Sonoma's Swiss Hotel
2000 - 5:30 mins
Directed by: Claudia Laffranchi
DP/Camera and editing by: Alberto Engeli
for TSI-Swiss TV
Napa Valley is world famous for its wine, but grape-related products go well beyond wine, as the Pestoni's, owners of Rutherford Grove Winery and the Upper Valley recycling facility, will show us. Faithful to their roots as a farming family and to their commitment to recycling, the Pestoni's a family of Swiss-Italian heritage- don't waste anything, and prove that everything can be used out of grapes.
In order to experience a little bit of California as it was in the pioneers' era, one of the best places to visit is Sonoma, a small town 50 miles north of San Francisco which has retained most of its old-fashioned charm. Sonoma was founded in 1834 by the Mexican landowners who, at the time, were controlling all of California, then know as "Alta California". The town is full with historical buildings; among them is the Swiss Hotel, which has been managed for four generations by the Marioni family, a family of Swiss-Italian origins.
This hotel is in a way the unofficial museum of Sonoma, a town which had a very important role in California's history, since it was on the town's Plaza that California declared its independence from Mexico on June14th, 1846, before becoming part of the United States of America in 1850.