Your source for CAWG and industry news
 May 24, 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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We appreciate wine every day, but especially on National Wine Day (May 25). Let's all enjoy a delicious glass or bottle to celebrate the day and say a toast to all of the growers and wineries that produce high-quality grapes and wines. Cheers!

CAWG Foundation Awards $30,000 in Student Scholarships 
The CAWG Foundation has awarded $30,000 in college scholarships to nine students. The scholarships are awarded annually to students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. "We are excited about the amazing students we honored with scholarships this year," said Steve Heringer, chair of the CAWG Foundation. "Each of our scholarship award winners has shown tremendous focus, tenacity and accomplishment in pursuit of their educational goals. The CAWG Foundation is pleased to help these inspirational young adults reach their academic dreams and believes they can accomplish great things for themselves, their families and communities in the future."  
Thank you to CAWG members and the California wine community for your generous donations to CAWG Foundation scholarship funds. 
Four-Year University Scholarship Recipients / $8,000 each
Juan Rosa Guardado, Firebaugh, Firebaugh High School
Liliana Villeda, Tulare, Tulare Western High School
Four-Year University Scholarship Recipient / $4,000
Nancy Gonzalez Andrade, Cloverdale, Geyserville New Tech Academy
Two-Year Community College Scholarship Recipients / $2,000 each
Gloria Ramirez Barrera, Yuba City, Yuba City High School
Luis Herrera, Ione, Argonaut High School
Yuri Terrones, San Andreas, Calaveras High School
Mariana Albor Villagomez, Santa Rosa, Analy High School
Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship Recipients / $1,000 each
Samantha Grisaffi, Arroyo Grande, Arroyo Grande High School
Chloe Kline, Modesto, Thomas Downey High School

California Wine Sales Hit $35.2 Billion, Up 3 Percent
California wine shipments to the U.S. reached an estimated retail value of $35.2 billion in 2017, up 3 percent from the previous year, according to Wine Institute. Ten years ago, the estimated retail value was $24.8 billion. The state shipped 241 million cases in the U.S. in 2017, up 1 percent from 2016. California wine shipments to all markets in the U.S. and abroad totaled 278 million cases.
U.S. wine exports, more than 90 percent from California, reached $1.53 billion in winery revenues in 2017, down from $1.62 billion in 2016. The top markets for U.S. wine exports were European Union's 28-member countries ($553 million), Canada ($444 million), Hong Kong ($119 million), Japan ($94 million), China ($79 million), South Korea ($25 million), Mexico ($23 million), Singapore ($17 million) and Philippines ($14 million).

Four Federal Agencies to Collaborate on Modernizing H-2A Program
The secretaries of agriculture, state, labor and homeland security announced today that they will work together to streamline, simplify and improve the H-2A agricultural visa program in order to reduce cumbersome bureaucracy and ensure adequate protections for U.S. workers. The agencies are "embarking on a process to modernize the H-2A visa program by clarifying and improving the regulations governing the program."

Farm Bill Fails in House 
The U.S. House of Representatives last Friday rejected the $867 billion farm bill ( article) by a vote of 213 to 198. Every Democrat and 30 Republicans voted against it. Following the defeat, House Ag Committee Chairman Michael Conaway issued a statement: "We may be down, but we are not out. We will deliver a strong, new farm bill on time as the president of the United States has called on us to do. Our nation's farmers and ranchers and rural America deserve nothing less."  Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who introduced the Securing America's Future Act, also weighed in on the vote: "I am extremely disappointed that the House could not come together today and pass the most important piece of legislation impacting the agricultural community."  The farm bill may get another vote on June 22.

Government Relations Capitol Report
Last July the governor and legislative leaders agreed to an extension of California's greenhouse gas reduction program. The program provides funding through what is commonly referred to as the cap and trade fund. This year's allocation of cap and trade dollars is expected to be included in the state budget, which the California Legislature is required to pass by June 15.   
In January, the governor's proposed budget included $244 million in cap and trade funding for agriculture. In the May revision of the budget, the governor included an additional $60 million for agriculture: 
  • $132 million for agricultural diesel engine replacement and upgrades; 
  • $64 million for food processors to implement greenhouse gas reducing projects; 
  • $4 million for agricultural renewable energy projects; 
  • $5 million for healthy soils projects; and 
  • $99 million for dairy.
If approved, this will bring the total cap and trade funding provided to agriculture to $604 million since the extension was signed into law last summer. 

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995  
Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment - Revised Draft Standard
After reviewing the comments received on the draft standard posted on Feb. 16, additional revisions have been made. Those interested in submitting comments on the revised draft must do so by Thursday, June 7 to CAWG is drafting an industry reply.

