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by Nick Taddeo
About This Book
When young Italian immigrant, Amerigo Pugliesi, arrives in New York in 1916, he tells the immigration officer on Ellis Island his full name and declares his wealth: "I gotta seventeen dollar and a fifty-four cents."
With some training in the French and Italian vineyards, he's determined to become a winemaker. Moving West by working on the railroad, he finally arrives in Napa Valley. He finds, however, that he cannot even find a job as a barrel washer.
After being drafted and wounded in WWI, he returns and finally secures employment with a small struggling winery. With his determination and the help of a multitude of diverse minorities, he develops the winery into a decent operation. But then Prohibition hits, knocking out many grape growers and wineries. In addition, prejudice and bad weather send forces against him.
Against this backdrop, Amerigo's generational family continues to grow amidst personal tragedies, as well as pleasures.
About the Author
Though Night Wine is fiction, the development of the protagonist, Amerigo Pugliesi, can be traced to author Nick Taddeo's father and an uncle, both immigrants who introduced him to the art of winemaking.
Taddeo is a resident of Pasadena, California. Night Wine is his third novel.
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In Nick Taddeo's third novel, Night Wine, Amerigo Pugliesi, a young Italian immigrant, arrives in America with some training in the French and Italian vineyards and a total commitment to becoming a winemaker. He attempts to secure employment in California only to be drafted into the U.S. Army. Amerigo returns wounded from battle and finally lands a
job in the Napa Valley with a German farmer who was trying without success to make wine. Using his skills, Amerigo saves the vintage and becomes a permanent part of the Immelhoff
When Prohibition strikes, the vintners and grape growers must either sell grape juice or sell their land and wineries. Through friends Amerigo meets an attractive, adventurous young woman who becomes his wife, and so begins his family. After Prohibition is finally brought to an end, Amerigo, with the help of Mexican migrant farm workers develops the Immelhoff Winery into a small but fine winery. However nothing prepares him for the tragic death of his wife, and the challenges brought on by corporate takeover attempts and trying to adapt to new technology.
The story does not follow the usual or well-known families in the
Valley. It does, however, involve the multi-ethnic origins of the Napa Valley. Though the work is fiction, the development of the protagonist can be traced to Taddeo's father and an uncle, both immigrants who introduced him to the art of winemaking and the myriad characters who ferment, age, consume and sometimes even sell the elixir. Studying the smaller wineries in Santa Ynez and Paso Robles where the vintners were accessible and friendly gave him a good feeling for the early years. Researching the established wineries in Napa and Sonoma showed him how far the industry could go when the product is exceptional.
Night Wine is ultimately a story about the enormous influence diverse minorities have contributed to developing the California wine industry into the highly respected position it holds in the world today.
Night Wine was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered through local bookstores and at ForemostPress.com, and at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.
ISBN 10: 1-936154-38-2
334 pp, $16.97