April 27, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • Lead Story: Legislative Update
  • CAWG Announces Summer Internship Opportunity
  • CAWG Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament
  • Nominations Open for CAWG's 2024 Grower and Leader of the Year

Industry News:

  • Program Planning Commences and Co-Chairs Announced for the 30th Unified Wine & Grape Symposium
  • California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing Communications Training Guide
  • CDFA Announces Healthy Soils Program and SWEEP Grants Available
  • Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification Renewal
  • NRCS Allocated $2 Million to Assist California Farmers in Flood Recovery
  • USDA Invests $46 Million+ in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
  • ALRB Informational Panel: Immigration and Farmworker Population
  • Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Makes Emergency Relief Donation
  • CDFA's Report a Pest Program
  • USDA Announces New National Institue of Food and Agriculture Director
  • Communicating Sustainability Webinar Recording

Upcoming Events

  • Webinar on EU Pesticide Policies Impact on U.S. Exports
  • Climate Science Seminar: Part 1
  • 2023 Western Drought Webinar
  • Integrating Mechanization Workshop
  • West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Smoke Summit
  • American Society For Enology and Viticulture National Conference

April is Down to Earth Month

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.


Lead Story: Legislative Update

What a week in Sacramento! CAWG has the following good news to report:

  • SB 375 (Alvarado-Gil, D-Jackson), a CAWG-sponsored bill to create COVID-19 Tax Credit, was approved by a 3-1 vote in Senate Labor Committee.
  • SB 659 (Ashby, D-Sacramento), a CAWG-sponsored bill to increase groundwater recharge efforts, was approved unanimously by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
  • SB 279 (Niello, R-Fair Oaks), a CAWG-supported bill to increase public participation in rulemaking, was approved 15-0 in Senate Governmental Organization Committee. 
  • AB 650 (Arambula, D-Fresno), a CAWG-opposed measure to decrease local government members on the San Joaquin Valley regional air aboard, was soundly defeated in the Assembly Local Government Committee for lack of a second on a motion to advance the bill. This essentially means the bill would have had only one vote in favor.

While this is early in the legislative process, these are all critical wins. 

The following CAWG-sponsored bills are working their way through the process. They have both been approved in their first committees in the last three weeks. 

CAWG Announces Summer Internship Opportunity

CAWG is excited to announce that it is accepting applications for a summer intern. This internship is an opportunity for students or recent graduates who are seeking hands-on experience in a dynamic and fast-paced organization.

The successful candidate will gain experience in various fields, including membership and database management, communications, public policy, industry relations, and more. They will work alongside professionals in these areas and contribute to meaningful projects that will enhance their skills and knowledge. The position offers a broad scope of responsibilities, providing invaluable hands-on experience that can be applied to future career opportunities.

The deadline to apply is May 12, 2023.

Please share with those who may be interested.

CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament

May 16 - Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa Valley

The 4th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament hosted by the CAWG Foundation is only three weeks away!

Spots and sponsorships are filling up quickly - register now before it's too late, as last year's tournament sold out.

The tournament will start with registration at 8:30 AM and a shotgun start at 9:30 AM for a four-person scramble.

If you're interested in sponsoring, we have various sponsorship packages available. For more information, please contact Jenny Devine.

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

Program Planning Commences and Co-Chairs Announced for the 30th Unified Wine & Grape Symposium

The Unified Wine & Grape Symposium's LLC Managing Committee, which represents the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the CAWG, has selected its co-chairs to lead the 2024 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium Program Development Committee.

Alisa Jacobson, founder of Turning Tide Wines and wine consultant along with Devin Parr, founder and managing partner of wine consulting firm Devin Parr & Associates, have been appointed to manage more than 30 committee members.

On Friday, April 21, the Program Development Committee gathered to initiate the planning for the 2024 symposium. The committee chairs and hosts came forward with enthusiastic and captivating ideas to ensure that the sessions and speakers of the symposium are educational, inspiring, and at the forefront of the industry. All committee members volunteer their time to identify pertinent and current topics related to winemaking, grapegrowing, business, and marketing.

The Unified Symposium will host its conference and trade show on January 23-25, 2024, at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center in Sacramento, California. Registration is scheduled to open in October.

California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing Communications Training Guide

The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance just released the new California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) Communications Training Guide. Download your copy today!

This comprehensive guide helps winery staff communicate about their winery's sustainability and CCSW certification. It provides steps and tips for learning more about the certification program, integrating sustainability into communications, training staff to communicate sustainability messaging, and includes tools to support communications. 

