February 23, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

  • CAWG News:
  • Lead Story: Other People's Money
  • Register Today - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day
  • Government Relations Committee Meeting
  • Newsom, Musk & Ag
  • Advertise in CAWG's Annual Supplier Directory
  • Industry News:
  • Senators Dodd and McGuire re-appointed to co-chair Senate Select Committee on California's Wine Industry
  • National Invasive Species Week
  • California Preliminary Grape Crush Report
  • Tree Assistance Program
  • California PD/GWSS Board's Winter Newsletter is Now Available
  • Spotted Lanternfly Summit
  • Upcoming Events:
  • Webinar: What to Expect from OSHA in 2023: An Employer’s Guide to Developments in Workplace Safety
  • UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Off-Campus Programs
  • Spotted Laternfly Summit
  • FELS AB 2183 Card Check Training
  • California Competes Tax Credit Webinar
  • Recent Advances in Viticulture & Enology (RAVE)
  • Immigration and Farm Labor Conference

REMINDER: CAWG Foundation Scholarship Deadline - March 4!

Each year the Foundation awards three 4-year scholarships and three 2-year scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. 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).

The application deadline is March 4! Encourage your high school seniors to apply today!


Other People's Money

More than 20 years ago, Danny DeVito’s character, Larry the Liquidator, said on the big screen, “There's only one thing I love more than money. You know what that is? Other people's money.” One would not think that such a movie line could apply to a bureaucracy, but the Employment Development Department (EDD) is challenging that premise. 

This is because the EDD has recently reached a settlement with the Center for Workers’ Rights involving employers’ money. In that settlement, EDD has agreed not to pursue collection of $711 million in likely overpayment of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The reason for the settlement is because EDD did not pursue collection action within one year of the overpayment as required by law. On one hand, UI claimants should not lose their due process rights. But on the other hand, those overpayments will ultimately come out of the pockets of California employers who pay UI taxes. 

Remember that California’s UI Fund is already $18.7 billion in debt to the federal government, and Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to pay down the debt has been tabled. Consequently, EDD walking away from the collection of $711 million will only exacerbate that problem and California employers will pay increased federal and state UI taxes for several years.

Unfortunately, EDD has a history of failure to protect against UI fraud, paid massive overpayments, and has generally mismanaged the UI program. So, this new aspect of EDD spending other people’s money is not really all that surprising. This may be why EDD is now facing a Congressional investigation.  

Register Today - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day

CAWG Advocacy Day is taking place on Tuesday, March 14, at the Sutter Club in Sacramento. CAWG's lobbying team headed by Michael Miiller, CAWG Director of Government Relations, and Jack Gualco, The Gualco Group, Inc. are planning an exciting and informative day for you with key legislators and top regulatory officials.

Advocacy Day is your opportunity to talk with and educate key policymakers about important issues affecting your business. The day will begin with breakfast and a program with key speakers, followed by legislative visits.

Following Advocacy Day, CAWG invites you to a reception at The Gualco Group, Inc. office benefiting the CAWG Foundation.

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

Register for Advocacy Day

CAWG's Government Relations Committee Meeting

The legislative deadline to submit new bills was Friday, February 17. This year, lawmakers introduced more than 2,600 bills, the most in more than a decade. The total for 2023 ranks highest in the past 17 years!

This week, the Government Relations Committee members, CAWG staff, and The Gualco Group reviewed all of the bills to determine CAWG’s legislative priorities for 2023. The current political environment in Sacramento has resulted in dozens of bills that CAWG will oppose. As legislation continues to eveolve over the next few months, there may be additional priorities discovered.  

Last year, nearly 2000 bills were introduced, the legislature passed about 1,200 and nearly 1,000 bills became law with Governor Gavin Newsom's signature.

Newsom, Musk & Ag?

Governor Gavin Newsom met with Elon Musk this week at the site of what will be Tesla's new engineering headquarters in Palo Alto. Tesla plans to use the headquarters as its center for research and development of artificial intelligence (AI). This will include the continued growth of technology for self-driving (autonomous) vehicles. 

