Your source for CAWG and industry news
June 23, 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 1066 Amended in Senate

CAWG reported last week that the author of the failed AB 2757, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), resurrected the bill in another form. The new bill, AB 1066, contains the same language of AB 2757. Click here to view the bill text (amended in the Senate on June 22). As written, the bill

  • Phases in, over a four-year period, a requirement that overtime pay be paid to farm workers after eight hours of work in a day or 40 hours in a week.
  • Requires workers to take one day off every seven days.
  • Delays the implementation of the new overtime rules for small employers by two years.
  • Gives the governor the authority to postpone a scheduled overtime pay increase if employment in California is declining.

PD/GWSS Board: Assessment Rate Increase for 2016 Harvest

From Ted Rieger/Wine Business: At its June 21 meeting, CDFA's Pierce's Disease (PD)/Glassy-winged Sharpshooter (GWSS) Board set the wine and grape industry assessment rate for the 2016 harvest at $1.25 per $1,000 of crop value, an increase of $0.50 from the $0.75 per $1,000 of crop value rate assessed for the past three years. The board assessments are used primarily to fund research projects and outreach efforts related to PD and GWSS, and other designated pests and diseases of winegrapes. The board voted to increase the assessment at the recommendation of CDFA staff.

Extreme Heat is Here: Cal/OSHA Issues Advisories

With significant heat waves hitting California over the next two weeks, Cal/OSHA is advising employers to be prepared. Heat above 95 degrees requires additional precautions beyond the basic steps outlined by California's heat regulation for employers with outdoor workers. The link below is to the Heat Illness Prevention Regulation Amendments document, which provides guidance to employers on how to implement new requirements. It highlights water, shade, high-heat procedures, emergency response procedures and heat illness prevention plan.

Proposed Revisions to Wine Labeling and Recordkeeping Requirements

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register on June 22, proposing to amend its labeling and recordkeeping regulations (27 CFR part 24). It provides that any standard grape wine containing 7 percent or more alcohol by volume that is covered by a certificate of exemption from label approval may not be labeled with a varietal (grape type) designation, a type designation of varietal significance, a vintage date, or an appellation of origin unless the wine is labeled in compliance with the standards set forth in the appropriate sections of 27 CFR part 4 for that label information. TTB is also proposing to amend its part 4 wine labeling regulations to include a reference to the new part 24 requirement. This action is in response to concerns raised by wine industry members and members of Congress regarding the accuracy of label information on certain wines covered by certificates of exemption from label approval, particularly regarding the labeling of certain wines that may not meet the part 4 regulatory requirements for using American viticultural area (AVA) names. Comments on this proposal must be received by Aug. 22, 2016.

New Report Documents CalEPA's Progress on Environmental Justice 

A new report details the progress that CalEPA - along with its boards, departments and office - has made from summer 2013 to the end of 2015. The report includes challenges, accomplishments and goals for the Air Resources Board, Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Water Boards and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.


Grower Trent Hammond, who grows 70 acres of winegrapes, is expecting to harvest at least an average crop of about 12 tons to 14 tons per acreWestern Farm Press, June 22
A pressure chamber offers a relatively inexpensive way to determine the amount of water stress a vine is experiencing, whether you're using deficit irrigation or want to improve your irrigation efficiency.  Western Farm Press, June 22
New research suggests an insect may be responsible for the spread of the red blotch virus.  Wine Spectator, June 22
Grape growers are finding that ill-timed heat waves can have negative effects on their vineyards. A UC viticulture advisor offers tips to prepare and protect vines.  Growing Produce, June 17

State Water Board Proposes Policy on Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State

This week the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) proposed a statewide policy scheme - titled "Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State" (proposed procedures) - to govern waters of the state. The State Water Board developed the proposed procedures to strengthen protections for waters of the state that are no longer protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA) due to U.S. Supreme Court decisions; to address inconsistent regulation across regional water boards and to establish a single accepted definition of wetlands at the state level; and to prevent further losses in the quantity and quality of wetlands in California. Previously, State Water Board staff briefed the CAWG board of directors on the proposal. The procedures document and related materials can be found on the SWRCB website

House and Senate Committees Advance Interior Appropriations Bills

Last week, House and Senate appropriations committees approved FY2017 Interior and Environment appropriations bills that would provide $32 billion for the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies. The bills contain a provision that would block EPA from enforcing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, "This bill strikes a critical balance - directing federal resources where they are needed, while blocking excessive regulations that are causing harm and burying us in red tape." Legislators praised the bill for dealing with federal regulatory overreach. Said Rep. Hal Rogers, "The bill reins in federal bureaucracy to stop many harmful and unnecessary regulations that destroy economic opportunity and kill jobs." One of the adopted amendments, by Rep. David Valadao, was adding language to the bill directing the use of existing regulatory flexibility to maximize water deliveries to areas of California most hard-hit by the drought, and to maintain senior water rights while protecting listed species under the Endangered Species Act.