A few of the resources you will find:

  • Certification Communications Toolkit
  • Communications Training for Hospitality and Sales Staff 
  • Links to Additional Resources

CCSW Communications Training Guide

Communications Training for Hospitality and Sales

CDFA Announces Healthy Soils Program and SWEEP Grants Available

CDFA announced the availability of grant funding under the Healthy Soils Program (HSP) and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), which advances California’s work to help communities build more resilient water supplies amid extreme climate changes and conditions.

Approximately $29 million in block grants are available through HSP which are designed to advance conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gases.

Approximately $40 million will be available in SWEEP block grant funding, which incentivizes agricultural operations to invest in water-saving irrigation systems. California’s unpredictable and extremely dry and wet seasons have made it critical that communities continue adapting to use water wisely.

HSP and SWEEP have traditionally been direct-to-farmer grant programs through CDFA. The purpose of the new pilot block grant program is to test whether block grantees can accelerate the disbursement of funds and better coordinate community needs for technical assistance. Under these pilot programs, qualified organizations may apply for state funding and then disburse funds to eligible farmers, ranchers, or agricultural operations for on-farm projects.

Awarded organizations would provide technical assistance to implement on-farm projects or partner with technical assistance providers to provide this support. Eligible entities may request between $2 million and $5 million for each program.

CDFA will hold two webinar-based workshops to provide information on the program requirements and the application process. Participants can attend remotely by registering for the webinar at the web addresses below.

• Tuesday, May 2, 2023, 9 am-11 am PT: Register Here

• Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 1 pm-3 pm PT: Register Here

The Application period closed on June 19, 2023.

Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification Renewal

The July 1 CCSW certification renewal deadline is right around the corner! Get in touch with a CCSW-accredited auditor soon to schedule your audit and start working on the renewal steps. 

Certification Renewal Steps Webinar Recording: 

Recording Link

Password: T==5k@pc

Not yet certified and wanting to learn more? 

Visit the apply page and contact our certification team with your questions. 

NRCS Allocated $2 Million to Assist California Farmers in Flood Recovery

This week, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California announced it is setting aside $2 million in federal funding to help California’s agricultural producers recover from recent flooding.

This funding is in addition to recent USDA funding allocated through the USDA Emergency Watershed Protection Program (administered by NRCS) and the USDA Emergency Conservation Program (administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency).  

“NRCS is working with farmers and ranchers to assess the damage to their land and to provide conservation planning assistance to help them return back to normal operations,” said NRCS California State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “We have been hearing from our customers that this funding is needed, and we are answering that call.”

Eligible counties include Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, and Yuba.

The deadline to apply for this additional funding is June 16, 2023.

More information

USDA Invests More Than $46 Million in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

USDA recently announced they have invested more than $46 million in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. The SARE program has funded farmer-driven grants and grassroots education programs resulting in climate-smart solutions for farms and ranches in every state and island protectorate since 1988.

These 10-year awards are being made by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture in four regional SARE host institutions and the National Reporting, Coordinating, and Communications Office (NRCCO). Grant recipients are the University of Minnesota (North Central SARE Regional Host Institution); University of Vermont (Northeast SARE Regional Host Institution); University of Georgia (Southern SARE Regional Host Institution); Montana State University (Western SARE Regional Host Institution); and University of Maryland (NRCCO).

“This investment in sustainable agriculture underscores USDA’s ongoing commitment to transforming our food and agricultural systems,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. “Through this investment, SARE will continue to provide competitive grants and education programs that foster farmer-driven innovation to promote climate-smart practices, make sustainable producers more profitable, and improve local economies and the quality of life in rural communities.”

ALRB Informational Panel: Immigration and Farmworker Population

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

The meeting will include a panel discussion on immigration and farmworker population. Panelists include:

  • Ana Padilla, Executive Director, UC Merced Community, and Labor Center
  • Edward Flores, Associate Professor, UC Merced Community, and Labor Center
  • Amagda Perez, Executive Director, CRLA Foundation
  • Luz Gallegos, Executive Director, TODEC

The meeting will be held at 10 am, Hearing Room 72.167 in the Capitol Area East End Complex, 1500 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Attend the Meeting via Videoconference

1.       In your web browser, go to www.zoom.us

2.       Select JOIN A MEETING

3.       Enter the meeting number: 874 8165 7667

4.       Type your name and then click Join

5.       The videoconference system will be activated at 9:55 am

Attend the Meeting via Teleconference

1. Dial (215) 446-3656 or (888) 363-4734 (U.S. Toll-Free).

2.      When prompted, enter the access code: 672001 and follow directions.

3.       Teleconference will be opened to the public at 9:55 am

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Makes Emergency Relief Donation

Sonoma County Vintners Foundation (SCVF) has announced they have activated their Emergency Relief Fund to support the needs of vineyard and agriculture workers, and those in our communities who have been impacted by recent storms and flooding. SCVF has donated $50,000 to Community Action Partnership Sonoma County (CAP Sonoma) and their Sonoma County Organizations Assisting in Disasters (COAD) Program.

