April 13, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • Lead Story: CAWG's Water Legislation Advances
  • Tax Day and Smoke Taint
  • CAWG Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament
  • Nominations Open for CAWG's 2024 Grower and Leader of the Year

Industry News:

  • Farm Bill Listening Session - Red Bluff, CA
  • CDFA Awards $1.1 Million for Integrated Pest Management Technical Assistance
  • Webinar on USDA's Disaster Assistance to Help California Farmers and Agriculture Communities Recover
  • Assemblymember Bains Romoved From a State Committee
  • BLUEWHITE Wins Start-Up Award
  • Napa Valley Vintners Gives $2.1 Million for Wildfire Resiliency
  • Ciatti California Report April 2023
  • California Energy Price Data for March 2023
  • Why Western Grape Growers Must Ready Themselves for Spotted Lanternfly
  • Department of Industrial Relations Releases CA Consumer Price Index Table

Upcoming Events

  • AgTec Summit
  • Communicating Sustainably Webinar
  • Napa Valley Grapegrowers Sustainable Vineyard Practices Seminar
  • American Society For Enology and Viticulture National Conference

Follow us on Social Media!

Did you know April is Down to Earth Month? Down to Earth Month is an ideal time to explore and celebrate California wines that are grown and made with sustainable practices.

Learn more about Down to Earth Month Events this month and follow CAWG on FacebookLinkedInand Twitter to learn about CAWG members who are practicing sustainability methods in their vineyards.


CAWG's Water Legislation Advances

This week, SB 659 (Ashby, D-Sacramento), which is co-sponsored by CAWG, cleared its first legislative hurdle. By a 10-0 vote, the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee approved SB 659 to create a goal of 10-million-acre feet of new groundwater storage capacity. The bill will be heard next by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. 


SB 659 has earned the support of several agricultural organizations, the Chamber of Commerce, several water agencies, and environmental groups including Sustainable Conservation and The Nature Conservancy. All of these organizations recognize that there must be a long-term approach to how California manages its water. Growers, communities, industries, and the environment alike cannot afford to lose storm water from atmospheric rivers that bring us water in the midst of a drought. 


CAWG is also co-sponsoring AB 1024 (Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters) which is set for its first hearing on April 18 in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee.   


This bill, co-sponsored by Wine Institute and supported by Trout Unlimited, would provide a streamlined approach to diverting stream water during heavy storms for storing water in irrigation ponds. Aguiar-Curry and sponsors are working closely with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Water Resources Control Board to ensure those agencies can fully implement AB 1024 as soon as possible should it become law. 


The two-pronged approach of AB 1024 & SB 659 reflect CAWG’s commitment to increasing our water supply by capitalizing on the opportunity to capture excess storm water and store it for later use.    

Tax Day and Smoke Taint

Every year, the governor releases revisions to the proposed state budget. Those revisions are released in May (known as “the May Revise”) and are partly based on state revenues from tax returns which are normally due on April 15. 


This year, because of one of the wettest winters in history, a disaster declaration has delayed tax filings until October. This is welcome news to communities who are still facing flood dangers in the weeks and months ahead, but this will likely throw off the governor’s May Revise estimates. 


This is for two reasons: 

  1. For many Californians who are expecting a refund, tax returns will be filed earlier. Why wait for your money if you don’t have to?
  2. For most Californians expecting to owe more taxes, those returns will be delayed until October. Why pay early and let the government earn interest on your money? 


This means that revenue projections in the May Revise will likely be lower than they might otherwise be. However, the governor won’t know the full extent of these reduced revenues until tax returns are filed in October, which is well past the June 30 deadline for adopting a state budget. 


In the current state budget, CAWG and Wine Institute are jointly seeking a one-time $5 million appropriation to the California Department of Food and Agriculture for research on smoke taint. This would be a challenging endeavor even in years with a well-heeled state budget. But this year’s May Revise, which is likely to show reduced state revenues, could make our effort even more difficult.  

CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament

May 16 - Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa Valley

We are nearly ONE MONTH away from the CAWG Foundation’s 4th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament. 

Don't miss your chance to register before it is too late. Last year’s tournament was sold-out!

Tournament registration will begin at 8:30 AM. The tournament will begin at 9:30 AM with a shotgun start and we will be playing a four-person scramble.

Interested in sponsoring? We have exciting sponsorship packages available. Contact Jenny Devine for more information.

Register today!

Suggested Hotels

Nominations Open for CAWG's 2024 Grower and Leader of the Year

Nominations are now open for the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Awards of Excellence Program. 

The Awards Program presents two awards annually: Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year. These awards are meant to spotlight exceptional people or companies who have benefitted the broader community of winegrape growers through exemplary leadership and outstanding commitment to the well-being of the winegrowing industry, California communities, and the environment.

Nominations are due by June 9, 2024!

The CAWG Awards of Excellence reception will be held on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, during the opening night of the 2024 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium held in Sacramento.



