May 16, 2024




This Week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • Last Chance - Register today for May 20 CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament
  • CAWG Sponsored Bills – Update
  • Read My Lips – No New Taxes
  • Lunch & Learn Field Day with LUMO & Clos Du Val in Napa
  • 2024 CAWG Membership Directory - Now Available!
  • Nominations Open for CAWG's Grower and Leader of the Year
  • May Issue of American Vineyard Magazine - CAWG @ Work Column
  • CAWG Director Paul Goldberg, 2024 Napa Valley Grower of the Year

Industry News:

  • Major Agricultural Firm Sues California Over Farmworker Unionization Law
  • U.S. Wine Industry Surpasses $107 Billion in 2023 Sales
  • No Love for Mealybug Meance of Vineyards
  • 2024 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit - Survey and Recording Available
  • DWC Announces Plans to Take Corrective Action Regarding E-Filer Errors 
  • Ciatti California Market Report, May 2024

Upcoming Events:

  • CSWA Hosting In-Person Dry Farming Workshops
  • US DOL Rulemaking Final Rule Webinar
  • UCCE Pear and Grape Field Day
  • UC Davis Grape Day in Oakville
  • Vineyard Irrigation Masterclass


Last Chance! CAWG Foundation's 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

The California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation's 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament is on Monday, May 20, at Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis, CA. 

Register today!

Tournament registration will begin at 8:30 AM, with a shotgun start at 9:30 AM. 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. 

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. 

Hotel Recommendations

Download Golf Tournament Flyer

CAWG Sponsored Bills – Update


Today was the day when the Assembly and Senate decided, based on the potential cost of the bill, which bills would continue to move forward. As the state is facing a historic budget deficit, interest was heightened, as any new legislation could create additional costs for state agencies.


Below is today’s outcome for the three remaining CAWG-sponsored legislation:


AB 1861 (Addis, D-Morro Bay) was approved by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. This bill would extend the Pierce’s Disease Control Program at CDFA for five years, pending approval by growers in a referendum in 2025.


AB 2827 (E. Reyes, D-Colton) was approved by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. This bill would establish a statewide goal to manage the introduction and spread of invasive species across California.


SB 1135 (Limon, D-Santa Barbara) was held by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. This bill would create a tax credit for growers to cover the cost of spreading compost in a vineyard. Unfortunately, this means the bill is dead for the year.


CAWG hoped SB 1135 would survive, as the bill was written to create no pressure on the state’s General Fund. Instead, the bill would have relied on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which has a specified funding source. This means the bill would not have a direct effect on the solvency of the state budget. Nonetheless, in these budget times, it seems that lawmakers are looking at every option possible to move funds around to close the state’s budget funding gap.

Read My Lips – No New Taxes

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported the following, “Is Gavin Newsom getting nervous about his state’s economy? On Friday, the California Governor swore off increasing taxes to balance the state’s ballooning $45 billion deficit. But better examine the fine print.”

This is because Newsom’s revised budget released last week includes the following:

  • Prohibit businesses with annual revenue in excess of $1 million from deducting their net operating losses (NOL).
  • Limit usage of business tax credits (research & development) to $5 million for the 2025, 2026, and 2027 tax years.

The California Taxpayers’ Association (Cal Tax) reports, “Together, these proposals amount to a multibillion-dollar tax increase on California employers.” CAWG joins Cal Tax in opposing these tax increases for the reasons below.

Too many growers are operating at a loss and need the NOL deduction. Broadly speaking, the NOL deduction makes it possible for businesses to be taxed fairly on their overall economic results by allowing NOLs incurred in one year to be deducted against income earned in a subsequent year.

Additionally, innovation in ag tech and upcoming pest management tools are currently in research and rely on the R&D tax credit. The provisions to limit the R&D tax credit come at a particularly dire time. This would set back the ability for a taxpayer to claim credits under a typical five-year business plan during the affected years. This will drive up the costs of ag tech and pest management tools.

Ultimately, these tax increases would be piled onto the already high cost of doing business in California, including $20 billion in increased UI taxes that are in large part due to UI fraud during the pandemic.

