Your source for CAWG and industry news
Sept. 22, 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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New York Times Wine Critic Eric Asimov Announced as Unified Keynote Speaker
New York Times wine critic, columnist and book author Eric Asimov will deliver the keynote luncheon address on the opening day of the 2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Jan. 24-26 in Sacramento. "Asimov promises to deliver a thoughtful and provocative appraisal of the current state of American winemaking and key trends shaping the future," said CAWG President John Aguirre. Asimov's extraordinarily diverse experience with wine spans the globe and includes an intimate familiarity with numerous growers and winemakers and their stories. 

Additional details about Unified are at the end of eNews.

New State Law Requires Employers to Electronically File and Pay to the EDD

With the new E-file and E-pay mandate (AB 1245), employers will soon be required to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports and payroll tax deposits to the Employment Development Department (EDD). AB 1245 will be phased-in over a two-year period: Jan. 1, 2017 for employers with 10 or more employees and Jan. 1, 2018 for all employers. For online information, tutorials, materials and other resources, click here.

State Releases Vision for Healthy Soils Initiative

California's Healthy Soils Initiative is a collaboration of state agencies and departments, led by CDFA, to promote the development of healthy soils on farm and ranchlands. It aims to reduce greenhouse gases and improve drought resiliency with innovative farm and ranch practices. Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1613, which directs $7.5 million for CDFA's Healthy Soils Incentive Program, one of many actions identified in the initiative. Five primary actions outlined in the initiative are:
1. Protect and restore soil organic matter in California's soils.
2. Identify sustainable and integrated financing opportunities to facilitate healthy soils.
3. Provide for research, education and technical support to facilitate healthy soils.
4. Increase governmental efficiencies to enhance soil health on public and private lands.
5. Promote interagency coordination and collaboration to support soils and related state goals.

U.S. Certified Organic Production Increases; California Leads in Wine Production

Results of the 2015 Certified Organic Survey show the United States had 12,818 certified organic farms producing and selling $6.2 billion in organic commodities, up 13 percent from $5.5 billion in 2014. California dominated with the largest number of certified organic farms with 2,637 and organic sales of $2.4 billion. For  wine production (page 69) , California was No. 1 with 328 farms, 44,107 tons, and value of sales totaling $100,290,216 ($112.5 million for U.S.). Oregon was a distant second with 31 farms, 4,210 tons and value of sales at $9,242,760.


The Sept. 25 event will honor Buck Sangiacomo with the Lifetime Contribution to Sonoma County Agriculture Award, Marissa Ledbetter-Foster with the Outstanding Young Farmer Award and Jackson Family Wines with the Sustainable Processor/Maker Award. >Event details
An in-depth article about a writer's firsthand look at history and life along the U.S.-Mexico border. The writer highlights agricultural issues, border security, immigration and politics.
Smithsonian, Sept. 21
Read harvest reports from 16 Napa Valley wineries (AVAs).
Napa Valley Register, Sept. 21
Although the market for Central Valley grapes has been better than expected, it hasn't been nearly as active as on the coast.
Western Farm Press, Sept. 21
Harvest and crop updates from Clarksburg, Delta growers.
Western Farm Press, Sept. 21
Allied Grape Growers Vice President Jeff Bitter provides an 8-minute video update about the 2016 grape harvest.
California AgNet, Sept. 15

Water Fight: State Begins Reallocating Surface Water with Draft SED

The State Water Resources Control Board released on Sept. 15 a long-awaited and controversial draft revised Substitute Environmental Document (SED) in support of potential changes to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan (San Joaquin River flows and southern Delta water quality). The plan will ultimately impact CAWG members with riparian and direct pre-1914 water rights or members who are irrigation district customers with the same status. Comments on the draft SED are due Nov. 15. A three-part public hearing will be held Nov. 2 in Sacramento, Nov. 4 in Modesto and Nov. 10 in Sacramento.

Excerpt from Sacramento Bee articleState officials propose leaving anywhere between 288,000 and 485,000 acre-feet of additional water in the river system. Water board staff said the plan would curb agricultural production by an estimated $64 million a year. That represents 2.5 percent of the annual farm production in the affected areas. Farm groups...said they believe the impact would be far greater. Mike Wade of the California Farm Water Coalition said the region served by the San Joaquin watershed is heavily planted in  vineyards , nut trees and other high-value crops, and the decline in output would be closer to $150 million.

WOTUS: U.S. Senate Committee Report on U.S. EPA, Army Corps Overreach 

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released an EPW majority committee report titled "From Preventing Pollution of Navigable and Interstate Waters to Regulating Farm Fields, Puddles and Dry Land: A Senate Report on the Expansion of Jurisdiction Claimed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act." The report releases findings from the majority staff's investigation into how the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are interpreting and implementing their authority under the Clean Water Act. The report cites the Duarte Nursery v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers case .


Congressman Nunes' Water Forum Draws Hundreds 

More than 700 people attended a public water forum organized by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) at Tulare's Heritage Complex. The event highlighted federal environmental laws, the likely trajectory of the water crisis, practical solutions and strategies for survival. In addition to Nunes, panelists included Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford), radio talk host Ray Appleton, Westland Water District Deputy Director Johnny Amaral, Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips, and Merced County farmer Kole Upton. Following the forum, Nunes wrote in his blog: " Our best hope for resolving our 2.5 million acre-foot water shortfall is for our elected officials, ag groups and water districts to unify behind a common agenda of reforming the Endangered Species Act, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the San Joaquin River Settlement, as well as building myriad new water storage projects. Without this sort of concerted action, a million acres of farmland will be forced out of production." 

Water Articles and Resources

Clues from prehistoric droughts and arid periods in California show that today's increasing greenhouse gas levels could lock the state into drought for centuries.
UCLA Newsroom, Sept. 15

Pesticide Safety Instructor Training Workshops

The UCIPM program and AgSafe are offering pesticide safety instructor training workshops throughout the state during the next few months. The all-day workshops are for ag supervisors, growers, farm labor contractors, safety managers and safety trainers. 

Support Ag Education and Leadership with a CalAgPlate

CDFA recently announced that more than $250,000 in grant funding will be available to promote agricultural education and leadership activities for students. Proceeds are generated through the sale of the agriculture-themed special interest license plates - "CalAgPlate" - through DMV.

2017 Unified Program Shaping Up
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium Program Development Committee Chair Lise Asimont provides some insight about the 2017 Unified program.

Make an Impact! Unified Sponsorship and Ad Opportunities Now Available
Now is the time to take advantage of sponsorship and advertising opportunities at the 2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Jan. 24-26, 2017. North America's largest wine and grape industry event - with nearly 14,000 attendees - is an ideal way to promote your business and increase your visibility. Various sponsorship and ad opportunities (to fit any  budget)  include: VIP suites, keynote speaker luncheon sponsor, tote bags, banners, signs, print and online ads, program and exhibit directory ads...and more!
For additional information, please visit the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium website or contact Jenny Devine at (916) 379-8995.