February 15, 2024




This Week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • CAWG Sponsored Legislation
  • Wake-Up Call
  • 2024 Advocacy Day - Register Today!
  • 2024 UW&GS - Post-Conference Survey Available
  • CAWG's 2024 Media Kit
  • CAWG Foundation Scholarships

Industry News:

  • 2022 Census Profiled California Farmers and Agriculture
  • Clear Lake Information Order Workshop
  • USDA California Farm Service Agency Offers Assistance to Producers Affected by Recent Winter Storms
  • 2023 Preliminary Grape Crush Report
  • First Women Honored as Sonoma County's Vineyard Employee of the Year
  • Ciatti California Market Report, February 2024
  • 2023 Integrated Pest Management Achievement Awards

Upcoming Events:

  • Wine and Distilled Spirits Inclusion to the Beverage Container Recycle Program Webinar
  • Sonoma Grower Education Meeting
  • Grape Crush Boundary Change Regulation: Additional Hearing Scheduled
  • UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Office Hours: Information about Spotted Lanternfly
  • 2-Day Regenerative Winegrowing Workshop
  • U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

REMINDER: CAWG Membership Renewals - RENEW TODAY!

Need a copy of your invoice? Contact Mindy DeRohan

Thank you!


CAWG-Sponsored Legislation

The California legislature is facing a Friday deadline for introducing legislation that will be considered and dealt with by the end of the 2023-2024 legislative session on August 31. Below are four bills in which CAWG is taking a leadership role.

CAWG-sponsored SB 1135 (Limon, D-Santa Barbara) was introduced on Tuesday. This bill would provide a tax credit to growers who take action in vineyards to sequester carbon through composting and other related efforts. These actions combat climate change and are beneficial to all of California, the nation, and the planet. It only makes sense that growers be reimbursed for the costs of providing this public benefit. 

CAWG is also pursuing legislation, that will be introduced on Friday, to streamline the process for growers who want to build ag worker housing on ag lands. If a grower wants to build housing on ag land for their employees, this is a benefit for everyone and the regulatory process should encourage this, not get in the way. Watch for more on this soon.

Additionally, AB 1024 (Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters) is still pending in the Senate. CAWG and Wine Institute cosponsored this legislation in 2023 to streamline the permitting process for a vineyard owner to obtain a permit to divert water into a small irrigation pond. We continue to work with state agencies to draft amendments that address their concerns and make these ponds more feasible. 

Finally, CAWG is sponsoring, AB 2827 (Reyes, D-Colton) to bring more resources to the efforts to fight invasive pests, such as the exotic fruit fly and spotted lanternfly.

In advocating in Sacramento for growers, CAWG pushes back dozens of proposed laws that would create needless requirements for growers and make it more difficult to grow grapes in California. The legislation above is part of CAWG’s efforts to also push for what is needed to make it easier to grow grapes, to serve our communities, and to take care of our employees.  

Quote of the Week

“At a time when the Legislature is confronting a budget deficit, it is more important than ever to go back and look at previous legislation and review the effectiveness of programs already implemented,” said Susan Shelley, vice president of communications for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Wake-Up Call?

Farmers across Europe and beyond have organized and taken to the streets and government buildings, barricading roads with tractors, and dumping hay and manure to protest against top-down overregulation, climate extremism, and rising input costs. In their protests, farmers have expressed frustration with a general lack of appreciation for the people producing the food and fiber that fuels the world.

In an interview with Bill Wirtz, Senior Policy Analyst at Consumer Choice Center, he brought forward a host of important considerations that farmers in California can certainly resonate with. He discussed whether policies being signed into law are genuinely beneficial, or merely serving to create a facade of progress. He noted that when policies are prioritized that focus solely on appearances and ignore the broader impacts on food production, they inadvertently contribute to rising food prices, putting farmers out of business, and an increased reliance on imports, leading to a potentially compromised food system.

At the 57th World Ag Expo in Tulare County this week, a panel discussed the San Joaquin Valley’s water outlook highlighting the anticipated need to remove over 900,000 acres of production (in the Central Valley) due to dwindling surface water and impending groundwater restrictions. If you saw the 2022 Census of Agriculture (also highlighted below), which was released this week, it showed that Fresno County was ranked #1 as the leading agricultural county nationwide in terms of sales, surpassing the figures of 23 entire states, while Tulare and Kern Counties ranked in the top four. 

