Your source for CAWG and industry news
May 18, 2017

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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CAWG Board, Committees Meet in Sacramento
CAWG logo no words
The CAWG board of directors discussed a number of pressing issues as they gathered this week in Sacramento. On May 17, separate meetings were held by four committees - federal and international issues, member services and communications, state government affairs, and industry affairs and sustainability. California State Controller Betty Yee was a guest speaker at the evening reception. 
The May 18 board meeting kicked off with a presentation by Hernan Hernandez of the Central Valley Farmworker Foundation. Based in Delano, the 8-month-old  nonprofit aims to serve and support Central Valley farmworkers by providing services and programs that better their quality of life.
Board meeting agenda items included: A proposal to exclude winegrapes from FDA's produce safety rule, part of the Food Safety Modernization Act; a discussion about the future of the National Grape and Wine Policy Conference; pending state legislation; the Grape Crush Report (reporting and data); a federal update from Cornerstone Government Affairs; and a membership update.

L to R: Michael Miiller, Aaron Lange, California State Controller Betty Yee and John Aguirre.

USTR Announces Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). T his action kicks off a 90-day congressional consultation period before negotiations with Canada and Mexico begin. With the negotiations, the U.S. seeks to support higher-paying jobs and to grow the U.S. economy by improving opportunities under NAFTA. In the letter to Congress, Lighthizer wrote, "We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for U.S. consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers and workers."



Government Relations Capitol Report
Last week Sen. Steven Glazer (D-Orinda) resigned his position as chair of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee, which hears legislation related to alcohol, gambling and a variety of other issues. This week Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) was announced as the new chair of the committee.  Dodd is in the first year of his first Senate term and represents all or parts of Yolo, Solano, Contra Costa, Napa and Sonoma Counties and co-chairs the Senate Select Committee on Wine. Raised on a family farm in Napa, Dodd has a keen interest in agricultural issues and winegrape growing. He was previously a Napa County supervisor for 13 years before being elected to the state Assembly in 2014. 
  -- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

USDA Reorganization: New Undersecretary Positions Created
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently announced the creation of a new undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, recognizing the increasing importance of international trade to U.S. agriculture. USDA will also name an undersecretary for the new farm production and conservation mission area, which will focus on domestic agricultural issues. In addition, USDA's reorganization will elevate rural development agencies to report directly to the secretary. "Our plan to establish an undersecretary for trade fits right in line with my goal to be American agriculture's unapologetic advocate and chief salesman around the world. By working side by side with our U.S. trade representative and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the USDA undersecretary for trade will ensure that American producers are well equipped to sell their products and feed the world," Perdue said in a press release .

Perdue Testifies on U.S. Ag Economy at House Ag Committee Hearing
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spoke before the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday during a full hearing focused on the state of the rural economy. During more than three hours of testimony, Perdue discussed the economic outlook for agriculture and shared his vision for USDA. His goals include creating jobs, removing government and regulatory obstacles for farmers, ensuring a stable and legal agricultural workforce, expanding foreign markets and preserving the land through stewardship. He also spoke about the reorganization at USDA. Click on the website link below to watch the entire hearing.

Zinfandel Study Update
A new study from University of California Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist Dr. Kaan Kurtural and colleagues was reported in last week's eNews. After eNews was sent, Kurtural provided us with a link to the study, titled " Precipitation before bud break and irrigation affect the response of grapevine 'zinfandel' yields and berry skin phenolic composition to training systems."
Most of the region's wineries are still small and rely on direct-to-consumer sales. Does the SoCal region need a flagship varietal?
Wines & Vines, May 16
Representatives from McCay Cellars and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly spoke at last week's Lodi Association of Wineries meeting.
Stockton Record, May 16
Article and photos about Salinas Valley H-2A farmworkers.
Reuters, May 15
An article examining the EPA's decision to deny a petition by environmental groups to ban chlorpyrifos.
New York Times, May 15
The Jess J. Jackson Sustainable Winery is actively changing the future of the wine industry.
Napa Valley Register, May 14
Tougher rules around immigrant labor could see a hike in wine prices in California's wine heartland.
Wine Searcher, May 13

Research finds positive correlation between bee health and presence of agriculture.
University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, May 2

Legislator Forms Group to Tackle Water Policy

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, (D-Coachella), chair of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife, has created a bipartisan team of legislators to address statewide water conservation efforts and water policy. Members of the Assembly Water Conservation Working Group include Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), Frank Bigelow (R-O'Neals) and Brian Dahle (R-Bieber). Said Garcia, the group is "a balance of rural, urban, coastal, mountain, northern and southern voices committed to setting equitable priorities to protect our state's most precious resource."

