In Sonoma Valley about an hour north of San Francisco, there are many reminders of the immigrants who built California's wine industry: tasting rooms that look like Italian villas or signs bearing French names. But you won't see any vestiges of the group that made up an estimated 80 percent of the workforce that first put Sonoma vineyards on the map: the Chinese.
"Not many Chinese people in this little town now," says Jack Ding, an immigrant from Jiangsu, China, who has been living in Sonoma since 2008. "But some of my neighbors and friends said, 'Hey Jack, you're Chinese. Let me tell you stories of Chinese who lived here 50, 100 or 150 years ago.' These were verbal stories from the family, generation by generation."