April 4, 2024




This Week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

Industry News:

  • Global Wine Glut Compounds Headaches for Struggling California Vineyards
  • April is Down to Earth Month
  • NBA and Kendall-Jackson Winery Announce Multiyear Partnership
  • Governor Newsom Unveils Water Plan to Capture More Water and Defend Against Extreme Weather
  • USDA Makes $1.5 Billion Available to Help Farmers Advance Conservation and Climate-Smart Agriculture as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda
  • Gavin Newsom Says Baseball Saved Him - But The Legend of His Career Doesn’t Always Match the Reality
  • An Insider’s Look at 7 Potential New AVAs
  • APHIS Website Refresh

Upcoming Events:


Ag Overtime Legislation

This week, it was announced that Dr. Alexandra Hill, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and assistant professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, will give a briefing to lawmakers on her recent research on Ag overtime. This briefing is hosted by Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria (Chair, Assembly Committee on Agriculture) on April 19 at 10:00AM in Room 126 of the State Capitol. Hill’s research shows that the ag overtime law has not increased the take home pay for ag workers.

AB 3056 (Gallagher, R-Oroville) is proposing to change the threshold for paying overtime from 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week to 9 hours per day and 50 hours per week. AB 3056 has not yet been set for a hearing but will likely be heard in the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment on April 17.


CAWG is supporting AB 3056 for obvious reasons.


The ag overtime law was created in AB 1066 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) in 2016. There is eight years of evidence that the law is not accomplishing what it intended to do. If the legislature considers the data, evidence and research, AB 3056 deserves to become law. However, labor unions oppose AB 3056 and will work to defeat it.  

The Winegrape Update - April 10 at 3PM

Join CAWG for The Winegrape Update, a monthly virtual gathering designed exclusively for members. This platform offers a unique opportunity to connect with our dedicated staff, industry guests, and fellow members. Share your challenges and opportunities and directly influence CAWG's understanding of the issues you face.

April's agenda features a presentation by Dr. Alexandra E. Hill, Associate Professor of Cooperative Extension at the University of California Department of Agriculture & Resource Economics. Dr. Hill will discuss her recent research on how AB 1066 (in 2016), which created California’s agricultural overtime law, has not increased the take home pay for the state's agricultural workforce.

Register Here.

Many Labor Laws Don’t Apply To Labor Unions


When AB 1066 (California's ag overtime law) was being debated in 2016, UFW brought dozens of union members to the State Capitol to demand that the Legislature approve AB 1066. Notably, most of those demonstrators were not told that AB 1066 did not apply to them. This is because AB 1066 included a provision that exempted employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. 


This year, labor unions are pushing new legislation to prohibit communications between an employer and employees during nonworking hours. The goal of AB 2751 (Haney, D-San Francisco) is to protect the work/life balance of employees. A violation of AB 2751 is punishable as a crime.


CAWG is opposed to this bill in part because there are dozens of legitimate reasons why a grower would need to communicate with an employee (change of work location, weather conditions, wildfire smoke, COVID exposure, etc.)


Interestingly, AB 2751, much like AB 1066, provides that it does not apply to an employee who is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement. When labor unions push for new labor laws (which they claim would benefit California’s workforce), it begs the question of why they don’t want those same laws to apply to the workers they represent. 


When unions claim they can get a better deal for workers through collective bargaining, this means the union is willing to forego labor law protections for their union members if they get other increased benefits or employee advantages in return. It would be interesting to see what better deal they seek in collective bargaining, and why they believe that employees cannot make these decisions independently without paying union dues.

Lodi District Grape Growers Association Business and Economic Forum

This week, the Lodi District Grape Growers Association held its annual seminar, diving into the dynamics of the winegrape business and the economic forces shaping the current industry.

The event covered a range of topics, including insights into current wine market trends, a detailed perspective on the 2023 crush, updates on vineyard valuation, and an overview of crop insurance policy options. Jon Moramarco, Managing Partner of BW 166 opened the meeting discussing the overall wine market. Jeff Bitter (CAWG Director) and Kyle Collins of Allied Grape Growers provided a comprehensive vineyard market update. CAWG President Natalie Collins led a panel discussion with growers and industry experts, focusing on strategies for managing and prioritizing vineyard expenses.

How Custom Crop Coefficient Maps Help Growers With Irrigation Planning Webinar Recording

CAWG and VineView hosted an educational webinar exploring how VineView’s new site-specific Evapotranspiration data can aid growers with irrigation planning.


The webinar included a comparison of traditional methods for calculating crop coefficient vs. site-specific Evapotranspiration data, a demonstration of VineView’s new custom Kc maps, and how to identify how thermal imaging can be used to identify problem areas.


Watch the full webinar here.

CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

Get ready to tee off for a good cause at the California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation's 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament!

Register today and join us on Monday, May 20, at the scenic Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis, CA. 

