February 16, 2023




This week's eNews Includes:

  • CAWG News:
  • World Ag Expo & Self-Propelled Tractors
  • SB 375 - COVID-19 Tax Credit Bill
  • CAWG February Issue of The Crush Newsletter
  • Register Today - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day
  • CAWG Foundation Scholarships
  • Industry News:
  • Speaker McCarthy Opens World Ag Expo and Attends Farm Bill Listening Session
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein Announces Retirement at End-ofTerm
  • Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Climate-Smart Agriculture Nationwide
  • Preliminary Grape Crush Report
  • Ciatti California Report February 2023
  • California Competes Tax Credit Webinar
  • Upcoming Events:
  • Disaster Assistance Workshop for Small Business & Farmers
  • Webinar: What to Expect from OSHA in 2023: An Employer’s Guide to Developments in Workplace Safety
  • UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Off-Campus Programs
  • Immigration and Farm Labor Conference
  • FELS AB 2183 Card Check Training
  • Recent Advances in Viticulture & Enology (RAVE)


Wold Ag Expo & Self-Propelled Tractors

CAWG has been pushing for changes to a state regulation that limits the use of autonomous farm equipment. Past petitions by manufacturers for an amendment have failed. So, CAWG has led the effort to help inform regulators on the technology and safety of the equipment in an effort to clearly demonstrate the need to address the deficiency in existing law.  


This week at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CAWG staff helped organize a tour for staff and board members of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. They saw new equipment and developing technologies from John Deere, BlueWhite Robotics, Amos Power, Wilbur Ellis, SabantoMonarch Tractors, and others. Manufacturers were given the opportunity to answer detailed questions about safety and CAWG and Farm Bureau staff answered questions about why the equipment is needed.  


The next steps include the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board taking up this issue through a panel discussion at its hearing in Los Angeles on March 16. 

SB 375 - COVID-19 Tax Credit Bill

CAWG is sponsoring Senate Bill 375 by Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson) to provide employers with financial relief from the cost of compliance with the new COVID-19 workplace safety standards that took effect on February 4. SB 375 was introduced on February 10 and would provide an annual credit against state payroll taxes to reimburse employers for costs such as testing, masking, ventilation systems, exclusion from work, and other pandemic-based regulatory compliance costs.

“CAWG and our members appreciate the commonsense leadership displayed by Senator Alvarado-Gil in authoring this much-needed legislation. SB 375 will support California employers and growers throughout the state, including those in the foothill wine regions represented by Senator Alvarado-Gil, who are still recovering from the pandemic,” said Natalie Collins, CAWG President.

“The COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations make employers liable for a community-spread virus. This is nonsensical, especially in rural communities where small businesses are the backbone of the economy,” said Alvarado-Gil.

California’s emergency COVID-19 regulation recently ended and was replaced by the new regulation, which will stay in effect until February 3, 2025. SB 375 provides an annual tax credit which would be capped at $100 per employee for small employers and $50 per employee for large employers.

Read More

CAWG February Issue of The Crush Newsletter

Last week, the February issue of The Crush Newsletter was released.


  • Feature Story: Unified: State of the Industry
  • State Update: Do As We Say, Not As We Do
  • CAWG Awards of Excellence Reception
  • Economic Impact of California Wine
  • Vineyard & Winemaking Teams Share Tips for Success
  • CAWG PAC Event at The Torch Club - Thank You!
  • CAWG Advocacy Day
  • Webinar: Relief for Financial Losses from National Disasters and Pandemic
  • Webinar: Optimizing Labor Management with IntelliCulture
  • New COVID-19 Regulations
  • CAWG Foundation Scholarships
  • NGRA Elects Officers and Board of Directors

Read February Issue

Register Today - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day

CAWG Advocacy Day is taking place on Tuesday, March 14, at the Sutter Club in Sacramento. CAWG's lobbying team headed by Michael Miiller, CAWG Director of Government Relations, and Jack Gualco, The Gualco Group, Inc. are planning an exciting and informative day for you with key legislators and top regulatory officials.

Advocacy Day is your opportunity to talk with and educate key policymakers about important issues affecting your business. The day will begin with breakfast and a program with key speakers, followed by legislative visits.

Following Advocacy Day, CAWG invites you to a reception at The Gualco Group, Inc. office benefiting the CAWG Foundation.

