Immigrant Wine Growers Shape Napa Valley

on 20/10/10 at 12:52 pm

Booze News

Robledo Vineyard

The American Dream always awakes and inspires recent immigrants. Napa Valley is no exception. Charles Krug, a 27-year-old Prussian immigrant, founded the first winery in 1861. Other Europeans, particularly Italians, Germans and French, followed. In 1966, Robert Mondavi, of Italian descent, built Napa Valley’s first major winery and shaped the Valley into one of the most important wine growing regions in the world. Well, so much for romantic history.

In 2004, Constellation Brands, a Fortune 1000 company that owns 100 brands in 150 countries, bought Robert Mondavi Corp. for more than one billion dollars. Widely regarded as the end of innocence for a young industry mostly run by family farmers, it also meant a new beginning for boutique wines. Growers with very different values emerged. Many of them are immigrants.

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