For more information and to view past award recipients, please visit the CAWG website. For questions, contact Natalie Collins, President.

Industry News

Farm Bill Listening Session - Red Bluff, CA

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) is holding a Farm Bill listening session in Red Bluff to hear directly from the agriculture industry on what policies they want to see in the upcoming Farm Bill.

Those involved in the agriculture industry – including but not limited to growers, retailers, nurserymen, transporters, and equipment manufacturers – are welcome to attend.


Who: Congressman LaMalfa, Congressional Staff and local elected officials.

When: Friday, April 14 from 2-4 pm.

Where: 1500 S Jackson St., Red Bluff.

Webinar on USDA's Disaster Assistance to Help California Farmers and Agriculture Communities Recover

There were technical difficulties that prevented many many people from attending USDA's Disaster Assistance Webinar on Tuesday, April 11. An additional webinar for attendees to interact and ask questions will be scheduled.


Until then, please find links to the recorded webinar here: 


And the following additional resources: 

CDFA Awards $1.1 Million for Integrated Pest Management Technical Assistance

CDFA awarded $1.1 million to support two integrated pest management technical assistance projects that will help growers implement integrated pest management practices. These investments align with the state’s new pest management strategic planning document, “Accelerating Sustainable Pest Management: A Roadmap for California,” which seeks to guide a transition toward the adoption of safer, sustainable pest control practices.

“Moving to more sustainable pest management won’t occur overnight,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We have to develop the expertise to use IPM techniques in the field, both for technical assistance providers and the growers who benefit from their knowledge. These investments will help achieve that.”

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers will receive $600,000 over four years to help primarily small-scale, diversified farmers overcome informational and financial barriers to implementing IPM practices. Small-scale growers face several challenges related to pest management, including limited access to resources and information.

The University of California Organic Agriculture Institute will receive $510,000 for an Area Advisor in Organic Agriculture position for three years — to provide technical assistance to certified and in-transition organic farmers in the San Joaquin Valley as well as any farmers interested in using organic practices. While not all organic farmers practice IPM, many successful organic systems rely on IPM techniques.

Assemblymember Bains Removed From a State Committee

Assemblymember Jasmeet Bains (D-Bakersfield) broke ground last week as she was removed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon from the Business and Professions Committee. A spokesperson from the office commented only that it was “not uncommon to make adjustments to committees throughout the legislative session.”

However, there is talk that the removal was retaliation for Bains' decision to vote against a party-line bill mandating that any oil company operating in California submit data to a newly created division within the state Energy Commission.

The bill cleared both the House and Senate with some support from moderate Democrats while compelling a handful of others to abstain. But Bains didn’t abstain, she joined all 18 Republicans in opposition.

Afterward, Bains explained on Twitter that she wanted to stay true to her base. “Stand alone if you must, but always stand for the truth,” Bains tweeted Thursday. “As the lone Democrat to oppose the new gas tax, I will never throw my constituents under the bus.”

Bains spoke during CAWG's 2023 State Advocacy Day and addressed her priorities as a new Assemblymember.

BLUEWHITE Wins Start-Up Award

BLUEWHITE recently won the FIRA StartUp Awards 2023 and was recognized as the top start-up in autonomous solutions and robotics for agriculture. Learn more in the video below.

Napa Valley Vintners Gives $2.1 Million for Wildfire Resiliency

Napa Valley Vintners announced earlier this week its investment of $2.1 million in support of wildfire resiliency in Napa County. These funds will go toward fire breaks, restoration of forestlands, and education on forest health and wildfires. 

This is the largest private donor supporting Napa County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Money gifted came through the Collective Napa Valley fall 2022 fundraising campaign with 100% raised going to the effort. Napa Communities Firewise Foundation and the Napa County Resource Conservation District are the grantees and together they will collaborate with local and state government offices such as Napa County Fire Department, CAL FIRE, and other nonprofits like Napa County Land Trust and Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District to complete the work.

Money will be used to:

  • Re-establish or create up to 100 miles of strategic fire roads and fire breaks throughout the county
  • Establish up to 300 acres of native habitat to reduce wildfire risk and maximize ecological benefits 
  • Provide resources and education for 400 landowners and residents on forest health and wildfire resilience

“Addressing the issue of wildfires in Napa County is a top priority and I am pleased that, as a community, we have taken positive steps towards making Napa County more fire resilient over the last couple of years. This grant by the NVV will help us take another big step forward,” said Napa County Supervisor Anne Cottrell.

Read More

CDFA Accepting Applications for the Water Efficiency Technical Assistance Program

Excerpt from CDFA Press Release

CDFA is now accepting applications for its Water Efficiency Technical Assistance (WETA) program.

The 2021 state budget appropriated $15 million for the WETA program, which funds irrigation water efficiency and nutrient management technical assistance grants. The WETA grant program is designed to facilitate technical assistance to agricultural operations for on-farm water and energy use efficiency and nutrient management. 