California already ranks 6th highest in the nation in the cost of doing business and 13th highest in state & local taxes. Expect California’s ranking to rise if these tax increases are approved.  

Quote of the Week

“There are no new taxes. I’ve not been one of those promoting taxes. No, I’m not prepared to increase taxes.” - Governor Gavin Newsom

This feels somewhat reminiscent (almost word for word actually) of remarks in 1988 by then-presidential candidate George H.W. Bush

Lunch & Learn Field Day with LUMO & Clos Du Val in Napa

CAWG members are invited to join LUMO at Clos du Val, on May 23rd, from 12-1:30 pm, for a live demonstration in the vineyards of LUMO’s patented smart valve technology and irrigation software.

With tight labor markets, volatile weather conditions, and looming water regulations, figuring out how to automate your irrigation easily, efficiently, and cost-effectively has never been more important.

Attendees will have the opportunity to see the smart valves in action, ask live, in-person questions, and enjoy lunch with CAWG and LUMO. There is no cost to attend.

Register Here - Space is limited to 25 attendees.

2024 CAWG Membership Directory - Now Available!

The 2024 Membership Directory is now available in a full-color, digital format. The directory will not be mailed but can be downloaded and printed. The Membership Directory is a useful tool that provides CAWG members with a comprehensive list of growers and business members. These listings include details such as contact information, Crush Districts, varietals grown, and services provided. Special thank you to all of our sponsors and advertisers! 

Quick Links: 

Advertiser Index and Tabs: Quickly locate a specific advertisement! Scroll over the ad to link to their website, email, or phone number.

Grower Members: View all CAWG growers in alpha order.

Associate Members: View all CAWG associate members in alpha order. We encourage members to use those companies who support the winegrape industry!

All things CAWG: View CAWG history, Board of Directors, staff & more!

Member Index: View grower members by Crush District and associate members by supply/service category.

Nominations Open for CAWG's 2025 Grower and Leader of the Year

Nominations are open for CAWG's Awards of Excellence Program. This program recognizes outstanding individuals or companies in the winegrape growing community through two prestigious awards: Grower of the Year and Leader of the Year.

Congratulations again to Sangiacomo Family Vineyards of Sonoma County (CAWG’s 2024 Grower of the Year), and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary, Karen Ross (2024 Leader of the Year). A full list of past recipients can be found here.

These awards honor those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to the industry, California communities, and environmental stewardship.

Nominations are due by June 15, 2024!

The CAWG Awards of Excellence reception will be held on Tuesday, January 28, 2025, during the opening night of the 2025 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium held in Sacramento.


Grower of the Year
Leader of the Year

For more information and to view past award recipients, please visit the CAWG website. For questions, contact Mindy DeRohan, Manager of Membership and Communications.

Read Press Release Here.

May Issue of American Vineyard Magazine - CAWG @ Work Column

The May issue of the American Vineyard Magazine is now available featuring CAWG's monthly column, CAWG @ Work.

Each month, CAWG contributes to the magazine, discussing relevant industry trends. This month's column is focused on CAWG-sponsored legislation addressing ag workers' access to safe and affordable housing.

To learn more, watch this video interview with CAWG's Director of Government Relations, Michael Miiller, and read CAWG's May column online. Hint - it's on page 14.

CAWG Director Paul Goldberg, 2024 Napa Valley Grower of the Year

Earlier this week, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers celebrated their 49th anniversary where Paul Goldberg was honored as the 2024 Napa Valley Grower of the Year.

Watch Paul’s recognition video below.

Industry News

Major Agricultural Firm Sues California Over Farmworker Unionization Law

The Wonderful Co. has taken legal action against California to halt legislation dealing with the process in which farmworkers unionize. This move comes amidst a battle between the Wonderful Co. and the United Farm Workers over the unionization of a unit of their business.

The law in question today, is one that Governor Newsom signed two-years ago, that deals with the card check process, and how a union election is certified.

The Wonderful Co. contends that the law violates the Constitution by marginalizing employers from the unionization process. While the law allows farmworkers to unionize through signature collection without holding a traditional polling place election, it is argued that the absence of a secret ballot makes workers vulnerable to coercion.

