There was once a city here in Southern California, a lovely replica and reimagining of a village from the Piedmont area of Italy. Once, it was the center of life for hundreds of families who came from the mountains of southern Italy to work for Secondo Guasti, who picked grapes and made them into wine and packed the barrels onto railroad cars. Secondo Guasti built an entire little world here, with a town named for himself. The surrounding land was planted in vineyards, grapes famous for sacramental wines, communion wines, and a world-famous dark red port. The Italian Vineyard Company was the largest vineyard in the world in 1917, with 5,000 acres of grapevines that produced 5 million gallons of wine a year, vintages that were sent all over the world.

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