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

Register for Advocacy Day

CAWG Foundation Scholarship

Each year the Foundation awards three 4-year scholarships and three 2-year scholarships to high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. Students may study the subject of their choice.

The three 4-year scholarships provide a total of $8,000 each ($24,000 total) for any campus in the University of California or California State University system. The three 2-year scholarships provide a total of $2,000 ($6,000 total) each at any California community college.

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).

The application deadline is March 4! Encourage your high school seniors to apply today!

Industry News

Speaker McCarthy Opens World Ag Expo and Attends Farm Bill Listening Session

On Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy opened the World Ag Expo in Tulare. Referencing his home district that included parts of Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties, he spoke of the important work that farmers do to provide food for our country and the world.

“No one grows it in the manner that we do with the security, the safety, and the plentifulness. My job, our job as legislators, is to unshackle that and allow you to continue to do your job,” McCarthy said. "Our job in the next Congress is to make sure you have the ability to do your job. That means at times, we’re going to be loud. That means at times, we’re going to have to fight. But I want you to learn one trait from me that I learned from the Valley: I will never give up.”

Shortly after the opening ceremonies, was the first ever Farm Bill Listening Session. House Agriculture Committee Chairman GT Thompson (R-PA) was joined by McCarthy and other ag committee members from California, including representatives Jim Costa, David Valadao, John Duarte, Salud Carbajal, Jimmy Panetta, and Doug LaMalfa. About 200 farmers, ranchers, and agricultural organizations attended the 2-hour long listening session to share how they will be impacted by the bill. From water to invasive species and trade to labor issues (while not currently covered in the Farm Bill), there was no shortage of topics covered. The current version of the Farm Bill is set to expire in September.

Senator Dianne Feinstein Announces Retirement at End-of-Term

After 30 years of serving as California's Senator, Dianne Feinstein announced earlier this week she will not seek a sixth term and will retire from the Senate. She will finish her current term, ending in January 2025.

“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024 but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” Feinstein said in a statement.

Senator Feinstein is the longest-serving woman in the Senate's history and also holds the distinction of having secured the most votes in any single Senate election, bringing in 7.8 million votes in 2012. Senator Feinstein, along with Senator Barbara Boxer, were the first two women elected to the Senate from California.

Potential candidates have already started throwing their hats in the ring and launching their own Senate bids. Rep. Katie Porter (D) announced her official bid in early January, while Rep. Adam Schiff (D), also joined the race a few weeks later. Feinstein told reporters she would make an endorsement “probably in a couple of months.” Senator Alex Padilla (D), California's second Senator, said he would remain neutral. 

Senator Feinstein's Retirement Statement

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Availability of Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Climate-Smart Agriculture Nationwide

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making funding available for agricultural producers and forest landowners nationwide to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices.

This additional funding will provide direct climate mitigation benefits and expand access to financial and technical assistance for producers to advance conservation on their farm, ranch, or forest land.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provided an additional $19.5 billion over five years for climate-smart agriculture through several of the conservation programs that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) implements. NRCS is making available $850 million in fiscal year 2023 for its oversubscribed conservation programs: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). 

More Information

Preliminary Grape Crush Report

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, in cooperation with USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service-Pacific Regional Office, today released the 2022 Preliminary Grape Crush Report. 


The 2022 crush (winegrapes only) was 3,349,662 tons, down 7.8 percent from the 2021 crush of 3,631,750 tons. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 1,885,875 tons, down 7.2 percent from 2021. The 2022 white wine variety crush totaled 1,463,787 tons, down 8.6 percent from 2021. 


Average prices for the 2022 crop by type: red winegrapes, $1,150.58 per ton, up 7.2 percent from 2021, and white winegrapes, $682.07 per ton, up 1.0% percent from 2021. In 2022, Cabernet sauvignon surpassed Chardonnay accounting for the largest percentage of the total crush volume with 15.4 percent. Chardonnay was second with 14.4 percent.  


Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $6,847.19 per ton, up 12.2 percent from 2022. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second-highest return of $2,858.39, up 6.4 percent from 2021. 

The 2022 Cabernet Sauvignon average price of $1,892.40 was up 13.8% from 2021 and the Chardonnay average price of $1,014.63 was up 3.9% from 2021. The 2022 average price for French Colombard was $330.64, up 1.9% from 2021, while the Zinfandel average price was up 0.7% from 2021, at $651.06 per ton. 

