May 16, 2019
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
CAWG AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE
Congratulations to the 2019 CAWG Awards of Excellence Recipients!
CAWG is proud to announce this year’s recipients: 

2019 CAWG Grower of the Year:
Andrew Hoxsey
Yount Mill Vineyards / Napa Wine Company

2019 CAWG Leader of the Year:
Brad Goehring
Goehring Vineyards, Inc.

The awards will be presented on June 25 at the 2019 CAWG Awards of Excellence program and dinner at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.           

“Andy and Brad are richly deserving of these awards and the recognition by their peers,” said CAWG President John Aguirre. “Over a period of three decades, Andy has exemplified the best in grape growing with his commitment to sustainable winegrowing, agricultural preservation, habitat restoration and conservation. Brad shows us that a principled commitment to advocacy can make a difference. For many years, as a CAWG director and more recently as a leader on water quality issues, he has engaged in difficult issues and improved policy outcomes for the benefit of all California growers.”


CAWG SUMMER CONFERENCE
Speaker Program Presenters Announced!
Discounted Room Rates Until Thursday, May 23
We are looking forward to this year’s conference at the beautiful Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

JUNE 24 : CAWG board of directors meeting.

JUNE 25: CAWG Summer Conference . Click the link to see the excellent lineup of speakers! CAWG’s annual business meeting will follow. 

JUNE 25: Eighth annual Awards of Excellence Program: includes reception, dinner and awards ceremony for CAWG Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year.

JUNE 26: Inaugural CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament at the Sonoma Golf Club (8:30 a.m. shotgun start), followed by an awards ceremony and reception.

REGISTRATION / SPONSORSHIPS: Registration and additional details are available on the CAWG website . Please contact the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 or info@cawg.org if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities. 

HOTEL: CAWG has negotiated discounted room rates (per night) for four levels at $309 (regular room), $359 (deluxe room), $499 (junior suite) and $549 (mission suite). To reserve one of these, contact the Fairmont at 707-938-9000 by Thursday, May 23 .

TOP NEWS ITEMS
Government Relations Report
SENATE REJECTS TAX ON FERTILIZER AND WATER
In an attempt to fund efforts to clean up contaminated sources of drinking water, the California Legislature and governor have suggested various sources of funding which included increased taxes on fertilizer and new taxes on water. This week, as the California Senate moves toward closing out its work on the 2019-20 state budget, the Senate rejected those taxes.
 
Instead, the Senate allocated $150 million annually from the general fund to fund the program. Those dollars are coming from a spike in sales tax revenues due to a court decision (see article below) that allows states to collect sales tax for internet sales at the point of delivery – your front door. This is not a permanent solution as the Senate also provided that those funds could be reduced later if other funding sources are identified. Additionally, if there are budget deficits in future years, the Legislature could reverse course and spend that money on other programs. 
 
This is far from being resolved though. While the Senate is rejecting tax increases, the Assembly is pushing for ag to share in covering the costs of cleanup efforts. So, it is unclear what the ultimate outcome will be on this issue. The Legislature has until June 15 to approve a budget and the first year of this legislative session ends on Sept. 13. This means that the Legislature’s debate on this issue will likely continue for quite a while. 
 
SCOTUS INCREASES TAXES WITHOUT INCREASING TAXES
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2018 ruled in  South Dakota v. Wayfair  that states can collect sales tax from retailers who sell into that state but have no property or employees in the state. This means that internet retailers all over the country will have to collect sales tax on their sales to California residents.
 
Last month, the Legislature passed AB 147 (Burke, D-Los Angeles), which provides the regulatory bells and whistles for how California is going to collect taxes under  Wayfair . The new law collects sales tax on out of state retailers that exceed $500,000 in annual sales in California. This will collect an additional $300 million in the current budget year (funding things like clean drinking water programs) and almost $500 million annually.
 
This has turned into a bit of a nightmare, though, for some California-based retailers that ship to various parts of California. For example, if a California winery ships to wine club members in various parts of the state, the winery must collect sales tax based on the location to which the wine is being delivered. California’s 58 counties and 482 municipalities have a patchwork quilt of local sales tax laws. Wineries will have to apply those local sales tax laws to sales in those destinations – presumably based on zip code.
 