California Water Conditions Update

According to the California Department of Water Resources, 2016 is the state's wettest year since the drought began in 2012. However, the average winter in Northern California did not compensate for four prior years of statewide drought. Some highlights from DWR's water conditions update:
  • Parts of Northern California remain at below-average precipitation, including parts of the Sierra Nevada.
  • Storage has recovered in most of the large Sacramento Valley reservoirs, but that's not the case in the San Joaquin Valley.
  • Southern California precipitation is well below average.
  • Groundwater levels throughout the state dropped to historic lows during the past four years, and as much as 100 feet below previous historical lows in parts of the San Joaquin Valley. One winter season will not recover this storage.
  • The State Water Project - which supplies 25 million Californians - will deliver 60 percent of requested supplies to its water district customers this year (up from 20 percent in 2015 and five percent in 2014). 

California Delegation Focuses on Drought, Climate Change During Trip to Israel

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross is leading a delegation in Israel (June 17-25) to learn more about the country's climate smart strategies, particularly irrigation technologies and extensive use of recycled water. According to a blog post, "The delegation furthers a relationship between California and Israel that was cemented in 2014, when Gov. Brown and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a
memorandum of understanding  to develop joint projects and conduct mutually beneficial research. Israel is able to produce most of the food it requires to feed its citizens, yet its per- capita water use is only one-third of California's. Eighty-five percent of the country's wastewater is recycled for agricultural use, compared to just 9.5 percent in California."

CDFA Announces SWEEP Funding Availability for 2016

CDFA is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). About $18 million will be available for competitive grant funding to provide financial assistance to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water at California agricultural operations. This project is part of the California Climate Investments, which uses proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade auctions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing additional benefits to California communities. Agricultural operations can apply for funding of up to $200,000 per project for irrigation projects that provide quantifiable water savings and greenhouse gas reductions. Applications are due Aug. 5. CDFA will hold application workshops to provide information on program requirements and the FAAST application process.

Water Articles and Resources

The melt-off from the high country has been swift and disappointingly scant, according to new water supply estimates from the state. SF Gate, June 20

The state's new groundwater management laws mean Californians no longer have unfettered use of underground water. State law will require the creation of local agencies with sweeping powers to meter wells, tax and penalize anyone who overuses groundwater.  California Public Radio, June 17

>Delta eNews - June 23 issue
>Delta eNews - June 16 issue

Join Us Next Week! CAWG PAC Event at Balletto Vineyards and Winery


There's still time to sign up! Enjoy an evening of delicious food, excellent wine, entertainment and socializing. CAWG staff will also provide a brief legislative update. 

Thank you to all of our members who are supporting the CAWG PAC. 

Balletto Vineyards
Cakebread Cellars 
Goehring Vineyards, Inc.  
Napa Wine Company 
Redwood Empire Vineyard Management, Inc.  
Sangiacomo Family Vineyads 
Slater Farms, Inc.
Vine Hill Ranch 


CAWG Summer Conference: Reserve Your Hotel Room by June 28 for Discounted Rate

CAWG has negotiated a discounted room rate of $209 at the Portola Hotel & Spa. The deadline to reserve a room at this discounted room rate is  Tuesday, June 28. To make a hotel room reservation, please call the Portola Hotel at 831-232-0932 or click on the link below.

Upcoming CAWG Webinars

CAWG logo no words
JULY 7 / 10-11 a.m.
NRCS / USDA Programs for Wine Grape Growers
Presented by Erik Beardsley (program specialist with NRCS/USDA)
JULY 13 / 10-11 a.m.
Vineyard Tax Benefits
Presented by Robert Murphy (Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP)  

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

Recording of FSMA - Produce Safety Rule Webinar 

UC Cooperative Extension Seeking Industry Support for Two New Positions

Two UC Cooperative Extension (CE) positions - for enology and viticulture - are being considered by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources for funding. In an email from David Block of the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology,  support is needed from people in the industry for either or both of these proposals. Support for these positions from growers and others in the industry will be strongly considered by UC ANR in choosing which positions to fill. "We feel that both of these positions will significantly strengthen our extension continuum from farm advisor to CE specialist to on-campus faculty positions," said Block. The public comment period for these positions will close on July 11, 2016.
1) For the CE position in enology, click here. It is for a CE specialist with microbiology expertise to complement their current expertise in wine chemistry. There is currently only have one CE specialist in enology for over 4,000 wineries. 
2) For the CE position in viticulture, click here. It is for a CE specialist with expertise in vineyard mechanization for all types of grapes. This position would be based at the Kearney Ag Research Center and would complement the other two specialists (for about 800,000 acres of crop).

Video on Eutypa Dieback Management

Larry Bettiga, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture farm advisor, posted on Twitter a link to "a great video on Eutypa management." The 8-minute video shows how Australian winegrape growers are dealing with Eutypa dieback. It explains how to identify the symptoms of the wood invading fungus and the most efficient ways to remove diseased wood and get a replacement vine back into production.  

CDFA Webinar on Climate Smart Agriculture 

This free webinar will feature discussions and presentations addressing salinity in specialty crops within California's Central Valley and along coastal areas.
Hosted by: CDFA and Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands

When: July 7, 9-11 a.m.

Where: live (1220 N Street, main auditorium, Sacramento) or via webinar

FREE Workshops: Using Sustainable Practices to Navigate Risks 

JUNE 30 / 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Yountville Community Center, Yountville

JULY 12 / 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
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.

Free CSWA webinars on sustainability and self-assessment are scheduled for June 28, July 14, July 27 and Aug 9. Each workshop includes a demonstration of the online self-assessment system, Certified CCSW, and the online performance metrics tool. See workshop calendar  here .