Your source for CAWG and industry news
August 4, 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 President John Aguirre Testifies at Legislative Wine Hearing at UCD
A joint legislative committee hearing
to discuss issues facing the California wine industry - hosted by State Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and Assemblyman Bill Dodd (D-Napa) - was held today at UC Davis. The Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Select Committees on Wine met with industry experts for an informational hearing on the future of the wine industry in Californi a. The hearing focused on a soon-to-be-released study regarding the economic impact of California's wine industry, as well as technological advancements for wine growing.  CAWG President John Aguirre, along with Wine Institute President and CEO Bobby Koch, testified on the economic contributions of the wine industry to California and the United States economy. 

New Report: Economic Impact of California Wine and Winegrapes 

CAWG logo no words
The findings of a soon-to-be-released report commissioned by Wine Institute and CAWG -- "The Economic Impact of California Wine and Grapes 2015" -- were presented at the legislative hearing at UC Davis. Prepared by John Dunham & Associates of New York, the report reveals the California wine and winegrape sector and allied businesses deliver a total economic contribution of $74.8 billion annually to the state's economy and $149 billion annually to the U.S. economy. California wineries and vineyards also directly and indirectly generate 325,000 jobs in California and 786,000 jobs across the nation. The report measures the full economic impact of the wine and grape industries in terms of employment, wages, taxes, tourism spending and visits and charitable giving.

UFW Posts Action Alert for AB 1066 

United Farm Workers has posted a "take action" alert on its website encouraging members to support AB 1066. The alert states, " Despite the California State Assembly's failure to pass legislation in June, we will do everything in our power to give the Assembly another chance to right this wrong in August. By signing the pledge you are committing to lobby those six Democrats who wouldn't vote and the eight Democrats who chose to vote with Republicans."

Obama Signs GMO Labeling Bill into Law 

On July 29, President Barack Obama signed the GMO labeling bill (S. 764) into law. Upon signature, the Vermont GMO labeling law is no longer enforceable. USDA will have two years to complete the regulatory process for mandatory GMO labels on products with genetically engineered ingredients.
Statement from Sen. Pat Roberts: "I'm very pleased to announce that the president has signed into law my legislation to protect the use of agriculture biotechnology and to ensure consumers have greater access to food information. This is a victory for farmers, ranchers, sound science, and anyone who eats on a budget - and one of the most important votes for agriculture in the last 20 years. We worked hard to ensure the marketplace works for everyone. Our legislation allows farmers to continue using sound science to produce more food with fewer resources, gives flexibility to food manufacturers in disclosing information, and gives access to more food information that consumers demand. The strong and unified support for our bill among over 1,000 agriculture groups proves that we put forward a solid solution to biotechnology disclosure, but most important, it shows what can be accomplished for farmers when agriculture speaks with one voice. I am proud of this solution and the bipartisan example we have set for future agriculture policy discussions. Averting a confusing patchwork of state labeling mandates serves the American economy, farmers and ranchers, and consumers well."

Cheers! Lodi Winegrape Commission Celebrates 25th Anniversary 

In 1991, local growers voted to fund the then-named Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission. The goal was to collectively market and promote the region on a local level, to conduct research and promote grower education. Today, the commission represents 750 winegrowers farming nearly 110,000 acres of winegrapes. " Total end-result after 25 years of Lodi Winegrape Commission efforts: more than double the acreage of premium wine grapes in the Lodi AVA and more than eight times the number of wineries established within the region itself," stated a story on the LoCA website. Among the many accomplishments of the commission was the creation of Lodi Rules, California's first third-party-certified sustainable winegrowing program, and earning Wine Enthusiast magazine's 2015 Wine Region of the Year award.

Congratulations to the commission on 25 years of success!

USDA to Conduct National Survey on Ag Conservation 

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service is contacting 25,000 farmers and ranchers through August to take part in a national survey that will more accurately measure the environmental benefits associated with implementation and installation of conservation practices on agricultural land. Survey results will guide USDA conservation policy and program development and help conservationists, farmers and ranchers more efficiently and effectively conserve natural resources. "The survey gives farmers and ranchers the power to provide a more complete and accurate picture of the conservation practices on their operations," said the NASS press release .


The first wine grapes of the 2016 Napa Valley vintage have made their way from the vineyard to the crush pad for what looks to be another early but high-quality harvest. Press release, July 29
Behind every glass of California wine there is a vineyard, a farmer, sunlight - and someone like Lindsay Jordan. To keep California's wine flowing, the UC Cooperative Extension area viticulture adviser is working to create options for vineyard sustainability and act as a resource for the region's grape growers. Fresno Bee, July 30
John Moramarco, a decorated winemaker who helped establish the Temecula Valley as a viable winemaking region and won the praise of Queen Elizabeth, died this week at the age of 93. (Note: Our sympathies to his son, Jon, who recently spoke at the CAWG Summer Conference.) Press Enterprise, July 29  

Napa Meeting to Discuss Water Board's Proposed Vineyard Property General WDR

Interested CAWG members with vineyards in Napa Valley, Carneros or Sonoma Valley are invited to an Aug. 12 meeting in Napa to discuss Wine Institute's proposed response to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board's proposed vineyard property general WDR. 
WHEN: Aug. 12 / 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch provided)
WHERE: William Hill Estate Winery
RSVP by Aug. 10 to Tyler Blackney /
Additional information: The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) is accepting comments on proposed general waste discharge requirements for vineyard properties located in the Napa River and Sonoma Creek watersheds (WDRs) and related draft an environmental impact report (EIR). The 45-day public comment period ends at 5 p.m. on Aug. 29. Please see the notice below for dates of a public workshop and board hearing on the order.
Links to the public notice, proposed General WDRs, its attachments, and draft EIR are provided below:

Statewide Water Conservation Declines to 21.5 Percent in June

According to the State Water Resources Control Board, statewide water savings for June was 21.5 percent, a decrease from 28.2 percent in May and 26.1 percent in April. Savings in June 2015 were 27.5 percent. "Californians have continued to conserve without top down mandates, but the question is whether we can save enough and keep it up for the long haul," said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus. "While last winter's rains allowed us to ease state mandated conservation, that didn't mean the drought was over or that local conservation efforts should stop -- and we're looking carefully at the data to see what's happening where, and why." 

Central Valley Water Board Settles with Grower over Failure to Acquire Water Quality Permit

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has approved a settlement agreement with a Madera County landowner for failure to obtain the required permits for discharging waste from their irrigated croplands. State law requires water quality permits for commercially-irrigated lands because pesticides and fertilizers used on cropland can run off into streams or enter groundwater. 

Water Articles and Resources

A group of commercial fishermen won a potentially significant court ruling in the seemingly endless battle over California's water supply and the volumes of water pumped south through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Sacramento Bee, Aug. 1
Provisions aimed at moving water around California remain in an appropriations bill after House Republicans on July 29 rebuffed California Democrats' attempts to have it removed. The provision, sponsored by Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford), focuses on funneling more water to San Joaquin Valley growers by reducing the amount used to support endangered fish populations. Los Angeles Times, July 30

Pierce's Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board News

July Highlights/eNews (Setting the yearly winegrape assessment)

Bulletin (summer 2016 issue)

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 Aug. 5 and Nov. 10.

FREE California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance Webinars 

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