in a scathing audit report released in late April.
More Evidence of the Benefits of Mechanized Grape Production
 
Western Farm Press reports on a new study from University of California Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist Dr. Kaan Kurtural. The article states, " Kurtural's most recently completed study shows mechanical pruning of grape vines can produce more stable fruit yields from year to year and better fruit quality - even with limited precipitation and irrigation water - than the traditional, more costly practices of hand pruning spurs or canes. The research trial, which ran from 2013 through 2015, was conducted in an 80-acre section of a commercial zinfandel vineyard in Kern County. The study was designed to identify ways for San Joaquin Valley growers to reduce the cost of producing a marketable crop using less water."
 
 
 
Aguirre, DiBuduo to Speak at Vineyard Economic Seminar
 

CAWG President John Aguirre and CAWG at-large director Nat DiBuduo are slated to speak at the 22nd annual Vineyard Economics Seminar on May 24 in Napa. Aguirre will present a state and federal legislative report covering current bills and issues that will have an impact on winegrape growers. DiBuduo, president of Allied Grape Growers, will give an in-depth presentation about the current grape situation in California. In addition, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross will deliver the keynote address, "Primetime for California Wine." The economic seminar features more than a dozen speakers who will provide insight into issues and trends that affect the financial and economic aspect of the winegrape industry.

 

Global Media to Sample 500 Wines at California Wine Summit
 
Thirty key wine media and trade representatives from 10 countries will attend Wine Institute's third international annual "California Wines Summit" on May 15-20. Attendees represent Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Sweden, Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland. They will taste 500 wines from more than 50 AVAs in the state, presented by 200 vintners. The week of wine tastings and experiences was designed to build on California's reputation as a world class wine producer and top destination for wine country travel. 
 
 
Groups Form California Farm Demonstration Network

Six agricultural agencies and organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create the California Farm Demonstration Network, a major undertaking that is dedicated to the increased adoption of conservation methods, soil health and climate-smart systems.  The network aims to connect farmers, showcase farmer innovation, demonstrate and evaluate practices and systems, and share information. It also intends to expand and connect other local farm-demonstration hubs throughout the state via educational events, video narratives and a web-based information portal. Partnering organizations and agencies include the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
 


INDUSTRY ARTICLES
 
CAWG member Andy Beckstoffer is the cover story of the June issue of Wine Spectator, out on May 16.
Wine Spectator
 
Growers and farmworker unions say that a federal immigration crackdown in rural towns is scaring away workers and forcing cutbacks in production of hand-harvested produce.
SF Gate, May 9
 
The California Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, which provides clarity regarding the state's "day of rest" statutes. The rule entitles employees to one day's rest in seven and prohibits employers to "cause" workers to work more than six in seven days.
Western Growers Association, May 9
 
Q&A with Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank, which publishes the annual SVB State of the Wine Industry Report.
Meininger's Wine Business International, May 5
 
Wine grapes have reclaimed their spot as San Luis Obispo County's top crop, growing nearly $100 million in value in 2016 and shattering local records.
The Tribune, May 4
 
California's exporters solidified a strong first quarter with impressive gains in March. Agricultural exports were up 6.7 percent to $3.07 billion from $2.88 billion one year earlier.
Beacon Economics, May 4
 
The infusion of foreign capital bolsters a plan backed by Temecula Valley wine producers to more than double the number of wineries in the area to over 100 by 2020. 
Los Angeles Times, April 23

WATER NEWS
EPA and U.S. Army Ask Governors for Input of Redefining WOTUS

The Trump administration is reaching out to all state governors for help on rewriting the Obama administration's controversial waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. The U.S. EPA and U.S. Army sent a letter on May 9 to governors soliciting input on a new definition of protected waters that is consistent with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion in the 2006 Rapanos v. United States case. Scalia's definition explained that federal oversight should extend to "relatively permanent" waters and wetlands with a "continuous surface connection" to large rivers and streams. "EPA is restoring states' important role in the regulation of water,"  said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a press release.  President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Feb. 28 to replace the Obama administration's WOTUS rule.
 


Water Articles and Resources

The storms that set a rainfall record in Northern California have left a vast layer of mountain snowpack, which now sits at almost 200 percent of average for the first week of May. 
Los Angeles Times, May 4


 
 

CAWG EVENTS AND PROGRAMS



2017 CAWG Summer Conference in Napa
 
JULY 17-19 /  SILVERADO RESORT AND GOLF COURSE
  • CAWG PAC Golf Tournament
  • CAWG Awards of Excellence Program
  • CAWG Summer Conference (speaker program and annual business meeting)
  • CAWG board of directors meeting
REGISTRATION, SPONSORSHIPS AND HOTEL
Details about the conference speakers, registration, sponsorship opportunities and hotel reservations is posted on the CAWG website.

CAWG PAC: Your Support Makes a Difference!
 
Mark your calendar and join us at upcoming fundraisers benefitting the CAWG PAC. Additional information is posted  here .

JULY 11  / Goehring Vineyards, Inc. / Lodi
 
JULY 17 /  6th annual CAWG PAC Golf Tournament at the Silverado Resort Golf Course / Napa

OCT. 19 / San Joaquin Wine Company / Madera  
UPCOMING EVENTS
The History of California Wines in 20 Labels

 
WHEN: May 25 / 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Building, UC Davis


From humble roots, how did California's wine industry grow into the international powerhouse it is today? UC Davis wine historian James Lapsley takes attendees on a journey from the Gold Rush days to a world of seemingly endless consumer choice - a world in which wine has become an integral part of American culture.  

 

> REGISTER 

 
 
Independent Grape Growers-Paso Robles 
Area / May Educational Seminar
 
WHEN: May 17 / 1-4 p.m.
WHERE: La Quinta Inn, Paso Robles
 
Growers are invited to attend this seminar, which will focus on labor contractor liability, bloom time tissue analysis for vineyard fertility management, and issues and options for vertebrate pest control. There will also be a speaker from the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program.
 
> REGISTER 
 
 
UCCE Foothill Grape Day 2017: Improving 
Your Vineyard "Culture"
 
WHEN: May 18 / 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WHERE: Amador County Fairgrounds, Plymouth
 
Meeting topics include foothill research update, successful vineyard plantings, vector of grapevine red blotch virus, Virginia creeper leafhopper, effect of high temperatures on fruit composition and tannin development in vineyards. Register by May 12. Cost is $40.
 
 
 
2017 American Society for Enology and Viticulture National Conference
 
WHEN: June 26-29
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Bellevue / Bellevue, WA 
 
The conference will have industry seminars, plus several enology and viticulture-related sessions. The keynote speaker is Dr. Mark Krstic of the Australian Research Institute, who will present "Seeing through the Haze - Insights into Smoke Taint Impacts in Wine."