The scholarship program is specifically for high school seniors whose parent/guardian(s) are employed by a CA winegrape grower. Since the program’s inception in 1998, the Foundation has awarded $603,500 in scholarships to help students pursue higher education. 

Tournament registration will begin at 8:30 AM, with a shotgun start. We will be playing a four-person scramble. The day will consist of fun and games, a hole-in-one contest, and an awards reception with prizes, drinks, and hors d'oeuvres. 

Even if you don't golf, you can still be a part of the fun! We are looking for volunteers, raffle prizes, and vendor sponsors. Please complete this brief survey if you are interested in volunteering.

  • Vendor Hole Sponsor & Raffle Prizes: If you have an item you would like to donate to the raffle or if you are a vendor interested in sponsoring a hole, please let us know by completing the survey.
  • Volunteers: Please join us for a fun day out on the course by volunteering. If interested please select the times you are available. We are looking for volunteers to help set up (registration, raffle items, games on course); manage the games on the course, and a floater to provide those on the course a break.

Hotel Recommendations are available here.

Industry News

Global Wine Glut Compounds Headaches for Struggling California Vineyards

This week, the LA Times highlighted the growing frustration within California's wine grape industry. The article revealed that large wineries in the state are increasingly blending cheaper foreign bulk wine with local vintages, which can still be labeled as "American wine" as long as it contains no more than 25% foreign wine. While this blending practice is not new, its current intensity has resulted in an oversupply of grapes in California.

CAWG President Natalie Collins, CAWG Director Bob Lauchland, and CAWG Member Stuart Spencer were all quoted in the article, expressing their concerns about the impact of this practice on local growers.

The situation has sparked public discussion and calls for consumers to actively support California-grown wine grapes by checking labels and choosing wines that support local growers.

Quote of the Week:

“And all the while many retailers proudly proclaim their support for our local farms,” Stewart Spencer said. “In no world does it make sense to ship bulk wine from across the globe to sit on a shelf in Lodi while thousands of tons of California wine grapes go unharvested and local growers remove family vineyards and take out loans to pay their farming bills.”

Stuart Spencer, Executive Director of the Lodi Winegrape Commission, in an LA Times article on global imports affecting California's winegrape growers.

April is Down to Earth Month

April is Down To Earth Month, celebrating California wines grown and made sustainably! Wine Institute launched its 13th annual Down to Earth Month celebrating the state’s global leadership in wine sustainability.

California stands at the forefront of sustainable winegrowing globally, with over 60% of its winegrape acreage certified under the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance or other California sustainability programs. By embracing sustainable practices, the state's vintners and growers not only produce exceptional wines but also uphold their commitment to environmental stewardship, community engagement, and the preservation of family-run farms and businesses for future generations.

Wineries statewide are hosting eco-focused vineyard tours, wine tastings, festivals, and more all month long!

Read More

NBA and Kendall-Jackson Winery Announce Multiyear Partnership

The NBA and CAWG Member Jackson Family Wines have teamed up in a multiyear partnership, making Kendall-Jackson the Official Wine of the NBA and USA Basketball, and La Crema the Official Wine of the WNBA. This is the first time the leagues have partnered with a winery.

The collaboration celebrates the shared values of excellence and community between basketball and wine. Kendall-Jackson will be featured at NBA events, offering fans, players, and coaches unique wine experiences.

The partnership began during the NBA Restart in 2020, with Kendall-Jackson hosting virtual tastings for players and staff. This partnership highlights the growing interest in wine within the basketball community.

Governor Newsom Unveils Water Plan to Capture More Water and Defend Against Extreme Weather

Reprinted from Governor Newsom's Press Release

Governor Newsom released the state’s updated Water Plan to protect California’s water supplies from the climate crisis while boosting our ability to capture and store water for when dry conditions return.

In addition to investing billions of dollars to boost water supplies and drastically expanding the state’s storage capacity, the updated California Water Plan demonstrates how planning at a watershed scale provides the most comprehensive solutions for climate-resilient water supplies for all Californians.

This plan is directly tied into this week's snow survey, a key indicator of expected runoff that this plan helps both state and local governments capture and store. It recorded 64 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 27.5 inches, 113 percent of the average for this location and above average overall.

USDA Makes $1.5 Billion Available to Help Farmers Advance Conservation and Climate-Smart Agriculture as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2024 for partner-driven conservation and climate solutions through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting project proposals until July 2, 2024, aimed at helping farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners adopt and expand conservation strategies to improve natural resources and address the climate crisis.

The investment is made available through the Farm Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in history, which has enabled USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to boost funding for RCPP.

There are two separate funding opportunities: RCPP Classic and RCPP Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA). RCPP Classic projects are implemented using NRCS contracts and easements with producers, landowners, and communities in collaboration with project partners. Through RCPP AFA, the lead partner works directly with agricultural producers to support the development of innovative conservation approaches that would not otherwise be available under RCPP Classic. NRCS will set aside $100 million for Tribal-led projects to be used between both funding opportunities.

