January 12, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

  • Proposed 2023-24 State Budget
  • Reminder: Renew Your CAWG Membership
  • USDA Announces Two Major Program Improvements
  • CAWG Hires Communications Manager
  • Two New Laws: AB 2183 and SB 1162
  • Important Information on Winter Storms and Drought Update
  • Republican Leaders Ask Governor to Store More Water
  • Crop Insurance Deadline Approaching
  • Ciatti California Report
  • Back to Session Reception
  • Gas and Diesel Prices Decline
  • Webinars:
  • Optimizing Labor Management with IntelliCulture
  • SVB State of the Industry
  • $120m in Tax Credits
  • Events During Unified Wine and Grape Symposium
  • 2023 Family Business Survey

REMINDER: Register by January 17th to utilize your CAWG member discount for the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium!


Proposed 2023-24 State Budget

What the Governor giveth the Governor taketh away.

This week, Governor Newsom released his proposed 2023-24 state budget. While last year’s budget enjoyed a historic surplus, revenues are now $29.5 billion lower than anticipated, creating a $22.5 billion deficit in the 2023-24 fiscal year. Instead of using the state’s reserve, part of Newsom’s 2023-24 budget strategy involves reversing several funding commitments he made last year. This reversal means that the budget deficit is in part being offset by California businesses. 


Below are a few examples of prior funding commitments that are now on the chopping block and potentially creating an immediate hit on businesses totaling more than $2.5 billion.


  • Broadband activities—The Budget proposes a deferral of $1.13 billion for infrastructure grants and other broadband funding.

  • Unemployment Insurance Debt Payment—The 2022 Budget Act included $1 billion ($250 million federal funds in 2022-23 and $750 million state funds in 2023-24) to pay down a portion of the state’s approximately $18 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund debt. (NOTE: That $1 billion does not even cover the cost of the UI fraud experienced during the pandemic.) The proposed Budget would now withdraw the $750 million one-time payment in 2023-24. Consequently, the debt in the UI Fund will result in increased payroll taxes for several years. 

  • Unemployment Insurance Small Business Relief—The Budget proposes to remove the $500 million one-time commitment made as part of the 2022 Budget Act to offset the anticipated rising federal UI tax rates resulting from the UI Trust Fund insolvency. California is the only state in the nation to rely so heavily on employers to pay down the debt created during record unemployment during the pandemic. 

  • California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program—The Budget proposes to remove approximately $92 million in small business relief.

  • Small Business Finance Center and the California Rebuilding Fund—The Budget proposes to remove $50 million for financial assistance to small businesses.


In the next few months, the legislature and Newsom Administration may seek other funding sources to backfill these reductions and may alter reductions based on new revenue estimates in May. It is highly unlikely though that state revenues will rise, and instead, California may face additional cuts due to high disaster response costs associated with the current storm situation.


The legislature has until June 15 to pass the state budget which will take effect July 1.

CAWG Membership Renewals - RENEW TODAY!

Don't forget to renew your CAWG membership. All first invoices were sent in November, with second invoices going out this month!

Need a copy of your invoice? Contact Natalie Collins.

USDA Announces Two Major Program Improvements

During the 2023 annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced major USDA updates that will benefit farmers, ranchers, and producers across the country. The new programs will wrap up and fill the remaining gaps in 2020 and 2021 Natural Disaster Assistance (Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two and 2020 Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP).

The application period for both the ERP Phase Two and PARP are open from January 23, 2023, through June 2, 2023. Eligibility requirements from USDA are below.

To be eligible for ERP Phase Two, producers must have suffered a decrease in allowable gross revenue in 2020 or 2021 due to necessary expenses related to losses of eligible crops from a qualifying natural disaster event. Assistance will be primarily to producers of crops that were not covered by Federal Crop Insurance or NAP since crops covered by Federal Crop Insurance and NAP were included in the assistance under ERP Phase One. 


To be eligible for PARP, an agricultural producer must have been in the business of farming during at least part of the 2020 calendar year and had a 15% or greater decrease in allowable gross revenue for the 2020 calendar year, as compared to a baseline year. 

For more information, producers should contact their local USDA service center or reference the ERP Phase 2 fact sheet (PDF, 1.7 MB), PARP fact sheet (PDF, 540 KB) or the ERP Phase Two-PARP Comparison fact sheet (PDF, 2.5 MB).

Visit USDA to learn more.

CAWG Hires Communication Manager

This week, CAWG added Mindy DeRohan to its team, joining the association as its communications manager.

"Mindy brings with her a decade of experience in both agriculture and communications and will play a vital role in creating and delivering value to our members and key stakeholders," said Natalie Collins, CAWG President.

Prior to joining CAWG, Mindy was the program manager for the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and manager of the CAPCA ED continuing education program for the California Association of Pest Control Advisors. 

Please join us in welcoming Mindy to CAWG.

