Your source for CAWG and industry news
August 2, 2018

August 8
CAWG Annual Dinner and Winegrape Night Harvest, Clarksburg

November 7-8
CAWG Board of Directors meeting and CAWG PAC event, Santa Ynez

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Tariffs and Aid: California Congressional Representatives Lobby for Specialty Crops
California Republicans and Democrats this week sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue highlighting the impact of retaliatory tariffs on specialty crops, pushing for free and fair trade, and lobbying for fair aid for specialty crops.  The letter was signed by Republican Reps. Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Devin Nunes, Ed Royce and Ken Calvert, as well as Democrat Reps. Ami Bera, Jim Costa, Jimmy Panetta, Julia Brownley and Salud Carbajal. "We strongly urge that specialty crop farmers be given the same forethought as other tariff-impacted commodity sectors...and should receive a share of the $12 billion mitigation funding that is adequately proportional to the damage they will face from retaliatory tariffs," states the letter.

CAWG President John Aguirre said, "I am grateful that leading members of the California congressional delegation recognize the potential harm that can result from escalating tariffs. However, we part ways when the conversation turns to the U.S. government handing out income subsidy payments to winegrape growers: that is not something CAWG supports." CAWG has consistently urged U.S. trade representatives to resolve trade disputes through negotiation and free trade agreements, rather than tariffs.
> EDITORIAL: Trade war hurts Central Coast farmers (Rep. Salud Carbajal, Aug. 1)

> ARTICLE: Trump's trade war becoming a hot potato for CA House Republicans (SF Chronicle, Aug. 1)

> ARTICLE : CA Republicans and Democrats complain Trump's farm aid unfair (McClatchy, July 31)

DPR Releases Neonicotinoid Risk Determination Report
This week, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) issued a report on the risks to pollinators, primarily honey bees, posed by the agricultural use of neonicotinoids. The report was mandated by the California Legislature when Gov. Brown signed into law AB 1789. DPR has two years after this report to adopt any potential control measures deemed necessary to protect pollinator health.
Imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid commonly sold under the trade name Admire Pro, is widely important to winegrape growers for control of mealybugs and leafhoppers, such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter.
Neonicotinoids have proven to be effective alternatives to organophosphates and carbamates, which have a greater potential to affect human health. Pesticide use reports received by DPR from county ag commissioners across the state between 2007 and 2016 show the use of neonicotinoids increased by 69.6 percent, while organophosphate and carbamate use decreased by 41.5 percent and 20.9 percent. 
CAWG will work closely with DPR and other ag groups to ensure a balanced regulatory approach to limiting risks of neonicotinoids to pollinators while preserving important uses for winegrape growers.

Farm Bill: Senate Conferees Appointed
The nine senators serving on the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee were announced on Aug. 1. In addition to Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), conferees include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Heidi Heitkamp, (D-N.D.).  In comparison, the House has 47 conferees.
Roberts and Stabenow and House Ag Committee leaders Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) held a private meeting on July 26, prior to the full Conference Committee discussions.

Government Relations Report
Currently, the California Senate and Assembly leaders of both parties can raise $36,500 per year per donor for their respective parties and then redirect those moneys to targeted candidates in their respective legislative caucuses. This a legal way of getting around the $4,400 cap on amounts that can be contributed to individual candidate campaigns.  
However, the California Legislature is considering new legislation that would allow Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly to open separate and new "legislative caucus committees." Like the political parties, the committees would be capped at accepting $36,500 in contributions from each outside source per calendar year.
AB 84 (Mullin, D-South San Francisco) creates the opportunity for the committees and will be debated for the first time when the Legislature returns next week. AB 84 will allow legislative leaders to control those moneys and avoid pressure from party activists who demand unfettered loyalty to political ideologies.  
"The real strength of the bill is that we added a disclosure that doesn't exist right now," said Mullin. He also conceded, "I do think it does strengthen leadership's hand in getting good people elected and keeping them elected."

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995  

Wildfires: Governor Declares State of Emergency in Six Counties 

CAWG is saddened by the loss of lives, structures and property due to wildfires in Shasta, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and other counties. We applaud the brave efforts of firefighters, first responders and community members who are helping to protect lives and property. 


  • July 26: Gov. Brown declares state of emergency for Shasta, Riverside and Mariposa counties.
  • July 28: Governor declares state of emergency for Lake, Mendocino and Napa counties.
  • July 28: President Trump issues a presidential emergency declaration for the Carr Fire in Shasta County.
  • Aug. 1: Governor and the state's top emergency officials hold a press conference to provide an update on the fires and response efforts (VIDEO).
A July 31  article in the Los Angeles Times  cites that there are 17 serious wildfires burning throughout California, with more than 12,000 firefighters battling them. Four of the 10 most destructive in state's history have happened in the past two years.

