April 18, 2024




This Week's eNews Includes:

CAWG News:

  • Unintended Consequences
  • Wildfire Smoke Exposure - Stakeholder Advisory Meeting
  • California Agricultural Workers Earn Less and Work Fewer Hours Under Overtime Law Approved in 2016
  • CAWG's March/April Issue of The Crush Newsletter
  • Webinar Recording: Assessing Irrigation Automation - 3 Simple Steps to Calculate Your ROI
  • CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

Industry News:

  • LA Times Today: Global Wine Glut Compounds Headaches for Struggling California Vineyards
  • One Law Maker Wants to Improve California Regulations - CAWG Agrees
  • USDA Protects Hundreds of Crops from Invasive Fruit Flies with Five-Year Strategy 
  • New Study Shows How Wine Is Winning Over The 30-Something Crowd
  • California Remains the World's 5th Largest Economy
  • Renew Your Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification
  • Gas Prices Reach Over $5 Per Gallon

Upcoming Events:

  • Webinar: Hyperspectral Imaging for Grapevine Virus Disease Detection
  • Climate Science Workshop
  • U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit
  • 2024 UCCE Vineyard Irrigation and Nutrient Management Workshop


Unintended Consequences

As the legislature holds its first round of committee hearings on proposed legislation, in many cases, the unintended consequences of proposed legislation are being revealed. Below are three examples:

SB 1345 (Smallwood-Cuevas, D-Los Angeles) proposes to make it more difficult for employers when hiring to consider the criminal past of job applicants. This bill received pushback from CAWG and other organizations for obvious reasons. Interestingly, the author found that SB 1345 also conflicts with other legislation and regulations that are aimed at keeping workplaces safe from violence. Senator Smallwood-Cuevas has decided not to pursue SB 1345 this year.  

SB 1434 (Durazo, D-Los Angeles) proposes to reform the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fund. To accomplish this, the bill would raise UI taxes by an unspecified amount and would substantially raise UI benefits at the same time. The UI Fund is currently about $20 billion in the red. Senator Durazo has found that this type of reform requires an actuarial analysis to avoid the unintended consequences of making an already bad situation worse. CAWG is opposed to this bill and we are happy to report that the author has decided to shelve the bill for the time being.

AB 2149 (Connolly, D-San Rafael) proposes to address the awful situation where a 7-year-old student was tragically killed at school when a heavy gate fell on the child. The best way to address this would be for the Building Standards Commission to examine and potentially amend existing building standards for the heaviest gates. Instead, the bill requires that nearly all gates in the state be subject to repeated inspections or deemed a public nuisance even when the public has no access to those gates. This includes gates at a winery or vineyard. NOTE: A drafting error in the bill inadvertently exempts schools from the requirement for inspections. If AB 2149 advances, the bill will no doubt undergo substantial amendments in the months ahead. 

Wildfire Smoke Exposure - Stakeholder Advisory Meeting

This week, Natalie Collins, CAWG President, joined industry stakeholders in Portland, Oregon, for a two-day meeting to discuss the latest developments in assessing and managing the risk associated with wildfire smoke exposure on grapes in vineyards. Researchers from UC Davis, Washington State University, Oregon State University, and Extension Specialists provided updates on the progress of developing an air quality monitoring network, findings on the effectiveness of barrier spray applications, and risk assessment and mitigation measures in the winemaking process. These research efforts are supported by a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant.

Don't miss the opportunity to learn more about the latest advancements in wildfire smoke research. Join the West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Annual Smoke Summit on June 5 at 1:00 pm to hear directly from researchers on progress and next steps.

California Agricultural Workers Earn Less and Work Fewer Hours Under Overtime Law Approved in 2016

Alexandra E. Hill, associate professor of Cooperative Extension at the University of California Department of Agriculture and Resources Economics, presented her recent research virtually during The Winegrape Update last Wednesday to CAWG members.

The law, which phased out overtime exemptions for vineyard and agricultural workers, resulted in workers earning $100 less per week and working 3 to 5 fewer hours weekly.

Hill compared California's situation with states without similar overtime laws, using data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey and the American Community Survey. Notably, her analysis excluded data on H-2A workers and "non-crop" workers.

With California facing a significant budget deficit, Hill suggested alternative policies such as subsidies or tax credits. A new bill, Assembly Bill 3056, introduced by Assemblyman James Gallagher, seeks to modify the 2016 overtime law by increasing the regular working hours before overtime pay kicks in from 8 to 9 hours a day. CAWG supports this bill.

The Winegrape Update is a monthly virtual gathering designed exclusively for members, offering a unique opportunity to connect with CAWG staff, industry guests, and fellow members. The next WineGrape Update will be on May 8.

Read More

CAWG's March/April Issue of The Crush Newsletter

Earlier today, the March/April issue of The Crush Newsletter was released.