“We are deeply privileged to continue assisting our community in this time of need and are grateful for the continued generosity and support of our Sonoma County wine community, Community Foundation Sonoma County, and our Sonoma County Vintners Foundation partners and donors,” said Michael Haney, Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. “We are proud to partner with our friends at CFSC once again and it is truly an honor to provide this essential assistance during these challenging times. Providing this type of support for those in need is exactly why we formed the SCVF Emergency Relief Fund.”

The Sonoma County Vintners Foundation Emergency Relief Fund was created to adapt to the needs of the Sonoma County community as unfortunate and emergency situations arise. Over the past five years, the SCVF Emergency Relief Fund has donated over $380,000 to provide needed resources for wildfire, flood, and pandemic support and emergency relief programs.

CDFA's Report a Pest Program

Californians throughout the state can play an essential role in protecting agriculture and the environment by reporting the sightings of invasive plants and pests. If possible, take photographs of the plant or pest and include something for size comparison if possible.


April is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Learn more here.

USDA Announced New National Institue of Food and Agriculture Director

This week, USDA announced the appointment of Manjit K. Misra as the new Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The NIFA Director leads the agency’s work in advancing agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. Dr. Misra will start his new role on Monday, May 8, 2023.

"We are excited to add Dr. Misra's leadership and expertise to our team as we continue to transform our nation’s food and agricultural system,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA Chief Scientist and Research, Education, and Economics Under Secretary. “NIFA, with its unique research, education, and Extension partnerships, and the current unprecedented investments we have toward building the next generation of ag professionals, is well positioned to address the complex challenges we face in agriculture.”

Prior to joining USDA, Dr. Misra served as a Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. For more than 30 years, he was the Director of the university’s Seed Science Center. The center has administered the National Seed Health System, authorized by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, since 2001. Dr. Misra also was the founding Director of Iowa State’s Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products.

Read More

Communicating Sustainability Webinar Recording

Did you miss the Communicating Sustainability webinar on April 20 hosted by CAWG, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, and Wine Institute?

Watch the recording here!

The webinar provided ideas and tips to integrate sustainability into your communications with consumers, trade, and media while gaining insights on the market for sustainably.

Upcoming Events and Trainings

Webinar on EU Pesticide Policies Impact on U.S. Exports

Bryant Christie Inc. is hosting a free webinar, “Will Changes in European Pesticide Policies Impact Your Business? What Every Ag Exporter Should Know.”

The webinar will feature experts in international ag trade who will provide insights into current and upcoming EU pesticide and MRL policies and their likely impact on agribusinesses around the world.

Presenters include Sabina Neumann, senior trade advisor with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service along with Alinne Oliveira, deputy director, and Cienna Reed, trade policy analyst, both members of BCI’s Global Access Business Unit.


  • May 3, 10 AM, Virtual


Climate Science Seminar: Part 1

Napa Valley Grapegrowers is hosting a one-day interactive workshop taught by Professor Andrew Isaacs, modeled after his semester-long MBA course “Climate Change and Business Strategy,” which he teaches at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

This workshop will discuss how climate change is impacting business, and how business sustainability depends both on mitigating climate impacts, and on adaptation to ongoing climate change.


  • May 5, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena


2023 Western Drought Webinar

Join the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Integrated Drought Information System, in partnership with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center for the 2023 Western Drought Webinar.

This webinar will provide the latest information on current drought conditions and outlooks. Speakers from the USGS, NWS Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, and NOAA’s Physical Sciences Laboratory will also provide updates on groundwater conditions, the Colorado River Basin, and how the wet winter will or will not impact long-term drought in the West.


  • May 9, 11 AM - 12:30 PM, Virtual


Integrating Mechanization Workshop

Mechanization impacts many farming practices from trellising to pest management, from machine maintenance to labor. In this Vineyard Team workshop, learn from experienced farmers and precision agriculture specialists about how technology drives mechanization and how you can implement these practices on your vineyard. 


  • May 12, 9 AM - 11:00 AM, Foley Estates Vineyard & Wine, Lompoc


West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Smoke Summit

The 2023 Smoke Summit will include updates and recent findings on wildfire smoke impacts from leading researchers at OSU, UC Davis, and WSU. In addition, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) will provide updates on research activities and future initiatives.

Formal agenda to come.


  • June 7, 1 PM, Virtual


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.

Learn the latest about Pierce’s disease and glassy-winged sharpshooter research at the 2023 ASEV National Conference. The PD/GWSS Board Research Seminar session will be moderated by PD/GWSS Board Research Coordinator Kristin Lowe.

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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