May 9, 2024




This Week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • Spotted Lanternfly in California
  • California Increases Groundwater Supply
  • CAWG Foundation Awards $36,000 in Student Scholarships
  • California Wine Grape Acreage Dips in 2023, Could Plummet in 2024
  • Nominations Open for CAWG's Grower and Leader of the Year
  • CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

Industry News:

  • Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Workers from Heat Illness 
  • H-2A Roundtable Sessions
  • US DOL Rulemaking Final Rule Webinar
  • PD/GWSS Board Grants $2.7 Million in New Research Funding
  • Governor Newsom Calls on Half Moon Bay to Approve Housing for Farmworkers Following Mass Shooting
  • Constellation Purchases Sea Smoke
  • Will California Supreme Court Knock Anti-Tax Measure Off the November Ballot?

Upcoming Events:

  • CSWA Hosting In-Person Dry Farming Workshops
  • Webinar: California's New Workplace Violence Prevention Law: A Deep Dive in Preparation for the July 1st Compliance Deadline
  • UCCE Pear and Grape Field Day
  • UC Davis Grape Day in Oakville
  • Vineyard Irrigation Masterclass


Spotted Lanternfly in California

For the last few years, it has been widely understood that it wasn’t a question of “if” the Spotted Lanternfly would arrive in California, it was a question of “when.” Unfortunately, that time may be sooner than anyone would like. 

CDFA reports that the Truckee Border Protection Station on I-80 recently intercepted a Spotted Lanternfly egg mass off a large (30 ft tall) metal art installation coming from New York and headed to Petaluma. The station staff inspected and found 11 viable egg masses on the artwork, resulting in the shipment being rejected at the station and refused entry into California. 

An additional 33 egg masses were found through inspections by the State of Nevada and then by Sonoma County. Officials later concluded their final inspection only after they were confident that no egg masses were remaining. 

The Spotted Lanternfly has been designated by the Pierce’s Disease / Glassywinged Sharpshooter Board (PD/GWSS) as eligible for winegrape assessment funding to support research that would develop effective treatment of the pest. Additionally, CDFA is prepared to respond to the pest in an aggressive way as the Spotted Lanternfly could have a devastating effect on vineyards and orchards if it becomes established in California.

CAWG is sponsoring AB 1861 (Addis, D-Morro Bay) which would extend the PD/GWSS Board for an additional five years pending approval of a referendum in 2025. CAWG is also sponsoring AB 2827 (E. Reyes, D-San Bernardino) which requires state agencies to develop and implement strategies to detect, control, monitor, and eradicate invasive species.

It is most likely that the Spotted Lanternfly will come to California via egg masses on trucks, trailers, train cars, RV’s, etc. If you see a Spotted Lanternfly, please act immediately. Click here - Snag it. Snap it. Report it.  

California Increases Groundwater Supply

CAWG has been pushing for increased efforts on the supply side of sustainable groundwater management. In that vein, last year CAWG co-sponsored SB 659 (Ashby, D-Sacramento) The California Water Supply Solutions Act of 2023. That legislation was signed into law and requires the update of the California Water Plan to develop additional groundwater recharge opportunities that increase the recharge of the state’s groundwater basins. 

This week, Governor Newsom announced that for the first time since 2019, California’s groundwater storage has increased. This is due in large part to state and local actions to capture and store more water underground during last year’s historic wet season. In Newsom’s announcement, he touted an effort to expand “water supply and storage through groundwater recharge and other projects by over 400 billion gallons.”

The 2023 Groundwater Conditions Report shows California achieved 4.1 million acre-feet of managed groundwater recharge during Water Year 2023, which is nearly the water storage capacity of Shasta Lake. This is with an overall increase in groundwater storage of 8.7 million acre-feet statewide – equivalent to 26.1 million households’ usage over an entire year.

However, long-term groundwater storage remains in a deficit of nearly 40 million acre-feet over the past two decades. This means there is still a lot of work to do. SB 659 is intended to help support and guide those efforts.  

Quote of the Week

“Groundwater recharge is hugely important because it allows us to capitalize on wet years and save it for dry years. This past year showed us how much our growers are willing to step up and invest their own resources to capture as much water as possible for the sustainability of the aquifer.”

Elizabeth Jonasson, Westlands Water District

CAWG Foundation Awards $36,000 in Student Scholarships

The CAWG Foundation awarded $36,000 in college scholarships to eight students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower.