  • Feature Story: Building Resiliency in Vineyard Operations
  • Federal Focus: CAWG Delegation in Washington, D.C.
  • State Update: Are Tied-House Laws Outdated
  • CAWG History: Beginning and Early Years: 1974-1989
  • CAWG Advocacy Day 2024
  • Ag Tech Webinar Recordings
  • Awards of Excellence - Call for Applications
  • 2023 Final Grape Crush Report
  • Advertise in CAWG's Membership Directory
  • CAWG Foundation's Golf Tournament
  • CAWG Foundation Scholarships

Ads from BASF and G3.

Webinar Recording: Assessing Irrigation Automation - 3 Simple Steps to Calculate Your ROI

This week CAWG hosted a webinar with Lumo to explore irrigation automation and what it can do for your operation. To fully understand if automating your irrigation makes sense, growers need to factor in several variables, such as:


·   Current irrigation costs 

·   Projected irrigation costs after implementing automation

·   The cost of investment and payback period 

·   The indirect costs and benefits of automating


Lumo walked attendees through a simple three-step ROI assessment to evaluate the business case for automating.

Watch the full webinar here.

CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament

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

LA Times Today: Global Wine Glut Compounds Headaches for Struggling California Vineyards

In the follow-up video interview by LA Times Today, Louis Sahagun discusses the challenges outlined in his front-page article titled "Global wine glut compounds headaches for struggling California vineyards," shedding further light on challenges facing California wine grape growers and the impact of bulk wine on local growers. 

One Law Maker Wants to Improve California Regulations - CAWG Agrees

California's Legislature has a team of attorneys to help draft bills, and State Senator Roger Niello believes state agencies should have a similar resource to avoid flawed regulations. Niello introduced Senate Bill 1104, based on an idea to establish an Office of Regulatory Counsel in the governor’s office to draft regulations until 2035.

Currently, the 600 or so regulations proposed each year are typically drafted by staff and undergo public hearings. The Office of Administrative Law reviews them to ensure they comply with basic standards and have clear language, but this review usually occurs late in the process.

Niello argues that if state agencies had a central group similar to the Legislature’s Office of Legislative Counsel, regulations would have a better chance of moving through the approval process. While Niello doesn't believe California needs more regulations, he sees it as inevitable that the Democratic supermajority will pass bills creating more.

The idea has support from various organizations, including CAWG.

“One of my most frustrating experiences is when a regulation is proposed and the agency says it does XYZ. And then we sit down with lawyers and we get the lawyers with them and they say, no, it actually does ABC because of these other provisions of law that it conflicts with and how it all fits together,” Michael Miiller, the association’s director of government relations said at Tuesday’s hearing. “We believe that if you have this office created by this bill, that those kinds of legal issues can be resolved.”

Despite some opposition, the bill passed through the committee 14-0 and heads to the appropriations committee.

Read More

USDA Protects Hundreds of Crops from Invasive Fruit Flies with Five-Year Strategy  

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released a “Fruit Fly Exclusion and Detection Program Fiscal Years 2024-2028 Strategy.” APHIS worked with the National Plant Board and state partners to create a roadmap to protect American agriculture from the threat of invasive fruit flies and to measure progress.


The five-year strategy prioritizes strengthening the following goals for fruit flies of regulatory significance: 

  1. Domestic surveillance to support early detection.  
  2. Management and emergency response to ensure timely mitigation. 
  3. Targeted and effective sterile insect technique for preventive release and eradication programs (assuring rearing facilities are maintained for efficiency and safety). 
  4. International and import efforts to mitigate against the introduction and spread of invasive fruit flies in the United States.  

New Study Shows How Wine Is Winning Over The 30-Something Crowd

A recent study by the Wine Market Council suggests that millennials are not abandoning wine. The study indicates that as millennials, now in their 30s, have become more settled in their lives, they are actually consuming more wine. High-end millennial consumers are spending more per bottle on average than baby boomers, showing a strong market trend.

The study, which analyzed data from 4,470 legal-drinking age Americans, indicates that millennials are now the largest generation and are leading in wine consumption, particularly in the high-income bracket. This trend is expected to continue as millennials age. Winery professionals have also noted this trend, with an increase in millennials purchasing higher-priced wine, wines that are considered "better for you," and wines that promote inclusivity. Overall, it appears that millennials are embracing wine as part of their lifestyle, contrary to previous beliefs.

Quote of the Week

“Millennials and Gen Z share a different relationship with wine then their parents did. They appear to embrace moderation, which is actually a good thing! The greater focus on health and wellness from the younger generations inspired our development of our zero sugar, low alcohol wine option, Sunny with a Chance of Flowers.”

Heidi Scheid, Executive Vice President, Scheid Family Wines

California Remains the World's 5th Largest Economy

Reprinted from Governor Newsom's Press Release

California has again ranked as the 5th largest economy in the world. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook was released on April 16 providing 2023 economic data for countries and regions.