Under this law, four unions have already formed, but the Wonderful Co. is challenging its constitutionality, arguing that the lack of an independent verification process violates due process rights. The company seeks an injunction to suspend the law's enforcement until its legal challenge is resolved.

The case unfolds against a tight deadline, with the law requiring employers to engage in collective bargaining within 90 days of a union's certification. The Wonderful Co. filed a complaint with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, alleging that workers were misled into signing union authorization cards. 

Read More

U.S. Wine Industry Surpasses $107 Billion in 2023 Sales

A recent report offers a refreshing perspective on the U.S. wine industry. Dr. Liz Thach, President of the Wine Council recently published an article about a newly released report showing total wine dollar sales were actually up in 2023, and have continued on an upward trend since 2018. Furthermore, with 11,600 wineries operating in all 50 states, a representative survey sample revealed that more than 50% had achieved their sales goals in 2023. Adam Beak, Managing Director of BMO's Wine & Spirits Vertical, highlighted that wine sales reached a staggering $107 billion last year, marking a remarkable 46% rise since 2018.

While factors like inflation and price hikes contribute to this growth, the report attributes much of it to shifting consumer habits. Despite a decline in volume, consumers are increasingly opting for higher-priced wines, with nearly 30% purchasing bottles priced at $20 or more regularly.

Titled the 2024 BMO Wine Market Report, this comprehensive analysis is the first to capture 100% of wine sales in the U.S. market. Co-authored by industry experts, it offers valuable insights into market trends, consumer behavior, and winery perspectives.

Read More

No Love for Mealybug Meance of Vineyards

Vine mealybugs may soon find their love lives disrupted, thanks to innovative research by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. These soft-bodied pests pose a significant threat to vineyards, causing damage by sucking sap from grape plants and transmitting harmful viruses. However, ARS researchers are exploring novel ways to thwart their reproduction using synthetic pheromones.

By studying the olfactory system of vine mealybugs, scientists have identified specific receptors that detect female pheromones, crucial for male attraction. Using sophisticated techniques, they confirmed the receptors' specificity to the pheromone compound, paving the way for targeted disruption of the pests' mating behavior.

Scientists are exploring the use of olfactory receptors in biosensors, enabling growers to monitor pest populations in vineyards accurately. This multi-pronged approach, combining pheromone-based tactics with other control methods, offers promising prospects for managing vine mealybug infestations.

Read More

2024 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit - Survey and Recording Available

Nearly 300 participants from throughout the U.S. and from more than 10 countries worldwide attended the 2024 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit hosted by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. During the two-day hybrid event in Lodi, attendees explored cutting-edge sustainable and climate-beneficial practices in vineyards and wineries across the U.S.

If you attended the Summit, CSWA requests that you share your feedback here.

If you missed the Summit, recordings of the sessions are available here

DWC Announces Plans to Take Corrective Action Regarding E-Filer Errors 

Shared from the Department of Industrial Resources

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has announced its plans to address e-filing practices that result in repeated system errors in EAMS, DWC’s electronic case management system. These errors cause significant delays in document processing.


DWC’s planned corrective actions will include, but are not limited to, suspension or removal of e-filing privileges and/or sanctions aimed at users who disregard regulations, e-filing instructions, and document discrepancy notifications. These corrective actions have become necessary because many users continue to e-file defective batches despite receiving error notifications and receiving ongoing problem-solving training in the system’s unprocessed document queue (UDQ).

The most frequently encountered e-filing errors include:

  • Using incorrect document titles for filing or submitting documents with incorrectly titled attachments.
  • Making duplicate submissions of documents already in FileNet.
  • Repeatedly submitting failed batches to the UDQ.
  • Filing duplicate documents both electronically and by hard-copy (including emailing documents directly to a judge).