Value of Solano County Winegrapes Increased in 2017
The total value of Solano County winegrapes in 2017 was $20.4 million, up from $19.5 million in 2016. Statistics for red varieties were 9,340 tons and $12.6 million value, compared to 11,300 tons and $10.3 million value in 2016 (up 22 percent in value). Statistics for white varieties were 9,630 tons and $7.8 million, compared to 12,500 tons and $9.2 million in 2016 (down 16 percent in value).

CAWG Members, President Named to Most Influential List
Congratulations to the following who were included on the 2018 "Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry" list compiled by (number indicates ranking). 

6.  Stephanie Gallo , E. & J. Gallo Winery
31.  Rob McMillan Silicon Valley Bank
63.  Barbara Banke , Jackson Family Wines
75.  Steve Miller Bien Nacido Vineyards
78. John Aguirre, CAWG
81.  Edgar B. "Pete" Downs , Family Winemakers of California
91. Roger Nabedian, E. & J. Gallo Winery
94.  Jim Trezise , WineAmerica

2018 GEELA Awards: Application Deadline Extended
The submission deadline for the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) has been extended to Aug. 14. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable contributions in conserving California's resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state's economy. 

The winery has submitted a proposal for the creation of a white wine emoji - and is asking for support from the wine community.
Wine Industry Advisor, Aug. 1
UCD's Kaan Kurtural has worked for several years to address how mechanization can help with winegrape canopy management.
Growing Produce, July 31
Researchers measuring nearly undetectable levels of radioactive material in some California wines due to the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident in 2011 confirm there are no health risks to consumers.
Wine Institute, June 30
Potential damage from spotted lanternfly could total $18 billion in Pennsylvania alone; winegrapes at risk.
Wines & Vines, July 27
Five-minute interview with AGG President and CAWG officer Jeff Bitter.
California AgNet, July 26


How vineyards can act as a tool to help crews fight fires

In times of disaster, vineyards can be a tool to help firefighters battle large wildfires like the Mendocino Complex Fire. CAWG members Craig Ledbetter and Lodi Winegrape Commission quoted.
ABC10, Aug. 1

Stop the State Water Grab
In last week's issue, we reported on revisions to the proposed Bay-Delta Plan Amendments. CAWG is working closely with the California Farm Bureau Federation and signed onto an  industry coalition letter urging the State Water Resources Control Board to reject a proposal to redirect flows in three Central California rivers and encouraging the board to renew efforts for voluntary agreements with affected water users. The State Water Board's proposal is devastating to the entire state of California, including farmers, farmworkers and business owners. 
AUG. 20 RALLY AT THE CAPITOL: In order to make your voice heard, a  rally to stop the state water grab  is scheduled for Aug. 20 at noon on the north steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Assemblyman Adam Gray's district office at (209) 726-5465 or Michael Miiller at CAWG at (916) 379-8995 .

CAWG Days of Summer Campaign Aims to Raise $50,000

Public advocacy is a top priority for CAWG -  and a strong political action committee is imperative to our political agenda and goals. The association has launched its  CAWG Days of Summer campaign a fundraising initiative that includes activities and efforts through which members can support CAWG PAC and good candidates in important legislative races in November. The goal is to raise $50,000 to support the election of candidates who recognize and understand the significant contributions of the California winegrape industry.

READ MORE about the Century Club, 100 x $100 Program and statewide summer networking.

Save the Date! 
Join us at Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria for a reception on Nov. 7. More details to come.

Start Promoting Your California Wine Month Events

September is California Wine Month!  The  Discover California Wines website   is providing a list of events throughout the state.  Submit your September events  by Aug. 10 to be part of the publicity campaign. Logos and other resources are  available here . Remember to use #CaliforniaWineMonth on social media! 

Oakville Station Seminar Series

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 10 / 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: UCD Oakville Research Station, 1380 Oakville Grade Road, Oakville
--Single high wire no touch vineyard tour 
--Sink relationships in Napa Co. cabernet sauvignon
--Phylloxera adaptation and selection to new rootstocks and hosts
--Social (bring a bottle of wine to share) and Oakville BBQ to follow at 4 p.m.

Irrigation and Vine Water Use Tailgate Meeting

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 10 / 7:30 a.m.
WHERE:  Safari  Vineyard, 4271 Safari  Trail Road, Pilot Hill
HOSTED BY: UC Davis irrigation specialist Daniele Zaccaria and Central Sierra farm advisor Lynn Wunderlich.

2018 Fresno State Grape Day

An informal workshop and field day at Fresno State for grape growers, managers, winemakers and winery personnel. Includes lab and winery tour, plus Fresno State wine tasting. Pre-register by July 30.
WHEN: Aug. 7 / 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.
COST: $20