Tesla moved its headquarters out of California in late 2021 to set up shop in Austin, Texas. At the time of the move, Musk was in an ongoing battle with the legislature over his desire to reopen the Fremont manufacturing plant in the middle of the pandemic.  While Newsom announced the pandemic emergency will end on February 28, California is the only state in the nation with workplace safety standards for COVID-19 prevention that will continue to be in effect through the end of 2024.

In a prepared statement welcoming Tesla back to California, Newsom said, “The future happens in California first. We’re changing the world through our historic investments, our conveyor belt for talent, and partnerships with companies like Tesla.”

Interestingly, California’s workplace safety regulations, unfortunately, prevent full utilization of AI and similar technologies in autonomous ag equipment. Hopefully, that may be changing as the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will be hearing from a panel of experts at its March 16 meeting in Los Angeles to learn more about the safety features of this equipment. 

Stay tuned for more information about how you can participate in that hearing.  

Advertise in CAWG's Annual Supplier Directory

The 2023 digital Membership Directory provides an opportunity for additional exposure to the winegrape industry.

This annual directory acts as a comprehensive guide to the many vineyard management products and services available to our CAWG growers. This is your chance to be a part of this valuable industry reference guide. This digital directory has search capabilities with the option to link your advertisement directly to your website or product page.

This is a MEMBERS ONLY guide, advertisements are not available to non-members.

If you are interested in advertising, please reserve your space by March 1.

Contact Mindy DeRohan.

Industry News

Senators Dodd and McGuire re-appointed to co-chair Senate Select Committee on California's Wine Industry

State Senators Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Mike McGuire (D-North Coast), will co-chair the 2023-24 legislative session’s Senate Select Committee on California’s Wine Industry, a committee they have led together since 2016.

“The wine industry is a major economic and tourism driver for our state and it is essential that the Legislature focus on issues that impact it,” Dodd said in a statement Wednesday. “We’ve made big strides in achieving competitiveness in the global market and innovations in sustainability.”

The California wine industry has an economic impact of $73 billion to the state and accounts for 80% of all wine produced in the United States.

Economic Impact of California Wine

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is an international event to raise awareness about invasive species, the threat that they pose, and what can be done to prevent their spread. 

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reminds us all to be on the lookout for the spotted lanternfly and its egg masses!  If allowed to spread in the United States, this pest could seriously impact the country’s grape, orchard, and logging industries.

Learn How to Spot and Report

California Preliminary Grape Crush Report

The Preliminary California Grape Crush Report was released on February 10 with the final report to be released on March 10, 2023.

The goal of the report is to provide timely, accurate, and useful statistics. Did you find a mistake? The deadline to submit an error or omission for the report is February 28, 2023!

Notify the Grape Crush Team

Tree Assistance Program (TAP)

If your vineyard experienced losses from natural disasters during the 2023 calendar year, and you want to participate in the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), you must submit a TAP application 90 days after the disaster event or the date when the loss is apparent. TAP provides financial assistance to help replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. Eligible tree types include trees, bushes or vines that produce an annual crop for commercial purposes.

To qualify for TAP, orchardists must suffer a qualifying tree, bush or vine loss in excess of 15 percent mortality from an eligible natural disaster, plus an adjustment for normal mortality. The eligible trees, bushes, or vines must have been owned when the natural disaster occurred; however, eligible growers are not required to own the land on which the eligible trees, bushes, and vines were planted.

If the TAP application is approved, the eligible trees, bushes, and vines must be replaced within 12 months from the date the application is approved. The cumulative total quantity of acres planted to trees, bushes, or vines, for which you can receive TAP payments, cannot exceed 1,000 acres annually.

Learn More

California PD/GWSS Board's Winter Newsletter Now Available

The Winter Bulletin of the PD/GWSS Board is now available online.