To make things worse, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is interpreting AB 147 to take effect April 1, 2019. This means that the new tax law applies to past sales. This was not the intent of AB 147 and the governor and Legislature are exploring a potential cleanup of this complicated law.

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
U.S.-China Trade Dispute Heats Up, Impacts Wine
The Trump administration on May 10 hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. A few days later, China announced it would raise tariffs on a variety of American goods – up to 25 percent on some. That  list includes thousands of products , worth roughly $60 billion. “The Chinese government announced that it would be increasing the tariff on U.S. wines in response to the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China,” Wine Institute said in a statement. “Effective June 1, China will add another 15 percent tariff on U.S. wine imports to their country. The additional 15 percent tariff is on top of a previous 15 percent tariff increase implemented in April 2018 and another 10 percent increase in September 2018. When compounded, the new total tax and tariff rate will be 91 percent.” 

According to news reports, the Trump administration's second round of aid for U.S. farmers hit by the trade war with China may total $15 billion to $20 billion and involve direct payments. USDA officials said they are working on the package in a fast-track manner.


 
Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Farm Bill Conservation Efforts
The House Ag Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry on May 15 held a hearing to review USDA farm bill conservation programs. California Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), subcommittee ranking member, briefly mentioned important initiatives in his opening statement: Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Ag Conservation Easement Program. “The funding and reforms made to these programs, along with the new authorities provided to address active management of our National Forests, make this the strongest farm bill ever for Western states as well,” LaMalfa said.


Bayer Will Fight $2B Ruling Against Glyphosate
A California jury on May 13 awarded more than $2 billion to two more people who blamed their cancer on glyphosate. “Bayer is disappointed with the jury’s decision and will appeal the verdict in this case, which conflicts directly with the U.S. EPA’s interim registration review decision released just last month, the consensus among leading health regulators worldwide that glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, and the 40 years of extensive scientific research on which their favorable conclusions are based,” Bayer stated in a press release. The ruling follows two recent cases that awarded $80 million and $89 million to other plaintiffs who claimed Roundup caused their cancer. 

> GLYPHOSATE LITIGATION FACTS (press releases)


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RESEARCH & EDUCATION
More Than $1M Allocated for Washington Vineyard, Wine Research
Washington State Wine, which represents every licensed winery and winegrape grower in the state, has allocated just over $1 million for viticulture and enology research in the coming fiscal year (July 2019-June 2020). The funding will go toward 21 research projects, including a new leaffolder moth, powdery mildew fungicide resistance, vine heat stress, smoke exposure and a crop estimation tool.

Center for Land-Based Learning Kicks Off Campaign for New Headquarters in Woodland
Coinciding with its 25th anniversary, the nonprofit Center for Land-Based Learning has  launched a $4 million campaign to build a new headquarters and expand its programs and services. The organization -- founded by former CDFA Secretary Craig McNamara and his wife, Julie – offers cutting-edge programs that inspire and cultivate future generations of farmers, ag leaders and natural resource stewards. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross spoke to an audience of nearly 200 at a recent groundbreaking ceremony.

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Vineyards & Wine
Autonomous tractor technology developed in CA winegrapes; could soon be used in pistachios.
Western Farm Press, May 16

Research planned to find a substitute.
Woodland Daily Democrat, May 16

May issue
Water
Trade
The organization is urging its members to ask their representatives to support USMCA.
May 14
Wildfire
The findings come after a “meticulous and thorough investigation.”
Cal Fire press release, May 15

CAWG PAC
Jazz & Wine Fest is Still on Tonight!
Thank you to those planning to attend tonight's event -- despite the rainy weather! If you have not yet RSVP'd, please feel free to show up.

WHEN: May 16 / 5:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Oak Farm Vineyards, 23627 N. Devries Road, Lodi

UPCOMING EVENTS
UCD Winegrape Irrigation Short Course
WHEN: May 22-23
WHERE: Springhill Suites, Napa and Oakville Station

Seats are limited - register early!

2019 Annual Viticultural Research Roadshow
Presented by San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association, University of California Ag and Natural Resources and California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

WHEN: June 5 / 1 to 5 p.m.
WHERE: FCEOC Nielsen Conference Center, Fresno
COST: $10/members, $25 non-members / $40 day of
RSVP: by June 4

CALENDAR
June 24
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Summer Conference, Sonoma

June 25
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Sonoma

June 26
CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament, Sonoma