August 27, 2020
CAWG Webinar: Wildfire and Smoke Exposure Events
Thank you to those who attended CAWG’s Wildfire and Smoke Exposure Events webinar on Aug. 26. We had an extraordinary number of people tune in, which says a lot about the uncertainty and risks many in our industry are experiencing due recent wildfires and smoke exposure events. We hope the expert presenters featured in our webinar helped clarify some of the many questions you may have about wildfires and smoke exposure.

We are pleased to provide our members access to a recording of the webinar, the presentations and related documents, which we hope will help you better cope with smoke exposure issues. We are transcribing the webinar into a printed document that we can share with you and we will use that same document to develop a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers. And, we will continue to update the FAQs with new questions and answers from experts.
As these resources are developed, we will alert you and post them to our website.
The recording and additional documents can be found on our website. If you need your user credentials, please contact

We thank you for your membership and continued support of CAWG!

CAWG Webinar: Wildfire and Smoke Exposure – Employee Safety

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 1 / 1-2 p.m.
TOPICS: This webinar is for CAWG members only. Topics include health risks from smoke, California wildfire smoke regulations, AQI, N95 mask requirements, accessing vineyards where evacuation orders are present, and what to do when a winery is shut down due to fire.
PRESENTERS: CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miiller and Marco Figueroa, Pan American Insurance Services.

Smoke Exposure Task Force Resources
The West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force is finalizing three documents to assist the wine industry with smoke exposure issues: grower sampling protocol, micro fermentation protocol, and a user-friendly smoke exposure roadmap. The materials will be available in the coming days.
Resources and Articles
USDA Assistance for Farmers, Communities




Article highlights the CAWG-hosted webinar.
Wine-searcher, Aug. 27

Q&A with Michael David Winery's senior winemaker.
KCRA3, Aug. 26

Q&A with SF Chronicle reporter Esther Mobley.
KCRA3, Aug. 26

SFGate, Aug. 26

Smoke damage – or the perception of it – will be front of mind for producers and consumers.
Wine-searcher, Aug. 26

CAWG President John Aguirre is interviewed.
ABC10, Aug. 25

Weather West blog, Aug. 21
Drought Monitor
As of Aug. 25, drought conditions range from “none” in parts of Southern California and the Central Coast to severe drought in much of Northern California. Read a drought summary for the West and see statistics comparing current conditions with conditions at this time last year.
Government Relations Report
SB 1102 (Monning, D-Carmel) is a bill that proponents claim only creates a simple notice to let H-2A employees know their rights. However, SB 1102 would really rewrite the law and reverse a decision of the California Supreme Court to affect the outcome of pending litigation. 

SB 1102 would reverse the definition of “voluntary” and “mandated” travel time, as established by the California Supreme Court in Morillion v. Royal Packing (2000). This would affect the outcome of two pending court cases seeking compensation for voluntary travel time. Proponents are involved in both cases.  

Courts are bound to follow Supreme Court precedence. So, SB 1102 would tip the scales of justice by changing the rules after the fact. The California Legislature has historically rejected this type of legislation because it is blatantly unjust on its face.  
Additionally, the bill was amended this week to exempt guest ag employees working under a collective bargaining agreement. This is a clear indication that if proponents get this for H-2A employees, they will likely come after all ag employees next.    

In these last few days of the 2019-20 legislative session, CAWG continues pushing for an amendment to make the bill reflect existing law, consistent with Morillion. So far, the author and proponents have rejected this amendment, making clear the likely true intent of SB 1102 as discussed above.  

The 72nd Assembly District in Orange County has historically been a Republican stronghold. But, incumbent Tyler Diep was elected in 2018 and was concerned that Orange County was shifting left. So, he tried to straddle the fence on a variety of issues. This was a legitimate concern; while Republicans enjoyed a 10 percentage point advantage in 2012, that advantage slipped to only 1 percentage point today.   
So, for much of 2019, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) often tweeted invitations for Diep to cross party lines and join Democrats. While Diep never changed parties, he sometimes voted with Gonzalez on legislation that came before him for a vote. 
Diep quickly found himself in the unenviable position of facing March primary challenges from both the right and the left. In a primary where the top two candidates move on to the November general election, Diep ended up on the outside looking in. Janet Nguyen (R), Orange County Foundation, and Diedre Nguyen (D), cancer scientist/councilmember, both advanced. 
Janet Nguyen is a former California senator who is widely viewed as a moderate Republican who can work with all sides on an issue. While this is a unique Nguyen–Nguyen situation where someone must lose, Janet Nguyen has long campaigned using her first name and believes her branding will help her in November.