Two New Laws: AB 2183 & SB 1162

Two new laws took effect last week affecting the California Winegrape Industry.

  • AB 2183 created the Card Check process whereby agricultural employees choose whether to join a labor union; and
  • SB 1162 requires employers to provide salary range information to potential job applicants. 

More detailed information can be found in CAWG's eAlert.

CAWG January Issue of The Crush Newsletter

This morning, the January issue of The Crush was released.



  • Feature Story: Grapevine Trunk Diseases and Management Practices
  • State Update: Drought, Floods, and Vineyards
  • COVID-19 Regulatory Compliance Tax Credit
  • Relief Programs Announced for 2020 and 2021 Losses
  • Reminder: Winegrape Crop Insurance Deadline, Jan. 31
  • Webinar: Optimizing Labor Management with IntelliCulture
  • Update - AB 2183 and SB 1162
  • Opportunities During Unified Wine and Grape Symposium
  • 2023 WGA Annual Leadership Luncheon
  • CAWG PAC Event at The Torch Club


Republican Leaders Ask Governor to Store More Water

While rainstorms blanket the state, California communities continue to persevere through the longstanding drought. Today Republican lawmakers held a news conference along the American River calling on the Newsom Administration to relax restrictions, allowing the flow of water across the state.


The January storms could bring California 22 trillion gallons of water. At the news conference, lawmakers argued that acting quickly to capture additional stormwater during this unprecedented level of precipitation could allow the flow of 80,000 acre-feet of desperately needed water. Swift action must be taken as quickly as possible to increase the amount of water moving through the state’s water conveyance system.


“When Mother Nature blesses us with rain, we need to save the water, instead of dumping it into the ocean. This water could be stored, refill groundwater basins, and revitalize entire communities that have suffered for years during the drought," said Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.

Crop Insurance Deadline Approaching

We’ve entered the year with a deluge of much-needed rain, but the resulting floods are now a major concern. If your vineyard is impacted by flooding and excess rain, keep your crop insurance agent abreast of your situation. Though the vines are not covered through your crop insurance policy, the 2023 fruit to be produced is!


Also, as a reminder, the deadline to have your 2023 coverage in place is January 31, 2023. Crop insurance is the first line of defense a grower has against unpredictable weather and smoke exposure. Reviewing your coverage annually and understanding your policy can provide you with peace of mind for the growing season, knowing you are covered if your crop fails. If you need a policy review or require new coverage, please reach out to a licensed agent to discuss this now. Pan American Insurance Services is a long‐standing partner and the endorsed insurance provider for the California Association of Winegrape Growers, and would be happy to guide you through your coverage options.


  • The Federal Multiperil Crop Insurance (MPCI) policy covers yield losses caused by all naturally occurring perils, such as frost, heat, excessive moisture/flooding, failure of irrigation supply/drought, and wildfire/smoke exposure.
  • Your vineyard yields are utilized to establish the coverage, so this is a very individualized risk management tool. You can even use your contracted prices to make this more customized, though this is optional.
  • The premiums for MPCI coverage are subsidized, so growers only pay a portion of the full premium.
  • Catastrophic (CAT) coverage can be purchased for an administrative fee of $655 (by variety/county), with no premium. 
  • Policyholders are not billed for their 2023 coverage until September of 2023.


Act now to protect yourself from what may be on the horizon in 2023. Should you want a quote, you can contact Pan American direct, or locate a licensed agent to discuss.


Office: (559) 222-0300

Kristine Fox kristine.fox@relationinsurance.com

James Dillon  james.dillon@relationinsurance.com

Ciatti California Report

Unpredictable can be a word used to describe the 2022 California Wine Industry. Growers entered 2022 with inflation rising and crop sizes low. Despite the long-standing drought, April frosts, and a week of 100+ degree temperatures in September, California's bulk inventory ended the year with levels high than in December 2020 and 2021.

What will 2023 bring? The year has started with massive storms leading to flooding and intense snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Read more about what 2023 looks like for California Winegrape Growers in the Ciatti California Report.

Ciatti California Report

Back to Session Reception

CAWG and the Agricultural Council of California co-hosted their sixth annual Back to Session Reception on January 11.

The open house was a great evening celebrating the New Year and the beginning of the legislative season. It was the first time the reception was able to be held since the pandemic and it was well attended. We are looking forward to the 2023 season.

Gas & Diesel Prices Decline

While California is still home to some of the highest fuel prices in the nation, the latest data shows prices continuing to decline from earlier in 2022.

The most recent data shows the average California gas price is down one cent from December to $4.44 a gallon and the U.S. average is up 9 cents to $3.20. California's gas prices are 43.4% higher than other states making California home to the 2nd highest gasoline prices behind only Hawaii.

Diesel prices also declined at the end of 2022. The prices in California were down 49 cents to $5.66 per gallon, yet $0.94 higher than the U.S. average. California is home to the 3rd highest diesel price behind Hawaii and Pennsylvania.