Given California's prime conditions for food production and the significant economic contributions of the agricultural industry, the pressing question arises: What will it take for elected officials and regulators in California and across the United States to critically evaluate the trajectory of their policies?

2024 Advocacy Day

CAWG's 2024 Advocacy Day is less than 1 month away! As a CAWG member, you have an opportunity to make a difference by joining us for this impactful event.


One of the issues that CAWG will be advocating for this year is invasive species and CAWG-sponsored legislation to extend the Pierce’s Disease Control Program. California must prepare for invasive pests like exotic fruit flies and the spotted lanternfly.


This is your chance to be a part of the conversation, meet face-to-face with elected officials and regulators, and ensure that the voices of winegrape growers are not just heard, but actively listened to.


Following Advocacy Day, CAWG invites you to a reception at Prelude Kitchen + Bar office benefiting the CAWG Foundation.

Register today and join us for Advocacy Day!

2024 Advocacy Day Sponsors!

If you are interested in sponsoring either Advocacy Day or the CAWG Foundation Reception, please contact Jenny Devine

2024 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium - Post-Conference Survey Available

Did you attend the 2024 UW&GS? Please take a few minutes to complete this post-conference online survey.

If you have not completed the individual session surveys, click here to comment specifically on session content and speakers. Please complete all surveys by February 29, 2024.

We look forward to seeing you next year in Sacramento at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, January 28-30, 2025. 

CAWG's 2024 Media Kit

Don't miss your chance to advertise with CAWG! From eNews to The Crush and CAWG's 2024 Membership Directory, opportunities exist for every budget! The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) holds a unique role as the only statewide organization specifically focused on advocacy for all California winegrape growers.

Download CAWG's 2024 Media Kit for additional details about advertising opportunities with CAWG.

Contact Mindy DeRohan for more information or to secure your advertising space.

CAWG Foundation Scholarships

Each year, the CAWG Foundation awards six scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower.

The six scholarships are for either a University of California or California State University Four Year Program ($8,000 each) or a California Community College Two Year Program ($2,000 each). Students may study the subject of their choice.

In addition, one Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year. The Robert Miller Memorial Scholarship provides either $500 for Alan Hancock College or $1,000 for Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (see the link below for the eligibility and study subject requirements of this scholarship).

Since the program’s inception in 1998, the CAWG Foundation has awarded $603,500 in scholarships to help students pursue higher education. Generous donations from CAWG members and the California wine community fund the scholarship program.

The application deadline is March 1, 2024!

Learn more and encourage high school seniors to apply!

Industry News

2022 Census Profiled California Farmers and Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced earlier this week the results of the 2022 Census of Agriculture. The report accounted for more than 6 million data points about America’s farms and ranches. The information collected directly from producers shows a continued decline in the total number of California farms but also shows an increase in the value of agriculture sales in California. Additionally, 9 California counties make the top 10 list for total agricultural sales in the U.S.

Below are findings specific to California:

  • The number of farms decreased to 63,134, down 10% from 2017 with an average size of 383 acres (up 10%) on 24.2 million acres of farmland (down 1%).
  • The market value of agricultural products sold totaled $59.0 billion, up $13.8 billion from 2017.
  • Total farm production expenses totaled $49.3 billion, up $11.5 billion from 2017.
  • At 16,699 farms, California is the top state using renewable energy-producing systems in agriculture. Solar is the most common renewable energy-producing system on farms and ranches in The Golden State.
  • The average age of the California farmer is 59.9, up from 59.2 in 2017.
  • Fresno County ranked #1 in the U.S., agricultural sales in Fresno County were greater than those in 23 states.

Below are findings for U.S. farms and ranches:

  • There were 1.9 million farms and ranches (down 7% from 2017) with an average size of 463 acres (up 5%) on 880 million acres of farmland (down 2%). That is 39% of all U.S. land.
  • Family-owned and operated farms accounted for 95% of all U.S. farms and operated 84% of land in farms.
  • U.S. farms and ranches produced $543 billion in agricultural products, up from $389 billion in 2017. With farm production expenses of $424 billion, U.S. farms had net cash income of $152 billion. Average farm income rose to $79,790.
  • A total of 153,101 farms and ranches used renewable energy producing systems compared to 133,176 farms in 2017, a 15% increase. The majority of farms (76%) with renewable energy systems reported using solar panels.
  • In 2022, 116,617 farms sold directly to consumers, with sales of $3.3 billion. Value of sales increased 16% from 2017.
  • The average age of all producers was 58.1, up 0.6 years from 2017.
  • The number of producers under age 35 comprises 9% of all producers.
  • In 2022, 1.2 million female producers accounted for 36% of all producers. Fifty-eight percent of all farms had at least one female decision-maker.

