cum spp.) used to season Italian dishes and the chocolate (Theobroma cacao)
in tiramisu are New World introductions, peppers having been domesticated
roughly six thousand years ago in Mexico, and chocolate originating as an
unsweetened beverage in Mesoamerica in the second millennium BC.
While it may be hard for some Italians to accept the idea that most of their
cuisine was developed during the colonial era rather than in the banquet
halls of ancient Rome, an even more surprising revelation is that modern
Italian wine grapesgrow not on centuries
support in their communities and in
the church hierarchy for the strike and boycott. Although debates raged as to
the precise impact of the boycott on grape sales—and it varied widely from
place to place—there can be no doubt it served a crucial function in the
the bigger they are. . .
Th e two biggest growers in the Delano area, Schenley and DiGiorgio, were
the most vulnerable to the boycott. Both companies were owned by corpo-
rate entities with headquarters far from Delano. For each company grapegrowing was a relatively minor part of a larger economic
grapesgrow and which impart unique tastes—proved essential.
Although the common hop could be found across Europe, individual regions
had unique plants that had adapted to distinctive climates, elevations, and
soils. Such variations are called landraces. Beer makers and agriculturalists
selected the hardiest and most productive of these, as well as those that
off ered the best qualities in fl avoring and preserving beer. Along with the use
of local grains and yeasts, the hop selection contributed to regionally specifi c
beers. Th e fi rst German hops under
of the history and nature of the valley.
The interplay between fans and lowlands shapes much of the diversity of the
valley floor. Alluvial fans provide slightly higher, well-drained ground—the
famous grape-growing “benches”—before dissipating into the floodplains
and lowlands along the Napa River. Towns and roads were mostly built
on the fans, safely above major floods. The relatively porous fans percolate
water into the groundwater basin—water which reemerges in the lowlands
to support perennial streams and wetlands. In contrast, the lowlands are
commonly helps to create Cabernets.
In the lower Napa Valley, early visitors first encountered grand oak
savannas, lush year-round wetlands, broad riparian forests, and distinctive
vernal pool complexes. Numerous creeks converged into the valley from
the steep foothills. Many of them spread into seasonally wet meadows;
others, such as Napa and Milliken creeks, had sufficient power to carve
channels all the way to the river. Dry Creek, an important steelhead
stream, created the Oak Knoll bench, one of the most important alluvial
fans for grapegrowing
would blame malnutrition.30 “For
settlers on the Tejon there was not as much as a mess of greens to be raised
or gathered. . . . There was no butter,” and canned milk had to be “diluted
with stale water from a dry-season waterhole.”31 They ate mostly rabbits
and venison, purchased from the grizzly-looking “derelicts” they more
generously called “Mountain Men.” Mary, who could not bring herself
to eat canned food or game, stumbled one day on a profusion of wild
grapesgrowing in a canyon, and after a week’s gorging began to revive.
“Malnutrition” seems the perfect
his teenage years that he
would follow a similar path. He attended prep school on a track for agricul-
tural studies, and eventually earned his college degrees from the same univer-
sity as his uncle. Th is included a doctorate in plant production and wheat
breeding by the time he was twenty-two. Th e whole time, even though he
lived within hours of the most prolifi c noble-hop-producing areas in the
world, he never once encountered the plant in his studies. Th e agricultural
landscape of his childhood featured viticulture, or grapegrowing.25
monastery and the lay people acted
as laborers—or indeed as slaves—or whether the lay people controlled pro-
duction and sold on to the monastery is difficult to ascertain.66 Elsewhere
in the Buddhist world we see monasteries in control of the flour mills and
oil presses needed by the local community and also acting as banks, making
loans with considerable interest.67
Grapesgrow wild in the valley, and grape juice production in the area is
attested by the discovery of twenty tanks found at high altitude in local val-
leys. It is estimated these could have produced
gallons of wine are produced.
In these laboratories the standard is set for all brands of wine made by the
nine members of the co-operative.
About a third of the wine distributed by Fruit Industries Limited is pro-
duced by the Italian Vineyard Company; the remaining four or five million
gallons from its other affiliates are received here as raw wine.
In the Guasti area, California's third largest grape-producing district, and
in northern California's inland valleys, the growing of sweet-wine grapes
predominates; the principal dry-wine grape-growing region is
, there to contract vvith entire villages from the southern grape-growing
regions and move them to Fresno County. The French country people already
knew the crop, reasoned the plan's supporters. Nothing came of it. Note that
the French peasants con1bined two characteristics attractive to the growers: the
appearance of docility and European lineage. Fresno weekly Expositor, 7 Febru-
47. H. P. Stabler, "California Fruit-Grovver," 270; Fresno Morning Republi-
can, I January 1896.
48. H. P. Stabler, "California Fruit-Grower," 271.
49. "Report of Committee on Farm