The Italian American wine industry in California and Prohibition

Author/s Pietro Pinna
Publishing Year 2019 Issue 2019/289
Language Italian Pages 29 P. 11-39 File size 212 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2019-289001
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The approval of the Eighteenth Amendment of the US Constitution, which introduced Prohibition, severely hit the Italian-American wine industry in California. The difficulties generated by the new legislation produced an overall weakening of the industry, with the closure of many wineries. Some winemakers applied survival strategies, suspended between legality and illegality, exploiting the loopholes of the law and trying to find new economic opportunities. The last years before the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, marked by the Great Depression, were characterized by efforts of cooperation between viticulturists, a new ability to relate to public authorities and, when at the beginning of the 1930s Prohibition was clearly at its end, by a growing optimism. In the 1930s, the new generations of Italian- American winemakers became the big players of the industry, also thanks to the experience gained during Prohibition

Keywords: Prohibition, Wine industry, Italian Americans, California, Repeal, Great Depression

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Pietro Pinna, L’industria vinicola italoamericana in California e il proibizionismo in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 289/2019, pp 11-39, DOI: 10.3280/IC2019-289001