Your source for CAWG and industry news
August 31, 2017

October 19
CAWG PAC fundraiser, Madera

November 9-10
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Lodi

January 23-25, 2018
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

February 22-23, 2018
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Temecula 

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California Wine Month: 
A toast to our winegrape growers and all who contribute to the winegrape industry!

September marks the 13th annual California Wine Month, created by Wine Institute to honor the nation's top wine-producing state. Visit the Discover California Wines website for information and resources and c heck out the Celebrate California Wine Month video

Excessive Heat: Stay Hydrated, Take Extra Precautions
The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and high heat advisories statewide, particularly for inland areas. With the heat wave, CAWG hopes for a safe harvest for growers and farmworkers. Triple digit temperatures, combined with other factors, can create a dangerous situation in which heat-related illnesses are possible. Staying hydrated is one of the most effective heat illness prevention techniques. 
Cal/OSHA has detailed posters with graphics on the health effects of heat (heat exhaustion and heat stroke) and how to prepare for an emergency. > RESOURCES

Government Relations Capitol Report
In the next two weeks, as the state Legislature wraps up its business for the year, the fate of SB 49 (DeLeĆ³n) will soon be known. This bill is an attempt to protect against any "backsliding" by the Trump administration in worker rights and environmental protections. CAWG and virtually every other industry organization in California is opposed to SB 49 because it would lock in several policies that are decades old. Additionally, it would pre-empt any developments in science or changes in the environment.   
For example, under this bill, species that were endangered before Trump would remain on the list regardless of statistically significant increases in populations of those species. Additionally, any guidance letters from the U.S. Department of Labor (some of which go back to the 1940s) would be codified under California law regardless of later changes that strengthen federal law. 
Consequently, SB 49 creates uncertainty and confusion for California businesses and industries. This is another example of the California Legislature's misdirected anger at President Trump. 

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995

ERS Stats: California Farm Production in 2016
USDA's Economic Research Service has posted  preliminary agricultural production statistics for 2016 in California. This initial set of data indicates that production value for all commodities was $45,325,083. Final numbers for 2015 and 2014 were $49.1 million and $ 56.6 million, respectively The preliminary value of grapes in 2016 was $5,581,410. Final numbers for 2015 and 2014 were $5,310,303 and $5,239,693, respectively. USDA will revise the 2016 preliminary figures over the next several months. 
California's top three commodities in 2016 (preliminary):
Dairy products, milk: $6.065 million
Grapes: $5.581 million
Almonds: $5.158 million
> ERS STATISTICS (click on the California link on the far left column)

Lodi Winegrape Commission Announces Board, Officers
Eleven CAWG members are among the new and returning board members and officers of the Lodi Winegrape Commission. Officers are Bruce Fry, Mohr-Fry Ranches, chair; Kendra Altnow, Lange Twins Family Winery & Vineyard, vice chair; and Stanton Lange, Stanton Lange Vineyard Management, secretary. Commissioners include Craig Ledbetter, Vino Farms; Aaron Shinn, Round Valley Ranch; and Ed Van Diemen, Van Diemen Farms. Alternates include Triana Berryhill, BB Vineyards; Ben Kolber, KG Vineyard Management; Tom Murphy, The Murphy Company; Jason Spaletta, Spaletta Vineyards; and Brandon Sywassink, Manna Ranch. Thank you for your leadership!

CAWG Members Recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Two CAWG member employees are among those recognized on Wine Enthusiast magazine's "Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2017" list. Congratulations to Lucas Pope, vineyard manager at Halter Ranch Vineyards in Paso Robles, and Justin Seidenfeld, winemaker at Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg. Pope, the first vineyard manager to be named to the list, was recognized for his efforts fighting red blotch disease.

CSWA Seeks Certification Auditors
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is seeking expressions of interest and qualifications from certification auditors to be accredited for the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program. Since the program has grown, CSWA needs qualified candidates to add to the auditor pool. For program information, accreditation criteria, instructions for submitting a proposal and the training session, click the link below. Proposals must be submitted to Jodi Wilson (  by Nov. 1, 2017.


Mechanization researchers have seen quality improvements along with possibilities of cost savings. Emerging tools in a "no-touch" vineyard need to be proven. UCD's Oakville Research Station and Kaan Kurtural are featured.
Good Fruit Grower, Aug. 29
Article about CAWG member Aaron Shinn.
Stockton Record, Aug. 29
Three weeks after the initial harvest for sparkling wine grapes, the harvest for still wine grapes has begun in Monterey County.
Central Valley Business Times, Aug. 29
On July 13, the SLO County Department of Agriculture found a single adult glassy-winged sharpshooter on a citrus tree west of the city. The discovery was followed with immediate action by the department.
SLO County Ag Commissioner, Aug. 28
As we enter another harvest season, it is worth remembering who it is who makes the Napa Valley wine industry possible - the thousands of farmworkers who tend our vineyards and harvest our grapes.
Napa Valley Register, Aug. 26
Various California growers and vineyard managers discuss in detail machine harvesting and the harvesters they use.
Spirited, Aug. 24

Growers Can Comment on WOTUS via Teleconference
The U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are holding teleconference sessions throughout the fall to give stakeholders a chance to provide input on the revised definition of "waters of the United States." The session specifically for agriculture will be Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT.

California Reaches Important SGMA Milestone
More than 99 percent of California's high- and medium-priority groundwater basins have met a key deadline to form local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014 required formation of locally controlled GSAs in the state's 127 high- and medium-priority groundwater basins by June 30, 2017. The next step for GSAs is to create and implement groundwater sustainability plans that describe needed actions and implementation measures to bring their basins into balanced levels of pumping and recharge in the timeframe outlined in SGMA.

Water Articles and Resources

The governor's $17 billion project recently got a big boost from the feds and two state approvals. But it also threatens a 150-year-old farming region.

East Bay Express, Aug. 23

Daily reservoir storage conditions - Aug. 31 report

CalChamber Publishes Midyear Employment Law White Paper
CalChamber's free "2017 Midyear Employment Law Update" white paper reviews some of the more significant developments to date:

  • New California criminal background regulations
  • New Form I-9 and updated guidance manual
  • Local minimum wage increases and scheduling ordinance
  • Day of rest obligations
  • Other topics

Share Your Harvest Photos with CAWG!
CAWG would like to share your awesome harvest photos on its Facebook and Twitter pages. Please share your posts or photos on the CAWG Facebook page or email photos to Natalie Collins at


click on image for more details

26th Annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium
Forty speakers will cover financial, business and strategic issues of the wine industry.
WHEN: Sept. 25-26
WHERE: Napa Valley Marriott, Napa

2017 Sustainable Ag Expo
A multi-day seminar and tradeshow for farmers, ag professionals and PCAs to learn about the latest in research, resources and trends related to sustainable agriculture.   Winegrape-specific sessions focus on vine mealybug management, virus management, red blotch, Pierce's disease, vineyard development, plant material and disease considerations, and vineyard mechanization.
WHEN: Nov. 13-15
WHERE: Madonna Inn Expo Center, San Luis Obispo