Your source for CAWG and industry news
Sept. 8, 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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Request Governor Veto for AB 1066; Final Chance to Defeat Bill
Yesterday (Sept. 7) CAWG emailed an action alert asking CAWG members to contact the governor's office to urge a VETO on AB 1066. 

WE NEED YOUR HELP engaging with the governor's office to explain how this bill will impact your business, employees and community.  CAWG is optimistic that the governor will look at this bill with an eye towards the impact on business and the potential negative consequences to the state economy. Given that AB 1066 will adversely impact both, there is a chance that the governor will veto this bill, but we cannot do this without your help!  Thank you for your time and efforts.

CAWG prepared a document that includes a sample letter and sample phone script > TAKE ACTION NOW


TTB Extends Comment Period on Proposed Wine Label Regulation 

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced today it will reopen the comment period for notice No. 160, providing an additional 90 days for public comment. CAWG and the Wine Institute each filed a request with TTB to provide additional time to comment. TTB will accept comments on notice No. 160 until Dec. 7, 2016.
TTB's notice No. 160 proposes to substantially scale back the current exemption from normal wine labeling requirements that some wineries use for wines sold solely within the state in which the winery resides. Wineries outside of California that utilize a certificate of exemption from label approval and buy California winegrapes or bulk wine have greater flexibility to use certain label terms (varietal designation, vintage date, or an appellation of origin) than is the case if the wine requires a certificate of label approval and is to be sold interstate. For example, some Texas wineries that purchase California bulk wine use the exemption to label their wines with vintage date and varietal designation, while avoiding the requirement to claim the American appellation of origin. In another example, under the current exemption a New York winery can produce wine from fresh California winegrapes and claim a California AVA, varietal designation and vintage date, provided the wine is sold only within New York. If notice No. 160 is adopted, then the out-of-state wineries that currently use the exemption would essentially have to comply with the more rigorous standards of the certificate of label approval process, which could make their products less attractive for sale within their respective states.
Some California winery and growers see the current exemption as allowing the misappropriation of California AVAs by out-of-state wineries and potentially diluting the brand equity of these AVAs.
CAWG has not yet established a position on notice No. 160. If you have comments or information you wish to share on this subject, please call or email CAWG President John Aguirre at or 916-379-8995. In particular, CAWG seeks information characterizing the importance of sales of bulk wine or fresh winegrapes to out-of-state wineries that utilize the certificate of exemption from label approval. Likewise, if you believe use of the current exemption is detrimental to the interests of California winegrape growers and/or a particular AVA, then you are encouraged to contact John with your comments.

McClatchy News Service, Sept. 8 

CDFA's California State Organic Program Workgroup Releases Report

The 26-member Organic Stakeholder Work Group has developed recommendations that identify six key areas aimed to maximize the efficiency and responsiveness of the State Organic Program (SOP). A new report highlights these final recommendations, which include streamlining the registration process, improving enforcement activities, and enhancing training. The report will be used by the CDFA secretary and the California Organic Products Advisory Committee as a guidance document for future decision-making.

California Farmer Survey on Conservation and Sustainability

An online survey is asking California farmers and ranchers about their participation in sustainability practices and their views on conservation initiatives in the state. Survey results will lead to policies and programs the agriculture industry supports, along with improving the business environment for farming and ranching in California. The survey - conducted by the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts and K-COE ISOM -  is 40 questions and takes about 15 minutes to complete. 