  • California remains the 5th largest economy in the world since 2017. California is the 5th largest economy in the world for the seventh consecutive year, with a nominal GDP of nearly $3.9 trillion in 2023 and a growth rate of 6.1% since the year prior, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). On a per capita basis, California is the second largest economy in the world.

  • The U.S. far outpaces the rest of the world. The United States is still by far the largest economy in the world with a nominal GDP of more than $27 trillion. Based on IMF and BEA data, California, Texas, New York, and Florida remained in the top 20 economies of the world; Florida was the only state that fell a spot, slipping to 19th, overtaken by Spain.

  • India’s economy continues accelerated growth. India has been the fastest-growing large economy and remained the sixth largest economy since overtaking the United Kingdom in 2021.

Renew Your Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification

Prepare for the May 1st certification deadline by completing the 2024 Self-Assessment and reach out to your auditor to schedule an audit. 

There are four new criteria and four criteria with language changes. These eight criteria cannot be cloned and will need to be completed after cloning your scores to the 2024 assessment. Find more information on the changes in the Code Updates handout.

Helpful Recertification Resources: 

Not yet certified and want to learn more? 

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

Gas Prices Reach Over $5 Per Gallon

Gas prices are climbing as summer approaches. Experts suggest the hike in prices is driven by global events and refinery maintenance. The statewide average in California has risen to $5.45 a gallon, significantly higher than last year's $4.89. Sonoma County is experiencing averages of $5.71 per gallon, while Napa has the highest in the region at $5.77 per gallon. Santa Rosa and Napa are seeing prices around $5.67 and $5.70 per gallon, respectively.

Refinery maintenance at locations like Chevron in El Segundo and Richmond, along with the PBF Energy refinery in Martinez, has contributed to the price hikes. Gasoline supplies have fallen by almost 27% since mid-March, from just under 7 million barrels to approximately 5 million barrels. This decline, coupled with the ongoing maintenance, has led to the current price surge.

The price of crude oil has also risen to around $85 a barrel, up from around $80 a barrel in mid-March. Global events, including strikes in Ukraine and unrest in the Middle East, have impacted crude oil prices. Most of California's oil comes from the Middle East, so any instability in that region affects prices.

Experts suggest that prices may continue to rise in the short term but should stabilize once refinery maintenance is completed.

Upcoming Events and Trainings

Webinar: Hyperspectral Imaging for Grapevine Virus Disease Detection

Join the National Academies’ Committee on Grapevine Viruses and Disease Research for a virtual Q&A session with experts on the use of hyperspectral imaging for grapevine virus disease detection.


This session is commissioned by the PD/GWSS Board to strengthen its grapevine virus disease research strategy. The insights gleaned from reviewing existing research and conversations with researchers, grape growers, and other stakeholders will inform the committee’s final report, slated for release this summer. The report will serve as a strategic plan for the Board’s research funding strategy. Learn more.

When and Where:

  • April 19, 2024, 12:00 PM, Zoom

Register Here

Climate Science Workshop

In this 30-person Climate Smart hybrid workshop hosted by Napa Valley Grapegrowers, Professor Drew Isaacs will share the history of climate change and the science behind changing climate and its impact. Brianna Beighle of Patz and Hall and UC Berkeley's School of Business will discuss how to prepare for the changes in our growing conditions and strategies growers can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the underlying causes of these impacts.

When and Where:

  • April 26, Napa

Register Here

U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit

Join the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and co-hosts from California, Washington, New York, and Oregon to learn about cutting-edge sustainable and climate-beneficial practices being adopted in vineyards and wineries across the U.S. — and in the broader value chain. Be inspired and gain ideas on how to share sustainable winegrowing stories with consumers and trade. Engage in conversations and build community with others dedicated to sustainability in wine at the 2024 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit.  

  • 2-Day All-Inclusive tickets | Sold Out
  • Sustainable Winery & Vineyard Tour | Sold Out
  • Sustainable Wine Tasting & Dinner w/Keynote | Price increases 4/16
  • Day 2 Conference (May 1) | Price increases 4/16 
  • Virtual Tickets (May 1) | $50 
  • Virtual Tickets for Students (May 1) | $25 (when students register with a school email)

When and Where:

  • April 30 - May 1, Lodi

Register Here

2024 UCCE Vineyard Irrigation and Nutrient Management Workshop

Join UCCE for a free workshop focused on vineyard irrigation, and nutrient management practices in the San Joaquin Valley. You will learn the irrigation and nutrient requirements of young and mature grapes to ensure healthier vine development, better resource utilization, and more resilient vineyards in the face of climate change. Growers, CCAs, and other agricultural professionals are encouraged to attend. Workshop attendees can request one-on-one assistance from a farm advisor. Registration is required.

When and Where:

  • May 2, Robert Cabral Agriculture Center, Stockton

Register Here



20 - CAWG Foundation 5th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament


5 - West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force Smoke Summit


21 - CAWG 50th Anniversary Celebration



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