Your source for CAWG and industry news
June 16, 2016      

June 29
CAWG PAC Event, Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Santa Rosa

July 7
Webinar: NRCS/USDA Programs for Winegrape Growers

July 13
Webinar: Vineyard Tax Benefits
July 14
Webinar: Night Harvest Illumination

July 20
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament and  5th Annual Awards of Excellence Program & Dinner, Monterey 
July 21
CAWG Summer Conference, Speaker Program and Annual Business Meeting, Monterey
July 22
CAWG Board of Directors Meeting, Monterey

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AB 2757 Gains New Life in AB 1066; Fight Continues for Growers

Agriculture celebrated a significant legislative victory on June 2 when the California Assembly defeated AB 2757 (ag overtime bill). The defeat of AB 2757 was the culmination of a concerted effort by farmers across the state to urge the defeat of this bill that was a bad deal for farmers and farmworkers. Regrettably, the author of AB 2757, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), has resurrected the bill in another form - and California's farmers must once again go to battle.
Through legislative sleight-of-hand, Gonzalez was able to magically reach across the boundary that divides the Assembly from the Senate and amend another bill, AB 1066, which had been idling in the Senate Education Committee. Using legislative tactic referred to as "gut-and-amend," Gonzalez was able to delete the contents of AB 1066 without any vote of the education committee, which had jurisdiction over AB 1066, and insert the contents of the recently defeated AB 2757.
The newly reconstituted ag overtime bill, AB 1066, now awaits referral to the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations.
AB 2757 was defeated on the Assembly floor by a margin of three votes. When Gonzalez resurrected the bill as AB 1066, she single-handedly nullified the Assembly's vote, making clear that the labor union agenda should trump the collective wisdom of the Assembly.
CLICK HERE to read a the complete letter written by CAWG President John Aguirre to the entire CAWG membership.
CALL TO ACTION:  CAWG encourages you to reach out to your state senators and assembly members as soon as possible to inform them of what has transpired. Please keep the fight going by making phone calls, sending emails and coming to Sacramento to talk to legislators. Thank you. 

CAWG Announces 2016 Awards of Excellence: Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year

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CAWG is proud to announce the selection of Jerry and Bruce Fry of Mohr-Fry Ranches as the 2016 Grower of the Year, and Richard Smith and Smith Family Wines as the 2016 Leader the Year. The awards will be presented at the 2016 CAWG Awards of Excellence Program on July 20 in Monterey.
Jerry Fry is the president and CEO and Bruce Fry is the vice president of operations of the family-run Mohr-Fry Ranches in Lodi. The father and son are two of the most respected growers and leaders in the Lodi winegrape community and are known for their quality winegrapes. They advocate on behalf of winegrape growers and dedicate an enormous amount of time serving the industry and their community. Mohr-Fry Ranches was one of the original six Lodi growers to certify their vineyard under the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing.
Rich Smith, who passed away in December 2015, was the owner of Paraiso Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands (Soledad). Smith and his family have paved the way for others as pioneers and leaders in the wine industry. Smith left behind a tremendous legacy as one of the founding fathers of the modern Monterey County wine industry. He worked tirelessly at promoting the Monterey County wine region and California wine industry, as well as championing sustainability and research.
"CAWG is proud to honor these deserving and extraordinary individuals and families for their exemplary leadership in the winegrape industry," said CAWG President John Aguirre. "Jerry, Bruce, Rich and their families have shown a deep commitment to agriculture on a local, state and national level. Their leadership, advocacy, passion and strong work ethic are inspiring."

CAWG Recommends Appointment of Hector Bedolla as DPR Deputy Director

CAWG President John Aguirre sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown this week to support the appointment of former CAWG board member Hector Bedolla as deputy director to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Bedolla served on the CAWG board for six years and he is a well regarded leader by other growers. In the letter Aguirre writes, "Bedolla's wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge of agriculture and pesticide regulation will prove invaluable to DPR and the state of California. He is truly and outstanding citizen and will serve this position well."

California Court Decision on Diesel Hits Farmers, Small Fleets Hard

A decision by the Superior Court of California in Fresno on June 9 agreed with the California Trucking Association's request to erase a range of amendments to the state's major rule to clean up diesel trucks and buses. The case was against amendments adopted in 2014 that provide badly needed flexibility to smaller fleets (three trucks or less), lower-use vehicles including those operated by  small farmers , and fleets in some rural areas. The lawsuit alleges the Air Resources Board (ARB) did not follow the proper procedures of the Administrative Procedures Act and the California Environmental Quality Act in adopting the amendments. ARB will immediately file an appeal, which will maintain the status quo while the case makes its way through the higher courts. ARB Executive Officer Richard Corey said, "In 2014, we recognized the extreme economic pressures experienced by smaller trucking fleets and independent owners as they sought to comply by upgrading or purchasing new equipment. We responded by amending the regulation to make it more flexible for 'the little guys' to comply. This court decision negates those amendments and deals a profound blow to the smaller fleets, small farmers and independent owners."

