February 22, 2024




This Week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • The Family Budget
  • Overtime & Gesundheit
  • 2024 Advocacy Day - Register Today!
  • February Issue of American Vineyard Magazine - CAWG @ Work Column
  • CAWG Foundation Scholarships

Industry News:

  • How Many Bills In The 2024 CA Legislature?
  • Farmers From EU Countries Join Forces To Protest Agricultural Policies
  • The Future of California: Agricultural Innovation and Sustainability
  • Wine, Health, Dietary Guidelines, and Consumers
  • DWR Releases First Paper on Depletions of Interconnected Surface Water: An Introduction
  • Inflation Runs Hotter than Expected in January

Upcoming Events:

  • Wine and Distilled Spirits Inclusion to the Beverage Container Recycle Program Webinar
  • Sonoma Grower Education Meeting
  • Grape Crush Boundary Change Regulation: Additional Hearing Scheduled
  • UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Office Hours: Information about Spotted Lanternfly
  • 2-Day Regenerative Winegrowing Workshop
  • U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

REMINDER: CAWG Membership Renewals - RENEW TODAY!

Need a copy of your invoice? Contact Mindy DeRohan

Thank you!


The Family Budget


Every family in California struggles with finances now and then – one person thinks the finances are in order, while the other thinks maybe it’s time to sell the boat, and the family’s financial planner asks, “What boat?” 


One might hope that the State of California’s books might be clearer. However, this week’s report from the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) raises serious questions about the Golden State’s finances.


This week, the independent LAO reported that the 2024-25 state budget deficit has grown to $73 billion. Keep in mind that only a few weeks ago, Governor Newsom reported that the state had a $38 billion shortfall while at the same time, the LAO reported a deficit of $58 billion. Additionally, the Department of Finance recently reported that Newsom’s January estimates were around $5 billion short


The reasons for the huge discrepancy ($38 billion to $73 billion) include how one views the economy and measures the stock market. Regardless, everyone agrees that California’s budget is incredibly volatile as the state budget went from record surpluses to record shortfalls in only two years. 


All of this means that the State of California may need to sell the family boat. (And state agency administrators are hoping it’s not their boat.) That said, watch out for random strangers grabbing your wallet by raising taxes.  

Quote of the Week

“The state’s budget deficit is growing by the minute,” said Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Central Valley), Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “California is in a financial crisis.” 

Overtime & Gesundheit


Last week the legislature met its deadline for introducing new legislation for consideration before its end-of-summer adjournment. A total of 2,124 bills were introduced before last week’s deadline 1,505 Assembly Bills and 619 Senate Bills. Roughly one-third of those (674 bills) are placeholders that will be amended in substance in the next few weeks. In the months ahead, CAWG will be tracking or actively engaged on roughly 150 bills.


Of the bills of consequence, two bills seem especially noteworthy:


  • AB 3056 (Gallagher, R-Oroville) proposes to change the ag overtime requirement from 8 hours per day / 40 hours per week to 9 hours per day and 50 hours per week. This follows up on a recent UC Berkeley study that found that the ag overtime law passed in 2016 has not increased take home pay for ag employees.
  • AB 3106 (Schiavo, D-Los Angeles) would require employers to provide 10 days of paid leave to employees who contract COVID-19 and would also extend that leave requirement to any infectious disease. This could require 10 days of paid leave for employees who have a cold or the flu.


The interesting thing in this “good news / bad news” discussion of new legislation, is that neither bill is likely to become law. Labor unions will likely beat back AB 3056, and AB 3106 just lacks credibility. Nonetheless, CAWG advocacy efforts will use both bills as educational opportunities for the legislature. 


  • There is no doubt that the current ag overtime law has hurt ag employees. If AB 3056 is not the answer, the legislature needs to immediately revisit this issue in earnest and work collaboratively on a real solution. This issue deserves a deep dive to fix the terrible ag overtime law that is currently in place.
  • Additionally, while AB 3106 is sponsored by the California Federation of Teachers, all sides of the political spectrum agree that school closures in 2020 had a long-term detrimental effect on young people. Creating a leave program on a permanent basis, as proposed by this bill, is contrary to science, is incredibly expensive and provides no meaningful public health benefit. The legislature needs to stop looking at employers as the safety net for the costs of community spread viruses. 


In driving home these messages, over and over again, CAWG pushes for public policies that reflect the real world and appreciate the day-to-day challenges facing growers.  