$86 Million Available for Groundwater Sustainability Projects

The Department of Water Resources has released the draft proposal solicitation package for groundwater sustainability plans and projects. DWR administers the Sustainable Groundwater Planning Grant Program, using funds authorized by Proposition 1, to encourage sustainable management of groundwater resources that support the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  
Prop 1 authorized $100 million for competitive grants for the development of sustainable groundwater plans and projects, of which $86.3 million is available in FY 2017-18. DWR is holding three public meetings (June 12-14) to present the PSP and receive comments. Eligible projects must address high and medium priority basins.

Water Articles and Resources

Op ed: While some in this state want to criticize how Oroville Dam was built and the politics of the day, the option of no dam like it on the Feather River is unthinkable to how California has progressed.
Western Farm Press, May 15


CSWA: New Economic Tools for Sustainable Winegrowing Practices

Growers and vintners can assess costs and benefits of adopting specific sustainable winegrowing practices using new tools from CSWA. Growers can use Excel-based calculators to support decisions on different types of sprayers, compare dust mitigation methods and develop a sustainable water management strategy. They can use a web-based tool to evaluate costs and potential savings from implementing trunk disease prevention practices. In addition, growers and vintners can use a certification cost benefit evaluation tool to evaluate the expected benefits and investments associated with the first year of certification. The project was funded by a CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant and involved agricultural economists from Cal Poly, UC Davis, Fresno State and Sacramento State, regional associations and other experts. See the upcoming events section at the end of eNews for workshop information.


New Guide for Understanding Insect Vectors of Plant Pathogen Xylella Fastidiosa

In a recently-published profile in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management , researchers in Oklahoma offer an in-depth guide to the biology and vectors of   X. fastidiosa   and the diseases it causes - with a focus on the southern U.S., where research on vectors and management practices has been less extensive than in California.

PD/GWSS Bulletin  

The spring issue of California PD/GWSS Board newsletter is now available. Articles include "Modified rootstocks could help prevent PD" and "The key to stopping new GWSS infestations in uninfested areas." It also provides research updates and CDFA's PD Control Program nursery stats for 2016.


2017 CAWG Summer Conference in Napa
  • CAWG PAC Golf Tournament
  • CAWG Awards of Excellence Program
  • CAWG Summer Conference (speaker program and annual business meeting)
  • CAWG board of directors meeting
Details about the conference speakers, registration, sponsorship opportunities and hotel reservations is posted on the CAWG website.

Vineyard Economics Seminar
WHEN: May 24 / 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Napa Valley Marriott 

More than a dozen speakers will provide insight into issues and trends that affect the financial and economic aspect of the winegrape industry. CAWG President John Aguirre and CAWG at-large director Nat DiBuduo are on the speaker list. 


2017 Viticultural Research Roadshow
WHEN: June 7 / 1-5 p.m.
WHERE: FEOC Nielsen Conference Center, Fresno
Hosted by: San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association, UC Cooperative Extension and CSWA
Presentations will focus on vine trunk disease, mechanized pruning, water recharge, rootstock trials, vine mealybug, UAV spraying, pinot grigio crop load management and cane vs. spur pruning.

CSWA Sustainable Winegrowing Workshop

WHEN: June 16 / 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Robert Mondavi Institute S ensory Theater, UC Davis
Learn about programs and resources, including CSWA's new economic tools that can be used to assess the costs and benefits of adopting specific practices, including a trunk disease prevention tool and certification cost tool.  

Lodi Vineyard & Wine Economics Symposium
WHEN: June 29 / 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Wine & Roses Conference Center, Lodi
Program features wine experts and influencers active in shaping the future of the wine business in Lodi and surrounding regions.
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."