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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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Work, Social Capital, and Race in the Experience of Italian Winemakers in California

(p.227) Conclusion
Soft Soil, Black Grapes

Simone Cinotto

NYU Press

This book has explored the importance of work, social capital, and race in the experience of Italian winemakers in California. It has presented the story of Italian immigrants in California as an interesting case of ethnic entrepreneurship and immigrant work in the United States. It has rejected the “Pavesian paradigm” as an explanation for why Piedmont-born immigrants had achieved success in the California wine trade, arguing that being from Piedmont did not automatically mean one had knowledge of the winemaking process, let alone the kind required by a modern wine industry. As seen in the experience of the Italian Swiss Colony's Pietro Carlo Rossi, social capital often helped Piedmontese wine entrepreneurs transform the significant disadvantage of being a foreign entrepreneur in the United States into an advantage.

Keywords:   social capital, race, winemakers, California, ethnic entrepreneurship, immigrant work, Piedmont, winemaking, wine industry, Italian immigrants

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