January 26, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

  • 2023 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium - Thriving & Upbeat!
  • Reminder: Renew Your CAWG Membership
  • UW&GS - State of the Industry
  • Speaker Arambula?
  • Save the Date: 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day
  • US Senate Ag Committee Announces Upcoming Hearing on Farm Bill
  • Optimizing Labor Management with IntelliCulture Webinar
  • FELS AB 2183 Card Check Trainings
  • 2023 Family Business Survey

2023 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium - Thriving and Upbeat!

The Unified Wine and Grape Symposium just wrapped up its 29th year! A general feeling of excitement was shared by all from the invigorating keynote sessions, dynamic breakout sessions, and the infamous trade show, everyone was excited to be back together.

Below are quick facts about the 2023 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium:

  • 10,000+ Attendees
  • 650+ Vendors – Largest ever!
  • 96 speakers
  • 23 associations poured wine during the Regional Tasting

UW&GS Press Release

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.

UW&GS - State of the Industry

“The winegrape market might be frustrating in 2023 but opportunities still exist side by side with challenges,” said CAWG Board Member and Allied Grape Growers President, Jeff Bitter, during the standing-room-only State of the Industry presentation at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium this week.

Bitter was joined by Mike Veseth of the Wine Economist, Danny Brager of Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting, Greg Livengood of Ciatti Brokerage Co., and Liz Thach from Sonoma State University. The panel presented a comprehensive look at all aspects of the winegrape and wine industry.

Some key takeaways from the panel include:

  • The winegrape industry has been a roller coaster since 2020 and 2023 continues to be apprehensive for growers.
  • Three short crops, weather, modest planting rates, reduced impact from imports, and more contracted grapes are securing supply/demand stability.
  • Economic uncertainty, global competition, no proof of a growing consumer base, and under-performance of the largest wineries are that is threatening the supply/demand stability.
  • The largest growth segment for wine grapes is for wine in the $11-$25 price range.
  • Get to know your consumers and the challenges of marketing to younger generations.
  • Consumers want to spend more on wine and experience the best wine they can afford.

Read more about the UW&GS State of the Industry. Check out these articles from Farm Progress and Wine-Searcher.

Speaker Arambula?

Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) has been reported to be pursuing an effort to capsize the agreement within the Assembly Democrat Caucus whereby Anthony Rendon (D-Los Angeles) was elected speaker and Robert Rivas (D-Gilroy) was elected Speaker-Elect, taking over from Rendon on July 1. The Arambula challenge does not seem likely to succeed. 

Arambula is a physician who was elected to the Assembly in a special election in 2016 when Henry Perea (leader of the legislative moderate Democrats) surprisingly resigned from office to take a position in the private sector. In his 2016 campaign, Arambula ran as a moderate in the mold of Perea and Joaquin Arambula’s father, former Assemblymember Juan Arambula whose top legislative priorities included, “efforts to improve California’s business climate.” 

Arambula eventually left the Democrat party to become an independent when he believed the party was moving too far to the left in what is now called the “progressive” wing of the party. When Joaquin Arambula was elected, no one was surprised that he quickly took a leadership role with the moderate Democrats in the legislature.

However, over the past few years Joaquin Arambula became more and more aligned with “progressive” causes. Today, he no longer considers himself a moderate and is instead closely affiliated with labor groups like the UFW. Arambula’s campaign Facebook page is filled with labor union endorsements and includes this message, “Minimum wage loophole...closed! Overtime pay for farmworkers...won! . . . Stronger equal pay laws enacted.”

Typically, when a legislator attempts a leadership change, that person has a clear message and political strategy that benefits the caucus. Arambula’s message is a bit muddied at best.

SAVE THE DATE - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day

CAWG Advocacy Day is taking place on Tuesday, March 14, at the Sutter Club in Sacramento. The day will begin with breakfast and a program with key speakers, followed by legislative visits. The day will end with a CAWG Foundation reception at The Gualco Group, Inc. office.

Register today!

US Senate Ag Committee Announces Upcoming Hearing on Farm Bill

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and John Boozman (R-AR), Ranking Member, have announced the Committee will hold four hearings on varying titles of the 2023 Farm Bill.


All hearings will be held in Washington, D.C. with the first hearing scheduled on Wednesday, February 1, with a focus on the Trade and Horticulture titles.

On tap to testify are:

  • Alexis Taylor, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, USDA
  • Jenny Lester Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA
  • Sarah Charles, Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, USAID 


Future Senate Agriculture Committee hearings include:

  • February 9 – Commodity Programs, Crop Insurance and Credit
  • February 16 – Nutrition Programs
  • March 1 – Conservation and Forestry Programs

Optimizing Labor Management with IntelliCulture

CAWG hosted a webinar with IntelliCulture on January 17 focused on optimizing labor management.

This webinar reviewed 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, the webinar recording is available.

For a copy of the presentation, or additional information, contact:

Cole Powers, Co-Founder

C: 289-404-2653


FELS AB 2183 Card Check Trainings

Farm Employee Labor Service (FELS) 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. 



  • February 6, 2023, 1 PM, San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation
  • March 3, 2023, 10 AM, Sonoma County Farm Bureau

 Register Here

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




31 - Deadline to sign-up for Winegrape Crop Insurance


14 - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day



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