NRCS will be hosting webinars to provide additional information. For more information, visit the RCPP website

Gavin Newsom Says Baseball Saved Him - But The Legend of His Career Doesn’t Always Match the Reality

In 2004, the San Francisco Giants invited then-mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom to throw the ceremonial first pitch. Newsom was introduced as a former first baseman for the University of Santa Clara and a draftee of the Texas Rangers. Newsom's baseball background has been a subject of discussion among former Santa Clara University baseball players, with some feeling his resume has been embellished.

After graduating from high school in 1985, Newsom enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he was a freshman in the fall of that year. Newsom has credited baseball with securing his admission to the university, citing his struggles with dyslexia and academic challenges. He received support from well-connected alumni, including Bill Connolly, an investment banker and associate of his father, who played a role in getting Newsom on the team's radar. Newsom was eventually recruited to Santa Clara by then-head coach John Oldham, who visited Newsom at home to finalize his recruitment.

Newsom's baseball background has been a recurring theme in his public narrative, portraying his journey from a high school athlete to a college baseball player. While some have questioned the accuracy of his baseball credentials, Newsom has maintained that his experience at Santa Clara University was pivotal in shaping his life and career.

Read More

An Insider’s Look at Potential New AVAs

The U.S. Tobacco and Trade Bureau is reviewing petitions for new American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) across the country. These petitions argue for AVA status based on various factors such as soil composition, climate, elevation, wind patterns, and even water quality and volume—an uncommon consideration that has emerged in at least two of the applications.

An article published by SevenFiftyDaily provides a closer look at two of the new petitions from California:

  • Sebastopol Hills AVA: The area is 10,320 acres with roughly 1,000 acres under vine. It is home to 50 vineyards and two wineries: Littorai Wines and Reichwage Winery. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the principal grape varieties. 
  • Suscol District AVA: The Suscol Junction AVA will be one of the smallest in the Napa Valley at 3,394 acres, 890 of which are under vine. The north boundary runs along the unincorporated town of Shipyard Acres and Skyline Wilderness Park; the south boundary abuts Jameson Canyon. There are no wineries currently in the area. 

APHIS Website Refresh

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the launch of its newly updated website.

This new site was built with customers in mind and will help all visitors to the APHIS website, whether they are traveling with pets, importing products, applying for a license, or any other type of business.

Website improvements include:

  • Simplified Navigation: We've revamped our menus and structure to make it easier to find information.
  • Mobile-Friendly and Enhanced Accessibility: The new website is easy to navigate from any mobile device without barriers.
  • Easier Access to Information Users Need: We created new funding and commenting opportunity pages for users to more easily apply or interact with us.
  • Streamlined and Relevant Content: We listened to customer feedback and prioritized topics like pet travel, pest and disease information, and imports/exports to make this information more readily available.
  • Bolstered Search Ability: We improved the website’s search feature to help users more quickly and easily locate information.
  • Enhanced Customer Service: We have located our contact information more prominently, so users can more easily get in touch with us if they have questions.

Upcoming Events and Trainings

UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology On the Road Programs

On The Road programs, hosted by the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology are educational seminars that help the department communicate with the California grape and wine industries by bringing faculty to different regions of California.

They present relevant topics or current research and listen to the issues that are important to grape-growing and winemaking professionals.

Upcoming UCCE Programs:

Please visit the Viticulture and Enology website for more information. 

Webinar: Assessing Irrigation Automation - 3 Simple Steps to Calculate Your ROI

This webinar will explore what irrigation automation can do for your operation. To fully understand whether or not automating your irrigation makes sense, growers need to factor in several variables, such as:


·   Current irrigation costs 

·   Projected irrigation costs after implementing automation

·   The cost of investment and payback period 

·   The indirect costs and benefits of automating


Lumo will walk you through a simple three-step ROI assessment to evaluate the business case for automating. The process can be done in minutes and uses inputs unique to your business to give you a tailored ROI. 

When and Where:

  • April 16 - 10:00 AM, Zoom

Register Here

U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

Join the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and co-hosts from California, Washington, New York, and Oregon to learn about cutting-edge sustainable and climate-beneficial practices being adopted in vineyards and wineries across the U.S. — and in the broader value chain. Be inspired and gain ideas on how to share sustainable winegrowing stories with consumers and trade. Engage in conversations and build community with others dedicated to sustainability in wine at the 2024 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit.  

  • 2-Day All-Inclusive tickets | Sold Out
  • Sustainable Winery & Vineyard Tour | Sold Out
  • Sustainable Wine Tasting & Dinner w/Keynote | Price increases 4/16
  • Day 2 Conference (May 1) | Price increases 4/16 
  • Virtual Tickets (May 1) | $50 
  • Virtual Tickets for Students (May 1) | $25 (when students register with a school email)

When and Where:

  • April 30 - May 1, Lodi

Register Here



16 - Webinar: Assessing Irrigation Automation - 3 Simple Steps to Calculate Your ROI


20 - CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament



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