Simi Winery is the oldest continually producing winery in Sonoma Valley, staying afloat even during prohibition thanks to the business savvy of Isabel Simi, the owner’s daughter who took over when she was only 18-years-old. Giuseppe Simi and his brother moved from Tuscany to California hoping to strike it rich during the gold rush, but ended up making wine instead, producing their first wine under the Simi label in 1876. When they both died suddenly in 1904, Isabel took over, and when prohibition began she sold all of the vineyard holdings to keep possession of her cellars. She was anticipating a quick repeal of the act, and when her prediction came true she was waiting with 500,000 cases of cellared wines, while other wineries had to start over with the growing process. Simi had the first tasting room in all of California, held in a 25,000 gallon cask tank. Today’s tasting rooms are much more elegant, but the history is evident in everything the winery does. The majority of people working in the cellar are women, and Director of Winemaking Susan Lueker is one of the most respected winemakers in the area. Tour the historic cellars and take in the charming gardens with a tasting.