California Energy Report


Optimizing Labor Management with IntelliCulture

Join the California Association of Winegrape Growers on Tuesday, January 17th at 1:00pm for a webinar to discuss best practices for optimizing labor in your vineyard. Presenting will be IntelliCulture CEO, Cole Powers, and Chris Pierce, Constellation Brands. This session will share real-world examples from the vineyard in measuring and improving efficiency to decrease operational costs.

This webinar will review three main case studies:

1. Efficiency Benchmarking for Staff: Implementing training and incentivization programs

2. Block Level Cost Accounting: Automated labor tracking for billing and improved budgeting

3. Risk Mitigation and Safety: Leveraging daily safety and spray reports to prevent critical mistakes

If you are ready to increase efficiency, streamline processes, and optimize your operation, this webinar is for you!


Silicon Valley Bank - State of the Wine Industry

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

9:00AM – 10:30AM PST


Silicon Valley Bank will be hosting its annual state of the industry webinar on Wednesday, January 18th to review findings from the new 2023 State of the Wine Industry Report.


Webinars - $120 Million in Tax Credits for Businesses

The next California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) application period starts Tuesday, January 3, 2023, with $120 million in available tax credits. Businesses interested in applying can register to view a live webinar explaining the application process.


CCTC is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to come to California or stay and grow in California and create quality, full-time jobs. Tax credit agreements are negotiated by Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and approved by the CCTC Committee. For more information about GO-Biz visit: www.business.ca.gov. 


The deadline to submit applications is Monday, January 23, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) and the online application website will automatically close once this deadline has passed. The online application can be accessed starting January 3, 2023, at www.calcompetes.ca.gov.  

Upcoming Webinar:


January 17, 2023

Details and Registration

For assistance, contact CalCompetes@gobiz.ca.gov or (916) 322-4051. An application guide, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), program regulations, and a downloadable version of the webinar presentation are available here

Exciting CAWG & Other Event Opportunities During Unified

There are several different CAWG opportunities to take advantage of during the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.

CAWG Member Discount - - REMINDER

Your CAWG membership entitles you to a $200 discount on your 2023 UW&GS registration. To secure your pre-registration discount, you must register no later than January 17, 2023. The registration discount may be used for all employees of your company, so the more you register, the more you save! You will need your CAWG code to register. REGISTER HERE

CAWG Conference Room Rental

Need a place to meet during the 2023 UW&GS? The CAWG Conference Room is located just two blocks from the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center & across from the Hyatt. The room includes internet access, space for up to 30 people, screen and conference room phone. You are allowed to bring in outside food and beverage. The room is available from 8 am - 5 pm, January 24 - 26, for $100/hr. ONLY available to CAWG Members! RENTAL INFORMATION

Awards of Excellence Reception

The 2023 CAWG Awards of Excellence Reception will be taking place on Tuesday, January 24, at 6:00 PM, immediately following the Unified Welcome Reception. CAWG will be honoring Dana Merrill, Mesa Vineyard Management as Grower of the Year and Jeanne Malitz, MalitzLaw as Leader of the Year. We invite all CAWG members to join at no cost. PRESS RELEASE

WGA Annual Luncheon

It’s that time of year again, where nationwide industry members come together for the Winegrape Growers of America annual Leadership Luncheon. The luncheon will take place during the 2023 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, at the Hyatt Regency, in Sacramento. The lunch program will include a special panel on "The Gentle Power of Collaboration" with several industry leaders, moderated by Jason Smith, Smith Family Wines, followed by presentation of the Rich Smith Award of Excellence. Please join us for an afternoon with good food, excellent wine, and an opportunity to network with your peers. REGISTER HERE


Join the CAWG PAC for a rockin' good time at the Torch Club on Wednesday, January 25 in downtown Sacramento. Live music will be on tap by Remedy 7, featuring our very own Michael Miiller (CAWG's Director of Government Relations) on drums. Sponsorship Opportunities are available! REGISTER HERE


CAWG Member Code & Conference Room Rental

Natalie Collins | natalie@cawg.org | 916-379-8995

CAWG Awards of Excellence & CAWG PAC Event

Jenny Devine | jenny@cawg.org | 916-432-0133

2023 Family Business Survey

Family Enterprise USA is a national organization that advocates on behalf of American multi-generational businesses. They are conducting their annual survey to gather data to show legislators in DC that family businesses are vital to America and our communities!

Please take the 5-minute survey and thank you for being supportive of our work!

Thank you, the Family Enterprise USA team




17 - Early-bird deadline for Unified Wine and Grape Symposium

17 - Webinar: Optimizing Labor Management with IntellliCulture

24-26 - Register Today! 2023 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium 

24 - CAWG Awards of Excellence Reception at Unified 

25 - WGA Luncheon @ Hyatt Regency Sacramento

25 - CAWG PAC Event @ Torch Club, in Sacramento

31 - Deadline to sign-up for Winegrape Crop Insurance



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