Your source for CAWG and industry news
August 11, 2016      

November 10-11, 2016
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Santa Rosa

January 24-26, 2017
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

February 8-9, 2017
CAWG Leadership Forum, Sacramento

March 15, 2017
CAWG Winegrape Day in the Capitol, Sacramento

March 15, 2017
CWGGF Wine Reception, Sacramento

March 16, 2017
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Sacramento

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CAWG wishes you a safe and fruitful harvest now and in the weeks ahead!

Industry Economic Report Garners Wide Media Attention
Last week's press release revealing the findings from a soon-to-be-released Wine Institute/CAWG report was picked up by numerous media outlets, including mainstream newspapers, wine industry news sources and agricultural publications. Below are a few examples of the media coverage. To view the report's 12-page methodology paper, click here.

AB 1066 Update: Call State Senators and Assembly Members ASAP
Today, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees took up their respective "suspense files." AB 1066 (Gonzalez), the agricultural overtime bill, passed out of the committee along party lines with Republicans voting NO. The bill now moves to the Senate floor, where it is expected to come to a vote late next week.  CAWG members are strongly encouraged to reach out to their senators and assembly members to ask them to vote NO on the bill.
Also up before the Senate Appropriations Committee was AB 1704 (Dodd), which was held on the committee's suspense calendar. CAWG, in partnership with the Wine Institute, will continue efforts to streamline the small irrigation pond registration process next year.

Red Blotch Disease and GRBaV Added to CDFA Testing Requirements

CDFA reports that the proposed changes to the Grapevine Registration and Certification Program regulations have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law and will be incorporated into the regulations effective Oct. 1, 2016. The text of the changes to the regulations and supporting documents are available on the CDFA website. The changes include adding red blotch disease and its pathogen, grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV), to the program's testing requirements, as well as updating the names and testing procedures for various viruses already listed in the regulations to remain current with the most recent scientific literature. CDFA is continuing with preparations to begin red blotch testing in increased blocks this fall, including development of effective testing and sampling protocols that take into consideration the increased risk of cross-contamination with GRBaV.

Soberanes Fire: Winegrapes Exposed to Heavy Smoke in Some Areas

Grapes from a dozen wineries are being exposed to smoke from the Soberanes Fire, according to a UPI article. Kim Stemler of Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association said those Carmel Valley wineries cover about 325 acres. To the east, in Salinas Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands, there have been no harmful effects and vineyard operators don't expect grapes to have smoke taint. In a Santa Cruz Sentinel article, Jason Smith of Smith Family Wines said, "The majority of the smoke is headed to the southeast or out to sea. In the Salinas Valley, the same marine dynamics that create our winds and fog off Monterey Bay have provided a protective inversion - the smoke is trapped on top of the inversion layer. In the afternoon, our famous winds scout the hillside vineyards and clean out the air under the inversion." As of Aug. 11, Cal Fire reported that the fire - caused by an illegal campfire - was more than 69,000 acres and 55 percent contained. 

Celebrate California Wine Month in September

The Wine Institute is promoting California Wine Month 2016 by inviting members and regional associations to post events on the Discover California Wines website. Events will appear on the California Wine Month landing page and a publicity campaign involving broadcast, print and online media will drive visitors to the website. Those participating can also download California Wine Month logos and banners here and use the hashtag #CaliforniaWineMonth on all social posts and tweets.

Ag Groups Help Launch Campaign for Immigration Reform

Western Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation and United Fresh Produce Association are among the groups that have joined forces with the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) to raise awareness about the need for immigration reform. The Reason for Reform campaign kicked off Aug. 3 when PNAE released reports about each state detailing the effects of immigration. On the campaign website, individuals are invited to record 30-second videos about why they want immigration reform. The videos will be sent directly to Congress. Said AFBF President Zippy Duvall in a press release, "We need a reliable workforce to tend our crops and harvest them on time, but we can't find enough workers to meet the nation's needs. Worker shortages have placed our nation's food supply at risk. Increasing immigration enforcement will cost the country $60 billion in agricultural production unless we do something now about increasing the supply of guest workers."