“Every year, it's an honor for the CAWG Foundation to grant these scholarships to the children of vineyard employees. Our workforce is the cornerstone of our industry, and these scholarships are a sincere token of our appreciation. The Board was deeply impressed by the ambitions, community involvement, and outstanding qualities exhibited by the scholarship applicants this year," said Davindar Mahil of Creekside Farming and Chair of the CAWG Foundation Board of Directors.

Thank you to CAWG members and the California wine community for your generous donations to CAWG Foundation scholarship funds. 

Four-Year University Scholarship Recipients / $8,000 each

Cindy Lopez, Calistoga, Calistoga Junior-Senior High School

Ariatna Navarrete-Gonzalez, Napa, Napa High School

Sierra Stevenson, Fairfield, Angelo Rodriguez High School

Leah Mauritson, Healdsburg, Cardinal Newman High School*

Ross Poletti, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo High School**


Two-Year Community College Scholarship Recipients / $2,000 each

Layla Lopez-Barrera, Petaluma, Casa Grande High School

Miguel Ninche-Sotelo, Kelseyville, Kelseyville High School

Dayana Torres-Gonzalez, Lakeport, Clear Lake High School

*$4,000 Special Award

**$2,000 Special Award

Read More about the scholarship recipients.

California Wine Grape Acreage Dips in 2023, Could Plummet in 2024

California's wine grape acreage declined nearly 1% in 2023, with expectations of a steeper drop this year due to oversupply. Capital Press released an article this week quoting Natalie Collins, CAWG President.

The USDA estimated California's wine grape crush at 3.9 million tons in 2023, a 6.2% increase from the previous year. However, about 400,000 tons of grapes were left on the vine, indicating an imbalance in the market.

Collins highlighted the need to remove 50,000 to 100,000 acres of wine grapes to restore balance to the industry. Growers have struggled to secure contracts, leading to vineyard removals, particularly in interior regions like the San Joaquin Valley. The USDA and California Department of Food and Agriculture reported a decrease of 5,000 acres of wine grape acreage to 610,000 acres, primarily from bearing vines.

The California wine industry supports the state's economy with 422,000 jobs and has an economic impact of roughly $73 billion.

Read the full article here.

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

Nominations are open for the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) 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.

CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament - Less than 2 weeks AWAY!

Get ready to tee off for a good cause at the California Association of Winegrape Growers Foundation's 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament!

Register today and join us on Monday, May 20, at the scenic Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis, CA. 

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. 

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. 

Even if you don't golf, you can still be a part of the fun! We are looking for volunteers, raffle prizes, and vendor sponsors. Please complete this brief survey if you are interested in volunteering.

  • Vendor Hole Sponsor & Raffle Prizes: If you have an item you would like to donate to the raffle or if you are a vendor interested in sponsoring a hole, please let us know by completing the survey.
  • Volunteers: Please join us for a fun day out on the course by volunteering. If interested please select the times you are available. We are looking for volunteers to help set up (registration, raffle items, games on course); manage the games on the course, and a floater to provide those on the course a break.

Hotel Recommendations

Download Golf Tournament Flyer

Industry News

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Workers from Heat Illness 

This weekend temperatures throughout the state are estimated to reach 90 degrees. As temperatures rise, employers must be prepared to protect workers from heat illness. Cal/OSHA’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor worksites. 

Cal/OSHA, along with the Nisei Farmers League and other agricultural associations, is hosting in-person heat illness prevention training sessions for employers and workers tomorrow, May 10 at the C.P.D.E.S. Portuguese Hall, 172 W. Jefferson Avenue in Easton.  

  • Spanish training from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
  • English training from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Additional information about heat illness prevention, including a recording of the April 24 Heat Illness Prevention network meeting is posted on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page.

H-2A Roundtable Sessions

The Agricultural Personnel Management Association is hosting H-2A Roundtable discussion in Salinas and Sonoma next week. Please find the details below. Please find registration and event details below:

  • May 13 Salinas - Spanish Session, 1-5 PM, Elks Lodge, 614 Airport Blvd., Salinas
  • May 14 Salinas - English Session, 8 AM - 3 PM, Elks Lodge, 614 Airport Blvd., Salinas
  • May 16 Sonoma - English Session, 8 AM - 3 PM Sonoma County Farm Bureau, 3589 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa

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:


Governor Newsom Calls on Half Moon Bay to Approve Housing for Farmworkers Following Mass Shooting

Shared from Governor Gavin Newsom's Office


Governor Gavin Newsom today released a statement calling on the Half Moon Bay Planning Commission to stop delaying the approval of a 40-unit project to provide affordable housing for senior farmworkers. The Commission’s delay follows a deadly shooting last year that exposed the dire living conditions of farmworkers in the area.