Topics in the latest issue include: Advancing Biopesticide Technologies for Managing Pierce's Disease, and the PD/GWSS Board Strenthening its Grapevine Virus Research Strategy. Research updates are included for Transgenic Rootstock-Mediated Protection of Grapevine Scion Against Pierce’s Disease by Dual Stacked DNA Constructs, Ecology of Grapevine Red Blotch Virus, and Protoplast-Mediated Gene Editing for Disease Resistance.

Winter Bulletin

Upcoming Events and Trainings

Webinar: What to Expect from OSHA in 2023: An Employer’s Guide to Developments in Workplace Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is more aggressive than ever, issuing more subpoenas for documents and testimony, and making more criminal referrals now than in recent memory. This webinar, hosted by Fisher Phillips, will provide employers a discussion of changes that have already taken place and what else to expect from OSHA, the agency charged with protecting America’s workforce, over the next year. Some topics will include OSHA National Emphasis Programs (NEP), inspection tactics, proposed rules, and recordkeeping and reporting. 


  • February 28, 2023, 1 PM

Registration Information

UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Off Campus Programs

The UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Extension and Industry Relations Program is going "On The Road" in Tulare, Mendocino, and San Joaquin Counties. During these education seminars, UC Davis will present research currently being done and discuss issues that are important to the winegrape and wine industry.


  • February 28, 2023, 9 AM, University of California Research & Extension Center, Hopland
  • March 9, 2023, 9 AM, Lodi Grape Festival Grounds

Registration Information

Spotted Laternfly Summit

The 2023 Spotted Lanternfly Virtual Summit will be held March 1-2, 2023. Topics for the free virtual event will include research, preparing non-infested states, and management approaches. The draft agenda for both days is posted online.

The summit will be recorded and recordings will be posted at a later date.


  • March 1-2, 2023

Registration Information

FELS AB 2183 Card Check Training

Farm Employee Labor Service is hosting FREE AB 2183 Card Check in-person trainings. Learn more about the opportunities below.

How to Prepare for Card Check

This in-person seminar by Barsamian and Moody, Attorneys at Law, will walk through the statutory changes to the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, including what is card check, labor peace elections, the administrative penalties, and appeal bond requirements in the new law. The seminar is intended for owner-operators, managers, human resources personnel, and farm labor contractors (FLCs). FLC representatives are encouraged to attend. 



  • March 3, 2023, 10 AM, Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Register Here

California Competes Tax Credit Webinar

The next California Competes Tax Credit application period starts Monday, March 6, 2023, with at least $99.7 million in available tax credits. Businesses interested in applying can register to view a live webinar explaining the application process.


The online application can be accessed starting March 6, 2023 and the deadline to submit applications is Monday, March 20, 2023. To apply visit www.calcompetes.ca.gov.  

Upcoming Webinars:

Recent Advances in Viticulture & Enology (RAVE)

The UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology will present "Recent Advances in Viticulture & Enology (RAVE)." The seminar provides the opportunity for active participants in the wine and winegrape industry to hear researchers discuss their latest projects and ongoing research in an open forum where discussion is encouraged.

Registration closes on March 12.


  • March 15, UC Davis Conference Center

Agenda and Registration Information

Immigration and Farm Labor Conference

The 2023 Immigration and Farm Labor Conference will feature an opening session devoted to the outlook for immigration and farm labor; the latest data on farm workers and the H-2A program; and an exploration of how technology, trade, and other factors are affecting employment and workers in particular commodities.


There is no charge to participate, but seating is limited. To attend, you must RSVP by March 3, 2023.


  • March 17, 2023, UC Davis Law School

Registration Information

SAVE THE DATE - CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament

May 16 - Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa Valley

Join the CAWG Foundation for our 4th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament. The scholarship program is specifically for high school seniors whose parent/guardian(s) are employed by a CA winegrape grower. 

Register today!



4 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Deadline

14 - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day

14 - CAWG Foundation Reception


16 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament



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