2024 Advocacy Day

As a CAWG member, you have an opportunity to make a difference by joining us for Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 12, 2024!


The California Legislature’s count for new bills this year is 2,124. There is significant work ahead in Sacramento - this is your chance to participate in shaping policies that affect our industry.


One of the issues that CAWG will be advocating for this year is the need for labor laws that are workable and reasonable. Much of the new labor legislation just makes no sense for employers and employees alike. Additionally, we will be pushing for streamlined housing to be built for ag employees. 


Following Advocacy Day, CAWG invites you to a reception at Prelude Kitchen + Bar office benefiting the CAWG Foundation.

Register today and join us for Advocacy Day!

2024 Advocacy Day Sponsors!

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

February Issue of American Vineyard Magazine - CAWG @ Work Column

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

Each month CAWG will contribute to the magazine, discussing relevant industry trends. February's article focused on recent legislation introduced by Assemblymember Addis (D-Morro Bay) to extend the Pierce's Disease Control Program. This legislation is sponsored by CAWG and Wine Institute.

Read the February column online, hint - it's on page 12.

CAWG Foundation Scholarships

Each year, the CAWG Foundation awards six scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower.

The six scholarships are for either a University of California or California State University Four Year Program ($8,000 each) or a California Community College Two Year Program ($2,000 each). Students may study the subject of their choice.

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).

Since the program’s inception in 1998, the CAWG Foundation has awarded $603,500 in scholarships to help students pursue higher education. Generous donations from CAWG members and the California wine community fund the scholarship program.

The application deadline is March 1, 2024!

Learn more and encourage high school seniors to apply!

Industry News

How Many Bills In The 2024 CA Legislature?

Before last Friday's bill introduction deadline, 2,124 new bills were introduced in the California legislature. This includes 1,505 in the Assembly and 619 in the Senate. Last year, legislators introduced more than 2,600 bills, the most in a decade, and passed 1,046. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 890 and vetoed 156. With 2024 being an election year, lawmakers seeking reelection may aim to secure legislative victories.

Cal Matters reports on a few bills that made the last-minute deadline, including changes to daylight savings, artificial intelligence, and more.

Farmers From EU Countries Join Forces To Protest Agricultural Policies

Continued unrest and protests are sweeping across Europe as farmers voice their opposition to the 27-nation EU's environmental policies, including the Green Deal. These policies, which propose restrictions on chemical use and greenhouse gas emissions, are seen by farmers as hindering their businesses and increasing the cost of their products compared to non-EU imports.

Farmers from 10 EU countries, spanning from Central Europe to the Baltics and the Balkans, gathered on Thursday, driving their tractors and other vehicles to converge in capital cities and border crossings throughout the region to amplify their voices.

Read more in these articles below:

The Future of California: Agricultural Innovation and Sustainability

UC Davis' College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is sharing its latest research addressing innovation and sustainability virtually on February 29 at 12:00 PM.

Experts from across UC Davis will present, focusing on five thematic research areas:

• Identifying innovative solutions for agricultural byproducts

• Maximizing water and energy efficiencies

• Developing next-generation technologies

• Making crops more resilient and sustainable in the face of a rapidly changing climate

• Expanding access to nutritious food

The webinar is free but registration is required.

Wine, Health, Dietary Guidelines, and Consumers

A recent survey on consumer wine trends by Colangelo & Partners and Wine Opinions brings both positive and concerning insights for wineries. The survey reveals that wine drinkers aged 21-39 are actively exploring and adopting wine, increasing their wine consumption frequency over the past two years. Additionally, consumers believe that wine consumption contributes positively, albeit modestly, to their overall health.

However, there are challenges. The survey suggests that young consumers may be susceptible to anti-alcohol messaging. Two-thirds of respondents in this age group indicated they would reduce their wine consumption if the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommended no more than two alcoholic drinks per week.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines currently define moderation as two drinks or fewer per day for men and one drink or fewer per day for women on days when alcohol is consumed. These guidelines are updated every five years, with the next update scheduled for 2025. As this process unfolds, there is a growing coordinated campaign that includes negative press about alcohol and health, which could impact consumer perceptions and behaviors regarding wine consumption.

Read More

DWR Releases First Paper on Depletions of Interconnected Surface Water: An Introduction

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the first in a series of papers to help Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) address depletions of interconnected surface water (ISW) in their Groundwater Sustainability Plans. These papers will form the basis for a guidance document to assist GSAs in managing depletions in their groundwater basins.