In Memoriam: Margrit Mondavi

Margrit Mondavi, widow to Robert G. Mondavi, died Sept. 2 at the age of 91. She was a pioneer of the modern-day California wine industry who brought together wine, food, art and culture. Among their many contributions, Margrit and Robert made a substantial personal gift to UC Davis in 2001 to establish the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The Napa Valley harvest could accelerate if forecasts predicting warmer weather turn out to be accurate.
St. Helena Star, Sept. 7
Napa County is looking for ways that farmworkers with families can navigate a pricey Napa housing market.
Napa Valley Register, Sept. 7
Article about harvest at CAWG member Ron Lanza's Wooden Valley Winery and Vineyards.
The Reporter, Sept. 6
Harvest updates from Northern California to Central Coast growers.
San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 4
Two vineyards in Oakville and Calistoga have become testing beds for an unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft that can spread pesticides and other substances on steep and difficult-to-reach fields.
Napa Valley Register, Sept. 4

Op Ed: Water Relief is on the Way - If Congress Works Together

In an op ed in the Sept. 2 Fresno Bee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein wrote about how her water legislation will provide relief to drought-stricken California. Excerpt: "The 137 projects identified by this bill are capable of generating upwards of 1.4 million acre-feet of water. More than two years and hundreds of hours have been dedicated to this water bill. The White House, Gov. Jerry Brown and their respective agencies were involved to ensure it would not violate the Endangered Species Act or the biological opinions. Provisions were also added from members of the House, both Democrats and Republicans alike, including those that represent the Valley. The broader public was also included, through dozens of meetings - with farmers, fishermen, water districts and environmentalists - even releasing a draft for the public to review. These efforts have brought everyone to the table, making 26 drafts and 41 amendments this past year alone. As a result of that broad input, 126 organizations and officials have now written letters of support."

Statewide Water Conservation Dips Slightly in July

According to a State Water Resources Control Board press release , statewide water savings for July 2016 was 20 percent (47.3 billion gallons), a decrease from June 2016's 21.5 percent savings, and down from July 2015's 31.3 percent statewide savings (74.9 billion gallons). The cumulative average savings for June 2015 to July 2016 is 23.8 percent, which equates to 1.9 million acre-feet (618.9 billion gallons). 

Reducing Flood Risk in the Central Valley

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) reported that more than 280,000 Central Valley property owners were recently notified they are at risk of catastrophic flooding and should prepare accordingly. DWR mailed flood risk notifications to owners across 17 counties whose property is located behind a state-federal levee and within a levee flood protection zone. The zones include portions of Sacramento, San Joaquin, Yolo, Sutter, Yuba, Butte, Fresno, Merced, Tehama, Colusa, Glenn, Solano, Stanislaus, Lake, Placer, Plumas and Madera counties. California flood officials and local elected officials gathered this week in Sacramento for the Floodplain Management Association's annual conference to discuss the best steps toward reducing that risk in the future. 

Water Articles and Resources

Two groups of prominent viticulturists are attempting to create two California water districts: Shandon-San Juan District and Estrella-Pomar-Creston District.
New Times, Aug. 31  

Aguirre to Serve as Keynote Speaker at Harvest Luncheon

CAWG logo no words
CAWG President John Aguirre will be the keynote speaker at the 55th annual Harvest Luncheon, which raises scholarship money for Modesto Junior College (MJC) agriculture students. The event, hosted by the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and other sponsors, will take place Sept. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Agriculture Center for Education Pavilion at MJC. Tickets are $25 general admission, $10 for seniors and children. They can be purchased at

FAQs Regarding Coverage for Smoke Tainted Grapes

Growers who suffer a loss of quality due to smoke taint can successfully qualify for an indemnity payment through their federal multi-peril crop insurance policy. Growers interested in this issue can access a frequently asked questions document provided to CAWG by Pan American Insurance Agency and NAU QBE.


FREE Farm Labor Contractor Licensing Workshops 

The Department of Labor and the Labor Commissioner's Office are offering free workshops to assist current or prospective farm labor contractors. Consultants will be available for one-on-one review of first-time licensing or renewal applications. Laptops will be available for application submission and online exams. Reservations are required. Send an email to and provide the location where you will attend.
Sept. 16
9-11 a.m.
California State Building
1515 Clay Street, main lobby
Each Friday
9-11 a.m.
Labor Commissioner's Office
770 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 222
Please visit the Labor Commissioner's Office FLC website for application instructions.

2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium: Registration Opens Oct. 25 at 9 a.m.