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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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One Nation

One Nation

The Importance of Ethnic Cooperation

(p.93) Chapter Four One Nation
Soft Soil, Black Grapes

Simone Cinotto

NYU Press

This chapter examines the role of ethnic cooperation in the success of Piedmontese immigrants as winemakers in California. According to Sebastian Fichera, a historian who chronicles San Francisco's Italian community, Piedmont-born winemakers were so successful on the Pacific Coast because of their participation in an ethnic economy that integrated fellow Italian entrepreneurs, financiers, workers, middlemen, retailers, and consumers. He argues that sociocultural factors are at work in the success of the community as a whole by assigning full credit to the presence of a solid initial core of Northern Italian immigrants in San Francisco. Fichera considers Andrea Sbarboro and Pietro Carlo Rossi as the most important pioneers of the Italian adventure in California winemaking, as well as some of the best representatives of the group of middle-class merchants, bankers, and businessmen who spread crucial cooperative spirit among San Francisco's Italian American community.

Keywords:   ethnic cooperation, Piedmont, winemakers, California, Sebastian Fichera, ethnic economy, Italian entrepreneurs, Italian immigrants, winemaking, cooperative spirit

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