Through this solicitation, CDFA will award up to $14.25 million to eligible organizations to provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers through one or more of the program’s three objectives:

  1. Provide on-farm irrigation system evaluations 
  2. Coordinate or provide pump efficiency testing 
  3. Providing training on water use efficiency and nutrient management practices and technology

Resource Conservation Districts, University of California and California State University campuses, California Community Colleges, non-profits, and Federally- and California-Recognized Native American Tribes are eligible to apply for up to $500,000 for a maximum grant term of three years. 

Applications will be accepted in a competitive grant application process. Applications are due June 6, 2023, at 5 p.m. CDFA will host an application webinar during the application period to provide an overview of the program requirements and application process.


To register for the webinar and to review application materials visit the program website at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/technical/weta.html.

Ciatti California Report April 2023

Ciatti released their monthly wine and grape report. Read more about their analysis below.

California’s bulk wine and grape markets remain sluggish. With economic turbulence reducing forward visibility, it’s proving a challenging period to navigate. We hope our monthly reports are helping readers form a clearer, more accurate picture of the market reality: click through for our latest insight.

Read more

California Energy Price Data for March 2023

California policies and regulations continue to keep fuel prices at the highest or near the highest among the contiguous states and DC across all energy sources, reports the California Energy Price Data.

The March average price per gallon of regular gasoline in California rose 14 cents from February to $4.87. The California premium above the average for the US other than California ($3.36) rose to $1.51, a 45.0% difference. Californians paid $1.87 a gallon more than consumers in Mississippi, the state with the lowest price.

The March average price per gallon of diesel in California eased 16 cents from February to $5.50. The California premium above the average for the US other than California ($4.19) rose to $1.30 as diesel rose more slowly elsewhere, a 31.1% difference. In March, California had the highest diesel price among the contiguous states and DC.

Read more

Why Western Grape Growers Must Ready Themselves for Spotted Lanternfly

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) was first detected in the U.S. in a shipment of decorative rock that arrived in 2014 in Pennsylvania and has since spread to 16 other states along the east coast and across the Midwest to Indiana posing a threat to fruit growers and their crops.

Like other invasive pests, SLF spreads quickly without a natural enemy. The main thing all growers can do right now is to learn about the pest, especially being able to quickly identify it, says Surendra Dara, Director of Oregon State University’s North Willamette Research and Extension Center. But the most important action growers can take is to educate the general public about the threat. One thing that can get the public’s attention is that SLF is not just a threat to agriculture. It loves roses and other landscape plants, as well as other trees.

The USDA declared April as Invasive Plant and Disease Awareness Month to highlight the impact of invasive plant pests and diseases on plants nationwide and inform Americans how they can help reduce their spread.

Read more

Department of Industrial Relations Releases CA Consumer Price Index Table

The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has published the latest California Consumer Price Index Table.

It has been posted on the DIR website at www.dir.ca.gov/oprl/CPI/PresentCCPI.PDF

For additional California CPI data that is published by the DIR, please visit: www.dir.ca.gov/oprl/CAPriceIndex.htm.

Industry News

AgTEC Summit

The Fresno Merced Future of Food (F3) workforce partners are hosting the AgTec Summit - Skills for the Workforce of the Future. F3’s AgTEC workforce initiative brings together industry needs, worker voice, and the education sector to train the workforce of the future.


This free event will kick off with welcome remarks from California Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development, Stewart Knox, and Christine Birdsong, Undersecretary of the California Department of Food & Agriculture.


  • April 20, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Saroyan Theater, Fresno


Communicating Sustainability Webinar

Do you struggle to communicate your sustainability efforts? Register today for this virtual webinar during Down to Earth Month. The webinar is hosted by CAWG, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, and Wine Institute.

The webinar will provide ideas and tips to integrate sustainability into your communications with consumers, trade, and media while gaining insights on the market for sustainably. Attendees will be the first to receive a communications training guide to jump-start their sustainability communications strategy!


  • April 20, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM


Napa Valley Grapegrowers Sustainable Vineyard Practices Seminar

The Sustainable Vineyard Practices seminars are held in partnership with the Napa Valley Vineyard Technical Group and the University of California Cooperative Extension. This series is for vineyard owners, growers, viticulturists, winemakers, and vineyard managers striving to increase quality and sustainability in the vineyard. This second session will focus on vineyard development and irrigation plans in a changing climate.


  • April 26, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM, Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center and Zoom

Agenda and Registration Information

American Society For Enology and Viticulture National Conference

The American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) National Conference provides an ideal opportunity for networking among members of all U.S. wine and grape regions, as well as international experts and professionals. Join us for a week of focused learning in winemaking and grapegrowing, and reconnecting with friends and colleagues.

ASEV offers all CAWG members their discounted member rate. If you would like to register using the discounted member rate, please call the CAWG office for your promo code.


  • June 26-29, Napa Valley Marriott

Visit ASEV's website to learn more about their National Conference.



16 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament


7 - West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Smoke Summit


13 - CAWG Annual Meeting (Virtual)



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