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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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Producing Winescapes

Producing Winescapes

Immigrant Labor on California Land

(p.47) Chapter Two Producing Winescapes
Soft Soil, Black Grapes

Simone Cinotto

NYU Press

This chapter examines the role of Italian immigrant labor in the success of Piedmontese wineries in California. The idea of California as a sunny, rural Italy resting on the Pacific Ocean was pervasive in the many texts that sought to promote the immigration of Italian laborers to the state during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Winemakers such as Andrea Sbarboro and Pietro Carlo Rossi played a key role in the campaign to support further immigration from the peninsula, and intensified their efforts following the opening of the Panama Canal that promised to lower the costs and times required to travel from Europe to California. This chapter discusses the experiences of the Italian Swiss Colony winery, the Italian Vineyard Company, and the E. and J. Gallo Winery.

Keywords:   immigrant labor, wineries, California, Italy, immigration, Italian immigrants, Italian Swiss Colony, Italian Vineyard Company, E. and J. Gallo Winery

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