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Soft Soil, Black GrapesThe Birth of Italian Winemaking in California$
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Simone Cinotto

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814717387

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814717387.001.0001

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The Ethnic Edge

The Ethnic Edge

The Economy of Matrimonial Strategies and Family Culture

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter Six The Ethnic Edge
Source:
Soft Soil, Black Grapes
Author(s):

Simone Cinotto

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814717387.003.0007

This chapter examines the economy of matrimonial strategies and family culture that helped Piedmont-born immigrants build their social capital in California. Marriage choices and strategies represented one of the most popular ways for Piedmontese immigrants to build their social capital, as proven by their remarkably high rates of endogamy. In the specific case of those who entered the wine trade, the inclination toward endogamy coincided with matrimonial strategies meant to optimize available resources and join forces between families active in the same trade. This chapter focuses on Piedmontese winemakers Pietro Carlo Rossi, Secondo Guasti, and the brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo and their attempt to create and then dominate a mass wine market in the United States. More specifically, it considers these Italian immigrants' investment in various family, community, and ethnic relational networks as well as their responses to the socioeconomic conditions they encountered in California.

Keywords:   family culture, social capital, California, marriage, wine trade, winemakers, Pietro Carlo Rossi, Secondo Guasti, Ernest and Julio Gallo, Italian immigrants

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