The first paper, "Depletions of Interconnected Surface Water: An Introduction," defines ISW and discusses basic concepts and considerations for managing depletions. It targets both technical and non-technical audiences, including GSAs and other interested parties.

Papers 2 and 3, to be released later this year, will provide more technical detail on estimating depletions from groundwater pumping. Together, these papers will lay the foundation for DWR's ISW guidance document, also expected later this year.

Inflation Runs Hotter than Expected in January

The U.S. Department of Labor reported the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.3% in January compared to the previous month, up from December's revised rate of 0.2%. Year-over-year, the CPI rose by 3.1%, slightly lower than December's 3.4% but surpassing the consensus forecast of 2.9%.

The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, also showed a significant increase, rising by 0.4% compared to the previous month, higher than December's 0.3%. Year-over-year, the core CPI was up by 3.9%, the same as in December.

Read More

Upcoming Events and Trainings

Wine and Distilled Spirits Inclusion to the Beverage Container Recycle Program Webinar

CalRecycle is hosting a webinar for small wineries and interested parties regarding wine and distilled spirits inclusion to the beverage container recycling program. This webinar will focus on SB 1013 and SB 303 and the unique needs of small wineries.


When and Where:

  • February 23, 10 AM, Zoom

Register Here

Sonoma Grower Education Meeting

Join the Sonoma County Winegrowers, California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau for a Grower Education Meeting. The meeting will focus on updated tax laws and tax preparation, and an update on state and federal issues. 

Speakers will include Natalie Collins, CAWG President, and Michael Miiller, CAWG Director of Government Relations. 

When and Where:

  • February 27, 9:00 AM, Sonoma County Farm Bureau Office, Santa Rosa.

Register Here

Wine and Distilled Spirits Inclusion to the Beverage Container Recycle Program Webinar

CalRecycle is hosting a webinar for small wineries and interested parties regarding wine and distilled spirits inclusion to the beverage container recycling program. This webinar will focus on SB 1013 and SB 303 and the unique needs of small wineries.


When and Where:

  • February 23, 10 AM, Zoom

Register Here

Grape Crush Boundary Change Regulations Additional Hearing Scheduled

CDFA has scheduled an additional regulatory hearing for February 28, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. to be held virtually regarding proposed amendments to California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 3, Chapter 2, Article 1 – Reports by grape processors. The Notice was originally published on June 9, 2023 in Notice Register 2023, Z2023-0530-02.


The date and location of the regulatory hearing is as follows:

Date and Time: February 28, 2024 at 10:00 AM

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82828708910?pwd=TDF5M1EwQTdlbWxFWS96UVYya2x1dz09

Meeting ID: 828 2870 8910

Passcode: *YveyY6r

Call in: (669) 444 9171

Call In Passcode: 35645164


For more information, visit CDFA's website.

UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Office Hours: Information about Spotted Lanternfly

Join UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Office Hours for an information session focused on Spotted Lanternfly.

Cindy Kron, UCANR Integrated Pest Management Advisor, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties, will give a short presentation about Spotted lanternfly followed by a Q&A session. Topics will include the origin and current US distribution, host plants and preferred host plants (tree-of-heaven and grapevines), identification of life stages, and how and where to report sightings. It is free to attend but registration is required. 

When and Where:

  • March 5, 1-2 PM, Zoom

Register Here

2-Day Regenerative Winegrowing Workshop

Regenerative winegrowing is a dynamic approach that at its core is about profitably farming in alliance with the ecosystem.

This two-day workshop hosted by the Paicines Ranch Learning Center will lead participants to a deeper understanding of regenerative agriculture.

When and Where:

  • March 28-29, Paicines Ranch, Paicines, CA

Register Here

U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

Join the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and co-hosts from California, Washington, New York, and Oregon for the U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit.

Explore innovative sustainable and climate-beneficial practices implemented in vineyards and wineries nationwide, along with insights into the broader value chain. Find inspiration and gather ideas for effectively communicating sustainable winegrowing narratives to both consumers and the trade. Join discussions and connect with like-minded individuals committed to sustainability in the wine industry.

When and Where:

  • April 30 - May 1, Lodi

Register Here - Early Bird Registration Ends February 29!



1 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Deadline

12 - CAWG Advocacy Day and CAWG Foundation Reception


20 - CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament



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