BOOK - THE GREAT PROHIBITION CAPER

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BOOK - THE GREAT PROHIBITION CAPER
BOOK - THE GREAT PROHIBITION CAPER

Third-generation winery owner John E. Bargetto tells the whole tale (and more) in his 45-page soft-bound book. He also includes his family history, delicious Italians recipes handed down through the generations, and photos of the early winery.

In 1910, brothers Phillip and John Bargetto, émigrés from Piedmont, Italy, founded their original winery in San Francisco. In 1917, with Prohibition on the horizon, they moved to the town of Soquel, located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Here, among the towering redwoods, they grew apples, vegetables, and grapes, and made wine. The brothers legally produced five barrels of wine each year for their two families in the Santa Cruz Mountains … plus, maybe, just a little extra for friends and neighbors.

Suspicions were aroused, and when the Revenuers came calling in 1928, they uncovered 22 barrels of very good red wine tucked away behind a tarp in the old barn. However, because it was getting late and mountain roads are twisty, the Treasury men simply melted wax over the bungs and stamped them with the official seal to prevent tampering before heading home. When they returned 10 days later, they drained the barrels of the now very watery (some might say suspiciously watery) pink wine into the creek. The brothers officially opened Bargetto Winery the day Prohibition ended.

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