DPR Pesticide Use Reporting Workshop

Pesticide use reporting (PUR) - which allows DPR scientists to track trends in use by chemical type, crop and place applied - was the subject of a June 9 workshop at UC Davis. Among the speakers were DPR Director Brian Leahy, who discussed the importance of PUR data; DPR Environmental Scientist Dr. Larry Wilhoit, on the history of pesticide use reporting; Dr. Mike Grieneisen, UCD Land, Air and Water Resources Department, on inert ingredient usage; and Drs. Olena Sambucci and Travis Lybbert, UCD Department of Agricultural and Resources Economics, on the effectiveness of online pest management on grower behavior. Visit the DPR website for more information on DPR's PUR program and past PUR reports. 

Trade Agreements Key to Winemaker's Success

A June 10 USDA blog post highlights a visit between Jonathan Cordone, deputy undersecretary for USDA's Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and Tom Gerrie, president of Cristom Vineyards in Oregon. Cordone writes about how Gerrie expanded exports to 48 states and 18 countries, including South Korea. More than 15 percent of his total sales now come from exports, noting that free trade agreements have helped immensely.


Article highlights housing issues, public pushback, new approaches, grower perspectives and compromise. Santa Maria Sun, June 15. 
Petite sirah is experiencing a surge in plantings, but whether the additional acreage signals a significant shift from its customary role as supporting actor to star remains to be seen. CAWG members quoted. Sac Bee, June 14

A new way to protect grapevines from disease, delivered from above, is taking flight over Napa vineyards. Napa Valley Register, June 14
Napa Valley may be the Lamborghini of California's wine regions - with the sexy, splashy and pricey veneer that goes with it - but it doesn't hold a candle to the 209.  Manteca Bulletin, June 14
When you ask any winemaker what the key to making great wine is, they will always say great wine is made in the vineyard. You have to have quality fruit to make great wine. D Magazine, June 13
Opinion editorial from DPR Director Brian Leahy. Western Farm Press, June 13

California Congressional Representatives Fight for Water 

F ifteen members of the California House delegation sent a letter on June 9 to U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker regarding current and pending actions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that will significantly reduce the water supply available to Californians. The letter states that "The increased reduction in releases NMFS is seeking will cost the Central Valley Project approximately 400,000 acre-feet of water."

Effective Sacramento Valley Groundwater Management

State and local officials gathered in Yolo County this week to showcase the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District's project to recharge groundwater into underground storage. The project is part of the ongoing efforts to sustainably manage groundwater in the Sacramento Valley and throughout California.  Read more about the efforts and watch the three-minute video:

Water Articles and Resources

Join Us! CAWG PAC Event at Balletto Vineyards and Winery on June 29

We hope you will join us for an evening of delicious food, excellent wine, entertainment and socializing! CAWG staff will also provide a brief legislative update.  Your continued support of the CAWG PAC has a positive impact on our industry - thank you! 


Have You Registered for the 2016 CAWG Summer Conference?

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Join us at the intersection of learning and leading at the CAWG Summer Conference. Recognition, education and sportsmanship are on tap July 20-22 in Monterey. Don't miss out! The three-day event is a great opportunity to learn from industry experts, network with members and industry colleagues, honor leaders...and have fun!
WEBSITE: For registration and sponsorship forms, click here
SPONSORSHIPS: Sponsorship amounts are set at $10,000 (limited to two) and unlimited for levels between $500 and $5,000. Sponsor ads and logos are due to the CAWG office  by June 27 . Thank you for your support!
REGISTRATION/HOTEL: Reserve a room at the Portola Hotel & Spa  by June 28 to get the $209 rate.

Upcoming CAWG Webinars

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NRCS / USDA Programs for Wine Grape Growers
Vineyard Tax Benefits 

/ 10-11 a.m.
Night Harvest Illumination
Presented by Amy Wolfe, AgSafe

Recording of FSMA - Produce Safety Rule Webinar 

Advocacy and Activities

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JUNE 16: John Aguirre was a keynote speaker at the Russian River Valley Grape Growers meeting.
JUNE 15: CAWG issued a press release announcing the 2016 Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year awards to winegrape and other agricultural publications, as well as regional newspapers. 

Local Microbes Can Predict Wine's Chemical Profile, Study Finds

From UC Davis News: Regionally distinctive groups of bacteria and fungi, associated with local climate and environmental conditions, may leave a very specific "fingerprint" on a wine's chemical composition. UC Davis researchers, who collaborated on a new study with two Napa Valley wineries, analyzed more than 200 commercial wine fermentations at Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries. Data from the study, to be reported June 16 in the
online journal mBio , provide new evidence that microbes influence a wine's terroir. The study also suggests that such microbial signatures associated with predictable chemical profiles of wine might provide a valuable new quality-control tool for the multibillion-dollar global wine industry.

FREE Workshops: Using Sustainable Practices to Navigate Risks 

JUNE 30: Yountville Community Center, Yountville

JULY 12: Tallman Hotel, Upper Lake
The free workshop will cover: sustainable practices that help mitigate risks, including energy and water use efficiency, carbon sequestration strategies, IPM, fire preparedness, crop insurance and more.

Lodi Vineyard and Wine Economics Symposium 

When: June 22

Where: Wine & Roses Conference Center, Lodi
This inaugural event will feature wine industry experts and influencers - including CAWG members - who are shaping the future of the wine business in Lodi and surrounding regions.