The Preliminary Grape Crush Report includes all grape tonnage crushed during the 2022 season. It also includes purchased tonnage and pricing information for grapes with final prices prior to Jan. 10, 2023. The 2022 Final Grape Crush Report, to be published on March 10, will contain any late reports or corrections to the preliminary report. Please notify USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service of any corrections for the Final Grape Crush Report by Feb. 28, 2023.

Preliminary Grape Crush Report

Ciatti California Report - February

California’s bulk wine and grape markets have been sluggish since the beginning of 2023 and it remains to be seen if a smaller-than-anticipated 2022 crop stimulates more activity.

The leading cause of buyer hesitation is apprehension regarding the economic picture in general, and signs of softening wine sales at retail specifically and this hesitation is likely to persist. The Ciatti California Report for February identifies what has been moving, and where. 

California received significant rain in December and January and no area of the state is in either of the most extreme drought categories for the first time in many years. As of February 1st, the Sierra Nevada snowpack was at 205% of the average, the largest since 1995. Signs are optimistic that there may be fewer water restrictions this growing season. 

Ciatti California Report February 2023

California Competes Tax Credit Webinar

The next California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) application period starts Monday, March 6, 2023, with at least $99.7 million in available tax credits. Businesses interested in applying can register to view a live webinar explaining the application process.


The online application can be accessed starting March 6, 2023 and the deadline to submit applications is Monday, March 20, 2023. To apply visit www.calcompetes.ca.gov.  

Upcoming Webinars:

Upcoming Events and Trainings

Disaster Assistance Workshop for Small Business & Farmers

Congressman Josh Harder is hosting a Disaster Assistance Workshop for Small Business and Farmers on Friday, February 17th. USDA Farm Service Agency, U.S. Small Business Administration, and the California Office of the Small Business Advocate will be presenting on the help they can provide and the assistance funding available to small businesses and farmers affected by the recent storms and flooding.


  • Friday, February 17, 9 AM, Robert Cabral Ag Center, Stockton

Registration Information

Webinar: What to Expect from OSHA in 2023: An Employer’s Guide to Developments in Workplace Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is more aggressive than ever, issuing more subpoenas for documents and testimony, and making more criminal referrals now than in recent memory. This webinar, hosted by Fisher Phillips, will provide employers a discussion of changes that have already taken place and what else to expect from OSHA, the agency charged with protecting America’s workforce, over the next year. Some topics will include OSHA National Emphasis Programs (NEP), inspection tactics, proposed rules, and recordkeeping and reporting. 


  • February 28, 2023, 1 PM

Registration Information

UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Off Campus Programs

The UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Extension and Industry Relations Program is going "On The Road" in Tulare, Mendocino, and San Joaquin Counties. During these education seminars, UC Davis will present research currently being done and discuss issues that are important to the winegrape and wine industry.


  • February 28, 2023, 9 AM, University of California Research & Extension Center, Hopland
  • March 9, 2023, 9 AM, Lodi Grape Festival Grounds

Registration Information

FELS AB 2183 Card Check Training

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. 



  • March 3, 2023, 10 AM, Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Register Here

Recent Advances in Viticulture & Enology (RAVE)

The UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology will present "Recent Advances in Viticulture & Enology (RAVE)." The seminar provides the opportunity for active participants in the wine and winegrape industry to hear researchers discuss their latest projects and ongoing research in an open forum where discussion is encouraged.

Registration closes on March 12.


  • March 15, UC Davis Conference Center

Agenda and Registration Information

Immigration and Farm Labor Conference

The 2023 Immigration and Farm Labor Conference will feature an opening session devoted to the outlook for immigration and farm labor; the latest data on farm workers and the H-2A program; and an exploration of how technology, trade, and other factors are affecting employment and workers in particular commodities.


There is no charge to participate, but seating is limited. To attend, you must RSVP by March 3, 2023.


  • March 17, 2023, UC Davis Law School

Registration Information

SAVE THE DATE - CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament

May 16 - Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa Valley

Join the CAWG Foundation for our 4th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament. The scholarship program is specifically for high school seniors whose parent/guardian(s) are employed by a CA winegrape grower. 

Register today!



4 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Deadline

14 - 2023 CAWG Advocacy Day

14 - CAWG Foundation Reception


16 - CAWG Foundation Scholarship Golf Tournament



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