September 19, 2019
California Wine and Winegrape Projects Receive Specialty Crop Grants
California received $22.9 million in federal grant funding for the 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which will support 69 projects. More than $2.5 million will support projects that focus on wine or winegrapes. 

Project Title / Organization / Grant Amount:
  • Sonoma Strong: Leveraging the California Grown Identity to Promote the Value and Quality of Sonoma Wine / Sonoma County Local District 3 Winegrape Commission ($449,444) 
  • Informing Vineyard Irrigation Practices Through Improved Understanding of Grapevine Physiological Responses to Heat Extremes / The Regents of the University of California, Davis ($427,763)
  • Developing Orchard Crops and a Vineyard Management Apprenticeship Program to Train Beginning Farmers and a Skilled Workforce / Center for Land-Based Learning ($421,873)
  • Santa Barbara County Wine Retakes Los Angeles / Santa Barbara Vintners ($380,780)
  • Paso Robles Wine in the Big Cities / Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance ($350,285)
  • Remote Sensing-Assisted Scouting of Virus Infections in Vineyards / California State University, Fresno ($279,757)
  • Discovering California’s Zinfandel Trail / Association of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers ($259,113)
  • Technical and Leadership Training: Preserving Jobs and Maintaining Winegrape Competitiveness / Lake County Winegrape Commission ($96,609)

Government Relations Report
Few Californians would think that Gov. Newsom is not a friend of the environment. For example, just this week Newsom was on several television news networks denouncing President Trump’s efforts to limit California’s ability to regulate vehicle emissions.  
But that hasn’t stopped the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and other enviro groups from  accusing Newsom  of “discarding protections…provided for endangered species, air quality, water quality and worker safety.” 
This is because just hours after passage of  SB 1 (Atkins, D-San Diego)  during the final day of the legislative session,  Newsom announced he would veto the bill . SB 1 was amended in the 11th hour to remove troubling provisions related to “waters of the state,” but still included provisions that would jeopardize voluntary settlement agreements or water-sharing agreements in the Central Valley.
Newsom believes the bill would limit the administration's ability to rely on the best available science to protect the environment. The legal uncertainties created by the bill would inhibit Newsom’s ability to reach a collaborative solution that protects the environment and gives certainty to farmers. 
Newsom was not alone in his perspective. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a Democratic group of California's congressional delegation  shared those same concerns . Nonetheless. environmental groups disregarded those anxieties and pushed for SB 1 anyway. 
Then Gov.-elect Newsom and then Gov. Jerry Brown took a bold and unusual step during their transition of cosigning a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board to urge that the voluntary agreements be the path forward in protecting the state’s water supply. It is good to see Newsom standing by that bold stand.

-Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995
Learn More About WHIP+ Funding from CAWG Webinar
This week, CAWG partnered with the California Farm Service Agency to present a webinar discussing the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), including grower eligibility, qualified losses, payment limitations, the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) and the application process.

Reminder: USDA announced that growers who suffered crop losses due to natural disasters in 2018 or 2019 can apply for assistance through WHIP+. CAWG worked along with Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) and grower groups in Mendocino and Lake counties to ensure winegrapes were covered by WHIP+. 

Sign-ups for this program began on Sept. 11, and although the application is available online, USDA recommends growers contact their local FSA county office to schedule an appointment to walk through the process to ensure a complete application is submitted.
> WEBINAR RECORDING  (32 minutes, includes Q&A at the end)
> COUNTY OFFICE LOCATOR (for more information on WHIP+ or TAP, contact your county office)
Sonoma County Winegrowers Achieve 99 Percent Sustainability
Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) President Karissa Kruse last week proclaimed a record-breaking achievement: 99 percent of the vineyard acreage in Sonoma County has completed certification by a third-party auditor, making the county the most sustainable wine region in the world. In 2014, SCW set a goal to become the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable winegrowing region. The organization also announced that it will participate in the first Climate Adaptation Certification Program for vineyards. 

Japan Reportedly Removing Tariffs on US Wine Under Trade Deal
Japan will eliminate its 15 percent tariff on U.S. wine imports in five to seven years under a bilateral trade agreement expected to be signed at the end of September,  reports the Nikkei Asian Review . The deal means the price of American wine in Japan may decrease by about 10 percent.

President Trump last week said , "I am pleased to report that my administration has reached an initial trade agreement regarding tariff barriers with Japan and I intend to enter into the agreement in the coming weeks.”
Camron King Tapped to Lead Sierra Vintners
Camron King, who previously held positions with CAWG, Lodi Winegrape Commission and the National Grape Research Alliance, has been named executive director of the  Sierra Vintners Association . The association represents wineries and vineyards in Placer, Nevada and Yuba counties.

Providing creative, integrated solutions for our beverage and agricultural industry partners with quality packaging products and supply chain services
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 .
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CALL 916-379-8995.
Webinar and Seminar: Ag All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety with AgriSafe
ATV crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injuries in the ag industry. A webinar and seminar will evaluate the current situation and possible solutions related to ag ATV safety. 

WEBINAR : Oct. 3

SEMINAR : Oct. 7 / Davis
It's National Farm Safety and Health Week
With agriculture being one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S., National Farm Safety and Health Week is one way to stress the importance of preventing injuries and illnesses to everyone involved in farm-related work. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety has resource materials covering numerous safety topics. In addition, the U.S. Ag Safety and Health Centers’ YouTube channel features dozens of  farm safety videos . Be safe!

Kern County: Grapes Maintain Top Spot
The 2018 Kern County crop report shows the 2018 gross value of all ag commodities was $7.47 billion, a 3 percent increase over 2017. Grapes (all) maintained the No. 1 spot, valued at $1.51 billion, down from $1.75 billion in 2017. For winegrapes, bearing acreage was 29,200. Production was 276,000 tons, valued at $82.5 million. The numbers for 2017 were 277,000 tons, valued at $86.2 million. 

Yolo County: Winegrapes Ranked No. 3
Winegrapes were valued at $83.6 million in 2018, down from $86 million in 2017. Statistics for red varieties: 5,020 harvested acres; 26,400 tons; $1,010 per ton; and $26.7 million value. Statistics for white varieties: 9,730 harvested acres; 70,200 tons; $811 per ton; and $56.9 million value. For acreage , merlot and pinot noir were close as the top two reds, while chardonnay dominated as the top white.
Winegrape Harvest
Vineyards & Wine
November 7
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Modesto