*FINAL CALL* for CAWG PAC Fundraiser: Join Us Next Week at Vine Hill Ranch in Napa
Please join your colleagues in supporting the CAWG PAC at our upcoming fundraiser. 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
HOSTS: Napa Wine Company/Yount Mill Vineyards, Vine Hill Ranch and Walsh Vineyards Management.

SPONSORS: Balletto Vineyards, Pauli Ranch and Rancho Chimiles.

Native plants, with insect luring blooms, could provide a beacon for better biocontrol. Research out of Washington State University.
Good Fruit Growers, May 23
Article focuses on worker protection changes, winegrape water demand and botrytis. 
Western Farm Press, May 23
The Griffins invested in four automated lasers programmed to shoot green laser beams in their Petaluma Gap vineyards to scare birds.
Wine Business, May 22
Roger Nabedian discusses Orin Swift, Stagecoach and U.S. wine market.
Wines & Vines, May 22
Trade talks are going on in Washington, D.C., between China and the U.S., in an effort to avert an all-out trade war. Among those closely watching are California winemakers.
National Public Radio, May 18


Perdue has traveled to 38 states since being sworn in. His message to rural America remains the same: President Trump hears you and is working to make your life better.
Omaha World-Herald, May 20
Trade association builds game plan to score wines in legislative, regulatory battles.
Western Farm Press, May 21

American Vineyard Foundation Announces $1.4 Million in Research Funding
Twenty-four viticulture and enology research projects will receive $1.4 million from the American Vineyard Foundation (AVF). The projects focus on issues such as esca management, trunk disease, red blotch, rootstock breeding, powdery mildew and fruitiness in wine. UC Davis, UC Berkeley, USDA and Oregon State University are among the research institutions. "Thanks to the generosity of 1,000 grower and vintner members, the AVF continues to drive research solutions to the challenges we face in our vineyards and wineries," AVF Chairman Tony Stephen said.  

Article: The Amazing Resilience of Winegrape Vineyards
In the May issue of Wine Economics and Policy, Sonoma State University professor Dr. Liz Thach writes about the October wildfires, the role vineyards played, the impact on the wine industry and how the region recovered from the crisis.

What Employers Need to Know About Election Day and Political Communications with Employees 
CalChamber has provided information for employers about employees' time off to vote, posting obligations and sharing political information. Informing employees about the impact of proposed state legislation, regulations and ballot measures is within the rights of an employer. The CalChamber brochure focuses on telling employees how these affect them and the company. Included are sections on what employers can and cannot do and what type of things should be reported.

DWR Seeks Comments on Draft Prioritization of Groundwater Basins 
Public comments are being accepted on the Department of Water Resources' draft prioritization of California's groundwater basins. The prioritization determines monitoring of groundwater elevations, which is required under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The comment period ends July 18. 

Mendocino Grower Education Meeting
CAWG logo no words
Join CAWG, Mendocino County Farm Bureau and Mendocino Winegrowers for a meeting discussing tax reform and what the new tax laws mean for your operation. CAWG staff will also discuss the current climate of the California Legislature and federal issues, such as immigration reform and FDA's Produce Safety Rule.
WHEN: May 30 / 11 a.m. registration, 11:30 a.m. meeting
WHERE: Brutocao Cellars, Hopland


CAWG Summer Conference

PROGRAM: Click here for details.

HOTEL: CAWG has negotiated a discounted room rate of $249 at the Silverado Resort and Spa (book by June 15 for this rate). To book under the CAWG room block, contact the hotel at 707-257-5440.
SPONSORSHIPS: Please contact the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities. 

Make Your Voice Heard in the Nation's Capital! 
2018 National Winegrape Policy Conference
This conference is a valuable opportunity for winegrape growers to make a difference. You will visit federal lawmakers with growers from around the country, as well as participate in discussions on immigration legislation, free trade, the farm bill and research funding. It will be held  June 18-20 at the Renaissance Washington, D.C.


Free H-2A Roundtables Slated for June
H-2A informational events - hosted by Agricultural Personnel Management Association - will be held in Salinas, Sonoma and Napa June 19-21. Presenters from the Department of Labor, Employment Development Department and law firms will cover the topics below. 

*Issues and trends - H-2A certification and compliance

*H-2A implications for human trafficking and workers' compensation

*Avoiding pitfalls and landmines of the program


Viticultural Research Roadshow 
WHEN: June 6 / 1-5 p.m.
WHERE: FEOC Nielsen Conference Center, Fresno
HOSTS: San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association and UC  Cooperative Extension
COST: $10/member; $25/non-members


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.