Information on how to properly file documents may be found on the DWC website

Ciatti California Market Report, May 2024

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

“As is typical for the time of year, the grape market has been quiet, although this year it has perhaps been even more muted than normal. Growers and potential buyers alike are waiting for the frost risk to pass before moving beyond the discussion stage. Some buyers see cutting out grape involvement altogether as a viable cost-saving measure, given the high level of bulk wine availability. There have been some re-signs taking place between parties with longstanding relationships – even these can be slow to complete – and the odd contract made on small volumes, mainly of those varietals seeing the most bulk wine interest, such as Cabernet in North Coast appellations.”

Upcoming Events and Trainings

CSWA Hosting In-Person Dry Farming Workshops

The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance is hosting three upcoming Dry-Farming Workshops in Napa and Paso Robles. The workshops will include a discussion and demonstration on establishing a dry-farmed vineyard in coastal regions. the program will include rootstock selection, land preparation, vine spacing, planting process, and watering regiment for the first two years.

Napa Workshop: Tuesday, May 21, 2024

8 a.m. - 11 a.m. 

Frog's Leap Winery

Rutherford, CA 94573

Field location: End of Galleron Lane (details sent after registration)

Paso Robles Workshop: Thursday, May 30, 2024

Tablas Creek Vineyard 

8 a.m. - 11 a.m. 

9339 Adelaida Road

Paso Robles, CA 93446

US DOL Rulemaking Final Rule Webinar

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a webinar to discuss the recently published "Farmworker Protection Final Rule", scheduled for May 23, 2024, at NOON PST.

Registration is not required but attendance will be capped at 1000 participants. The webinar is expected to be an hour and 30 minutes and the webinar will posted to the DOL website at a later date.

As a reminder, the Final Rule will become effective on June 28, and the Office of Foreign Labor Certification will begin accepting applications subject to the provisions of this rule on August 29.

Please save the webinar information below:

Thursday, May 23, 2024

NOON (PST) | (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) | 1 hr 30 mins

Join from the meeting link:

Join by meeting number:

Meeting number (access code): 2828 054 0956

Meeting password: H2ARule2024

Join by phone:

1-877-465-7975 US Toll Free

1-210-795-0506 US Toll

Join from a video system or application:


UCCE Pear and Grape Field Day

The University of California Cooperative Extension is hosting a field day related to both pear and grape production to share new research. The two-part, indoor and outdoor event will allow attendees the option of spending more time on one crop or dividing their time equally between pears and grapes. Outdoor speakers will be separated by expertise in pears or grapes and indoor presentations will cover topics related to both crops on large and small scales. Topics include:

  • Water in Orchards and Vineyards
  • Insect pests of perennial crops
  • Birds and Biological Control Methods
  • Pathogens of grapes and pears

When and Where:

  • May 28, 8 AM - 3 PM, Hopland, CA

Register Here

UC Davis Grape Day in Oakville

The Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis will host a Grape Day at the Oakville Station. Topics include:

  • Wild grapes as a reservoir of genetic diversity for the future of viticulture
  • Grapevine breeding at UC Davis
  • Is regenerative the path forward for winegrape production?
  • Use of weather information for addressing frost, heat, and spray drift risk
  • Effects of clone and rootstock on productivity and resilience: Early insights from the Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon rootstock trial
  • Working toward higher-resolution automated irrigation

When and Where:

  • June 5, 8 AM - 2 PM, Oakville Experimental Vineyard, 1380 Oakville Grade R., Oakville

Register Here

Vineyard Irrigation Masterclass

The Sonoma County Vineyard Technical Group along with Sonoma County Junior College (SRJC), Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and Partners are hosting a Vineyard Irrigation Masterclass at SRJC's Shone Farm. This half-day program will provide innovative ideas and insights on mindful irrigation strategies. The program will explore a variety of topics, including:

  • The intersection and impact of site and rootstock selection on irrigation needs.
  • Techniques for irrigating to enhance wine quality.
  • Tools for monitoring irrigation demands.
  • Optimal timing for water application and strategies for water conservation.
  • Guidelines on application frequency and data interpretation.
  • Managing irrigation at remote locations.

When and Where:

  • June 6, 9:30 AM - 2:45 PM, Robert Cabral Agriculture Center, Oakville Station

Register Here



20 - CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament


5 - West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Smoke Summit

12 - The Winegrape Update


21 - CAWG 50th Anniversary Celebration



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