Judging by early results from the unusually early start to this year's harvest, California's 2016 wine grape production could total no higher than average. Western Farm Press, Aug. 10
Fresno County grower Greg Markarian was expecting his winegrape crop to be about average in size, but quality to be good. Western Farm Press, Aug. 10
UCCE viticulture advisor offers tips for collecting and processing samples of the fruit that best represent your overall crop. Western Farm Press, Aug. 10
A study shows how disease can spread in an otherwise healthy vineyard. Research funded by the Washington wine industry shows that growers need more than just "clean" for vineyard health, longevity and profitability. Good Fruit Grower, Aug. 5
Five of the best Brazilian wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 as the Rio 2016 Olympics gets underway. Decanter, Aug. 2
Awards were presented by the Redwood Empire Fair. Ukiah Daily Journal, Aug. 3

Environmental Groups Ask State Water Board to Save Delta Smelt from Extinction

Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council and The Bay Institute recently sent a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board requesting immediate emergency regulations to prevent extinction of the Delta smelt. In the 11-page letter it states, "The California State Water Resources Control Board is currently violating its obligation under the public trust doctrine to safeguard public trust resources by permitting diversions and exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and its watershed that threaten to permanently impair the public trust by driving Delta Smelt to extinction." Additionally, the letter says the diversions are depriving the San Francisco Bay Estuary of freshwater outflows that are "essential for the Delta smelt's continued existence."

Report: Accounting for California's Water

An extensive new report highlighting the state's water situation has been released by The Public Policy Institute. The report's website states: "Understanding California's balance sheet for water - how much there is, who has claims to it, and what is actually being 'spent' - is key to effectively managing the state's limited water supply in support of a healthy economy and environment." The report compares California's water accounting systems to those of 11 other western states, Australia and Spain. It identifies gaps in California's water information systems, and proposes the following policy recommendations to bridge them.
  • Develop centralized, real-time flow estimation and monitoring for river basins
  • Firm up surface water claims
  • Improve estimates of net water use and return flows
  • Define groundwater accounting standards
  • Develop groundwater modeling standards and authoritative groundwater models
  • Firm up groundwater claims
  • Account for groundwater use and recharge
  • Monitor flows in environmentally sensitive streams
  • Define environmental water budgets
  • Consolidate information on water availability and ecological indicators
  • Clarify how much water is tradable
  • Increase public information on water trading 

Water Articles and Resources

Elected Officials Get Firsthand Look at Night Harvest

Elected officials and staff members joined CAWG at board member Brad Goehring's vineyard in Clements last night to experience firsthand the ins and outs of grape harvest. This educational tour included information about the benefits of harvesting wine grapes at night, safety precautions for night harvest, and business and farming challenges facing wine grape growers.
Attendees included Sens. Tom Berryhill, Anthony Cannella, Cathleen Galgiani and Richard Pan, and Assembly members Luis Alejo, Catharine Baker, Brian Dahle, James Gallagher, Chad Mayes, Kristin Olsen and Scott Wilk. Also participating were Oracio Gonzalez (chief of staff, Luis Alejo), Vanessa Guerrero (fellow, Rob Bonta), Riana King (fellow, David Chiu) and Jamie Mori (chief of staff, Anthony Cannella).

CAWG Summer Conference Highlighted in Online Video

CAWG logo no words
American Vineyard magazine/California Ag Net produced a 4-minute video recap of the CAWG Summer Conference. The video features an interview with CAWG President John Aguirre, as well as footage from the speaker sessions and awards banquet.


Fresno State Seeks Chair of Viticulture and Enology Department

Fresno State announced the faculty vacancy for the chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology and director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center. Review of applications will begin Sept. 19, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

SJVWA Winegrape Variety Field Day 

Following up on the 2016 Research Roadshow, the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association will host an informal, quick, harvest-time field day for growers to see the trial grape varieties at Kearney as they approach their optimum harvest time. The event is free and attendees do not need to register.

WHEN: Aug. 17 / 8-10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Kearney Ag Research Center, Parlier

AgSafe Pesticide Compliance Webinars 

Eight webinars will cover the general practices of EPA and DPR pesticide compliance, as well as the comprehensive strategies and current regulation systems that go along with pest management. The hourlong webinars are scheduled between August and November.

FREE California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance Webinars 

Sustainable self-assessment and certification webinars
WHEN: Aug. 19: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Click here