During prohibition, the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages was illegal. Yet as everyone knows, rules are made to be broken. “Speakeasies” began charging visitors an admittance fee to see an unusual attraction, such as a blind pig. This “attraction,” was a mere cover for the illegal sale of alcohol to be enjoyed on premise or taken in a growler for consumption elsewhere.
One of my favorite Sonoma County heritage winery's, Healdsburg's SIMI Winery is revisiting the prohibition era with its recent release of its wine growler, Maiale Cieco, commemorating the lift of prohibition in December of 1933.
Filled with two liters of SIMI’s red blended wine, the growler can be purchased at SIMI Winery for $46 per bottle.
Environmentally conscious and committed to value, Simi will refill your bottle during your next visit for only $36. Pick up a punch card and receive half-off your 7th refill.
Acknowledging SIMI’s Italian history, the growler is decorated with a pig and stamped with the phrase, “Maiale Cieco,” which is Italian for “blind pig.” Now celebrating its 135th year, SIMI Winery is one of only a few wineries to have remained operational during the prohibition era, from 1920 to 1933.
Isabelle Simi, owner and operator of SIMI Winery during this time, sold wine for sacramental purposes, thereby keeping the winery afloat during a difficult period in the alcoholic beverage industry. Today SIMI continues to welcome visitors to the same tasting room where Isabelle Simi greeted and fed her own guests. With its legendary Italian hospitality and delicious food and wine, SIMI provides an authentic experience for wine, food and history lovers alike.
The SIMI Winery Visitor Center is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Winery tours are offered every day at 11:00am and 2:00pm.