Republicans believe this district will remain Republican, while Democrats believe they can switch it from R to D. 


Commentary by Norm Groot, Executive Director of Monterey County Farm Bureau.
Monterey Herald, Aug. 26

Commentary by Ted Gaines, Board of Equalization
Village Life, Aug. 26
Commentary by Paul Dictos, assessor-recorder for Fresno County.
The Business Journal, Aug. 21

-Michael Miiller / / (916) 204-0485
On the Road Virtual Sessions Now Online
In past years, the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Department took researchers “on the road” to host educational seminars highlighting research and listening to issues that are important to grape growers and winemakers. This year’s On the Road series is virtual, with recorded sessions for San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties now online.

In addition, the latest episodes (10 and 11) of Office Hours with Dave Block and Anita Oberholster were posted online.

Alisos Canyon is California's Newest AVA
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has established the 5,774-acre Alisos Canyon AVA in Santa Barbara Wine Country, the region’s seventh AVA. It goes into effect on Sept. 24. It is located entirely within the existing Central Coast viticultural area. There are nine producing commercial vineyards and one winery within the Alisos Canyon AVA. 

>ALISOS CANYON BOOKLET (summary, maps, background)

Houses Passes Delivering for America Act
The House on Saturday passed the $25 billion Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015) by a vote of 257-150, with 26 Republicans joining the Democrats. The legislation prohibits the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from making changes to operations or levels of service from those that were in effect on Jan. 1, 2020, establishes requirements for the processing of election mail, and provides additional funding for the Postal Service Fund. The bill now heads to the Senate, but according to news reports, the White House has threatened a veto if it reaches the president’s desk.

E. & J. Gallo Earns Spot on Forbes' Best Employers List
Congratulations to CAWG member E. & J. Gallo for making the list of “America’s Best Employers by State” for the second straight year, coming in at No. 34. The list, released by Forbes and Statista, ranks businesses with at least 500 employees that are liked best by employees.
With over 30 harvests, the G3 Ag Team has deep experience in winegrape hauling. Our operational expertise and agile planning combine to provide responsive service for wineries and grape growers large and small. Click on image to view video.
CAWG's preferred partner for insurance products for more than 20 years. Group workers' comp, wine industry package, federal crop insurance, employee benefits...and more. For more information: 209-955-2600 or email.
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
House Ag Committee Chair Wants Clarification on CFAP, Excluded Crops
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) on Aug. 21 wrote a letter to USDA asking the agency to clarify about methodology and price data used to determine eligible commodities under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). He mentions that “hundreds of commodities were denied CFAP eligibility.” Despite efforts by CAWG, winegrapes are not among the eligible commodities. Peterson wrote, “Without consistent public clarity on what data USDA deems sufficient for use or how USDA is analyzing this data, the program is at risk of public distrust and other commodities seeking future program eligibility are placed at a disadvantage.”
New Grape Truck Protocols Issued by Wine Institute
Wine Institute recently issued protocols to assist wine production facilities with managing incoming third-party grape truck drivers during the COVID-19 crisis. The protocols aim to provide general information to the industry and ensure continued health and safety practices. The information was gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and public health departments.
Resources and Articles
CAWG: COVID-19 resources webpage (updated frequently)

Counties on monitoring list: A total of 34 counties are on the state’s watchlist.

California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 statistics and resources (updated daily)

Press release, Aug. 27

Press Enterprise, Aug. 21

Start Promoting Wine Month Virtual Events
September is California Wine Month and the Discover California Wines website is providing a list of virtual events, virtual tastings and offers throughout the state. Remember to use #CaliforniaWineMonth on social media!

Vineyards & Wine

Wine Business, Aug. 27

2019 removals weren’t enough ‘to snap the market into immediate balance,’ Allied’s Jeff Bitter says.
Western Farm Press, Aug. 26

The insect poses a serious threat to American crops, particularly vineyards, and inspires creative backyard methods of eliminating them.
New York Times, Aug. 21

A Q&A posted by Pennsylvania Wines to encourage people to look out for SLF and how to destroy them.