USDA and NASS report the response rate for the 2022 Census of Agriculture was 61%.

Clear Lake Information Order Workshop

The State Water Resources Control Board is holding public workshops to discuss how to comply with the Clear Lake Information Order. The main goals of the workshop are to review order requirements and reporting timelines, review the certification process, explain reporting pathway options, and review groundwater extraction measurement requirements and methods.

In-Person Workshop:

February 16, 2024, 11:00 a.m.

Lake County Board of Supervisors Chambers

255 N. Forbes St #109, Lakeport, CA 95453

Virtual Workshop:

February 22, 2024, 11am

For more information, visit the State Water Resources Control Board website.

USDA California Farm Service Agency Offers Assistance to Producers Affected by Recent Winter Storms and Flooding

Has your farm or ranch been impacted by a winter storm? The California Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers disaster assistance to assist farmers and ranchers in their recovery efforts following recent heavy rains and flooding.

Farmers and ranchers who have been affected by recent winter storms can contact their local Farm Service Agency Office to receive assistance.

Learn more here.

2023 Preliminary Grape Crush Report

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, in cooperation with USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service-Pacific Regional Office, released the 2023 Preliminary Grape Crush Report. See the links below.


The 2023 crush (winegrapes only) was 3,668,294 tons, up 8.0 percent from the 2022 crush of 3,396,853 tons. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 1,959,024 tons, up 2.3 percent from 2022. The 2023 white wine variety crush totaled 1,709,270 tons, up 15.3 percent from 2022. 


Average prices statewide for the 2023 crop by type: red winegrapes, $1,346.13 per ton, up 13.6 percent from 2022, and white winegrapes, $733.33 per ton, up 6.4 percent from 2022. In 2023, Chardonnay accounted for the largest percentage of the total crush volume with 17.5 percent. Cabernet Sauvignon was second with 17.3 percent.  


District 13 (Madera, Fresno, Alpine, Mono, Inyo Counties; and Kings and Tulare Counties north of Nevada Avenue (Avenue 192)), had the largest share of the State’s crush at 1,032,365 tons. The average price per ton in District 13 was $344.08. 


Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $6,943.33 per ton, up 3.7 percent from 2022. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second-highest return of $2,915.82, up 2.9 percent from 2022. 


The 2023 Chardonnay average price of $1,070.81 was up 4.0 percent from 2022 and the Cabernet Sauvignon average price of $2,141.17 was up 9.5 percent from 2022. The 2023 average price for French Colombard was $318.06, down 3.2 percent from 2022, while the Zinfandel average price was up 15.1 percent from 2022, at $757.23 per ton. 


The Preliminary Grape Crush Report includes all grape tonnage crushed during the 2023 season. It also includes purchased tonnage and pricing information for grapes with final prices prior to Jan. 10, 2024. The 2023 Final Grape Crush Report, to be published on March 8, will contain any late reports or corrections to the preliminary report. Please notify USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service of any corrections for the Final Grape Crush Report by March 1, 2024.

First Women Honored as Sonoma County's Vineyard Employee of the Year

The Fundación de la Voz de los Viñedos has chosen Yolanda Cruz, of Redwood Empire Vineyard Management (REVM), as Sonoma County’s Vineyard Employee of the Year, marking the first time a woman has been selected since the award was established six years ago.

“Everyone working at our company is so excited to see Yolanda being recognized and celebrated,” said Kevin Barr, president of REVM. He added, “She has empowered so many other women throughout Sonoma County and takes such joy in sharing her experience and wisdom with the next generation. She is an inspiration for all of us.”

Originally named the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, Sonoma County Fundación de la Voz de Los Viñedos was first established to help fund educational workshops in Spanish for agricultural employees. The organization was relaunched in 2016 as the Fundación.

Read More

Ciatti California Market Report, February 2024

Ciatti Company Wine Brokers released their February Report detailing their assessment of California's bulk wine and grape markets.