“Last year a deadly shooting brought to light the squalid living conditions of farmworkers in Half Moon Bay. Rather than do the right thing and approve badly needed housing for the workers who feed us, a 40-unit complex for low-income seniors is being stalled by local officials. This delay is egregious and jeopardizes the well-being of Californians. The state’s Housing Accountability Unit is reviewing the city’s actions and will take all necessary steps to hold Half Moon Bay accountable if the project does not move forward as state law requires” stated Governor Gavin Newsom.

Additionally, the Governor has called for greater accountability and has implemented new approaches to address the state’s need for more housing. 

Read the press release.

PD/GWSS Board Grants $2.7 Million in New Research Funding


To support cutting-edge research to find solutions to winegrape pests and diseases, the Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board (PD/GWSS) recommended $2.7 million in new funding for 15 research projects over the next three years. The Board also continued funding eight previously approved multi-year projects for $685,308 for the fiscal year 2024 – 2025. The recommendation was approved by California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.


The Board has invested over $57.7 million since 2001 in research and outreach to protect vineyards, prevent the spread of pests and diseases, and deliver practical and sustainable solutions. The steadfast funding provided by the PD/GWSS winegrape grower assessment ensures that California's winegrape industry can engage leading scientists in discovering solutions for PD and other serious pests and diseases of winegrapes.

Learn more about Board-funded research.

Constellation Purchases Sea Smoke

Constellation Brands has acquired Sea Smoke, a prestigious Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard in Santa Barbara County's Sta. Rita Hills. The purchase includes 1,100 acres of land, 256 acres planted with vines, a winery in Lompoc, inventory, and brand. The sale price was not disclosed.

Despite a slowdown in the U.S. wine market, Constellation has been acquiring wineries, shifting towards premium brands. Recent acquisitions include Schrader Cellars, Booker Vineyard, Lingua Franca, and Domaine Curry. Constellation is also renovating Robert Mondavi Winery.

“We are excited to add Sea Smoke to our fine wine portfolio, aligning with consumer-led premiumization trends,” said Sam Glaetzer, EVP and president of the Wine & Spirits division.

Sea Smoke, founded in 1998 by Bob Davids, quickly gained acclaim for its Pinot Noirs. The estate is now farmed biodynamically and produces 20,000 cases annually.

Will California Supreme Court Knock Anti-Tax Measure Off the November Ballot?

When California voters passed Proposition 13, 46 years ago, it sparked a long-standing conflict over tax policy. Since then, public employee unions and government spending beneficiaries have sought to repeal or modify Prop. 13 to ease tax restrictions. Conversely, business interests and anti-tax groups like the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association have pushed for measures to make new taxes harder to implement. Despite pro-tax dominance in the Capitol, anti-tax forces have largely succeeded in post-Prop. 13 ballot battles.

A recent ballot measure backed by the California Business Roundtable aims to require voter approval for new state taxes, increase the voter approval threshold for taxes to two-thirds, and reclassify many fees as taxes needing voter approval. However, its appearance on the ballot is in question as Gov. Gavin Newsom and others argue it constitutes a constitutional revision, not an amendment. The state Supreme Court must decide by June 27 whether the measure can proceed. If allowed, it could lead to a significant battle in the electoral arena, possibly extending California's longstanding tax policy conflict.

Read More

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, Mendocino, 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.

Mendocino Workshop: Tuesday, May 14, 2024

8 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Pacini Vineyard

3150 Mill Creek Road 

Ukiah, CA 95482

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

Webinar: California's New Workplace Violence Prevention Law: A Deep Dive in Preparation for the July 1st Compliance Deadline

Join Fisher Phillips, LLP for a webinar focused on preparing for SB 553 requiring employers to create and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) and conduct training by July 1, 2024. Developing and implementing the WVPP has been a significant undertaking for employers, as the law requires comprehensive multi-prong procedures including identifying and evaluating unsafe conditions in the workplace, and reporting, responding to, and investigating workplace violence incidents. Employers must also conduct training for employees that covers their tailored WVPPs and the workplace violence hazards specific to their employees’ jobs and answer any employee questions.  

When and Where:

  • May 16, Zoom

Register Here

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, Robert Cabral Agriculture Center, Oakville Station

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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