"The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s preliminary 2023 grape crush figure, published February 9th, totaled 3,668,294 tons, in line with Ciatti’s pre-harvest projections of 3.5-3.7 million tons. The crop was 8% larger than 2022’s 3.39 million tons but the fifth consecutive crop to come in below the 4-million-ton mark. At least part of the shortfall was attributable to uncontracted grapes going unpicked: Many wineries were willing to receive grapes only to the contracted volumes and then held growers to that number."

2023 Integrated Pest Management Achievement Awards

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation will host its 2023 IPM Achievement Awards virtual ceremony on February 29th, 2024 at 1:30 p.m.

This year’s award recipients include organizations that have implemented sustainable pest management in organic agriculture, promote IPM to protect waterways and urban public spaces, and advance traditional IPM practices through new technology. In addition, DPR will honor two Lifetime IPM Achievement Award recipients who illustrate a commitment to this practice and highlight the complementary work of research and industry in advancing IPM.

Zoom registration is required.

Upcoming Events and Trainings

Wine and Distilled Spirits Inclusion to the Beverage Container Recycle Program Webinar

CalRecycle is hosting a webinar for small wineries and interested parties regarding wine and distilled spirits inclusion to the beverage container recycling program. This webinar will focus on SB 1013 and SB 303 and the unique needs of small wineries.


When and Where:

  • February 23, 10 AM, Zoom

Register Here

Sonoma Grower Education Meeting

Join the Sonoma County Winegrowers, California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau for a Grower Education Meeting. The meeting will focus on updated tax laws and tax preparation, and an update on state and federal issues. 

Speakers will include Natalie Collins, CAWG President, and Michael Miiller, CAWG Director of Government Relations. 

When and Where:

  • February 27, 9:00 AM, Sonoma County Farm Bureau Office, Santa Rosa.

Register Here

Wine and Distilled Spirits Inclusion to the Beverage Container Recycle Program Webinar

CalRecycle is hosting a webinar for small wineries and interested parties regarding wine and distilled spirits inclusion to the beverage container recycling program. This webinar will focus on SB 1013 and SB 303 and the unique needs of small wineries.


When and Where:

  • February 23, 10 AM, Zoom

Register Here

Grape Crush Boundary Change Regulations Additional Hearing Scheduled

CDFA has scheduled an additional regulatory hearing for February 28, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. to be held virtually regarding proposed amendments to California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 3, Chapter 2, Article 1 – Reports by grape processors. The Notice was originally published on June 9, 2023 in Notice Register 2023, Z2023-0530-02.


The date and location of the regulatory hearing is as follows:

Date and Time: February 28, 2024 at 10:00 AM

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82828708910?pwd=TDF5M1EwQTdlbWxFWS96UVYya2x1dz09

Meeting ID: 828 2870 8910

Passcode: *YveyY6r

Call in: (669) 444 9171

Call In Passcode: 35645164


For more information, visit CDFA's website.

UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Office Hours: Information about Spotted Lanternfly

Join UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Office Hours for an information session focused on Spotted Lanternfly.

Cindy Kron, UCANR Integrated Pest Management Advisor, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, will give a short presentation about Spotted lanternfly followed by a Q&A session. Topics will include the origin and current US distribution, host plants and preferred host plants (tree-of-heaven and grapevines), identification of life stages, and how and where to report sightings. It is free to attend but registration is required. 

When and Where:

  • March 5, 1-2 PM, Zoom

Register Here

2-Day Regenerative Winegrowing Workshop

Regenerative winegrowing is a dynamic approach that at its core is about profitably farming in alliance with the ecosystem.

This two-day workshop hosted by the Paicines Ranch Learning Center will lead participants to a deeper understanding of regenerative agriculture.

When and Where:

  • March 28-29, Paicines Ranch, Paicines, CA

Register Here

U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

Join the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and co-hosts from California, Washington, New York, and Oregon for the U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit.

Explore innovative sustainable and climate-beneficial practices implemented in vineyards and wineries nationwide, along with insights into the broader value chain. Find inspiration and gather ideas for effectively communicating sustainable winegrowing narratives to both consumers and the trade. Join discussions and connect with like-minded individuals committed to sustainability in the wine industry.

When and Where:

  • April 30 - May 1, Lodi

Register Here - Early Bird Registration Ends February 29!



1 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Deadline

12 - CAWG Advocacy Day and CAWG Foundation Reception


20 - CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament



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