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Rest assured, your Nonno and Nonna weren't worried about their carbon footprint. In the old days people carried their own jugs to wineries to refill because it was both economical and the way things were done.

Refillable jugs are still a very common practice in Europe where, along with foie gras and early retirement, old-school practices seldom end. Here in Sonoma County., where the ties to the old country remain strong and there's a romantic attachment to the days of Prohibition rebels and speakeasies, refillable jugs are making a comeback, sealed by an environmentally friendly kiss.

At Simi Winery in Healdsburg, everything old is new again with the introduction of Maiale Cieco, a 2-liter red wine blend that comes in a refillable growler. At 135 years old, it's one of the county's oldest standing wineries and one of the few to remain operational during Prohibition, where they used to fill jugs from their original cask tasting room.

Maiale Cieco is Italian for "blind pig," meant to connote the kinds of "unusual attractions" speakeasies would advertise and charge a cover to come and see during Prohibition, a ruse that really just meant you had to pay to drink.

"People fall in love with the story of bringing this jug wine back," said visitor center manager Damy Tamburrino. "It brings them back to the old country they've seen before, in Europe."

The founders of Simi Winery, Giuseppe and Pietro Simi, came to California from Italy in 1859. In their native Tuscany at the time, winemakers would load a wine barrel onto a pony or donkey cart and travel through the streets of the village or to workers in the fields to sell their wine. People would bring their own glasses or jugs to be refilled from the barrel. Many such practices still remain.

Simi's Maiale Cieco costs $46 for the first fill with the jug and $36 thereafter for each refill. Its inaugural blend, released last December, consisted of Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and pinot noir. The current blend (it changes every six months) is cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, petite sirah and graciano.

Simi has sold about 300 of the growlers and sees regulars, mostly locals, coming in two to three times a month to refill them. To keep things fresh, the winery has built a bottling line in the tasting room that allows them to refill sanitized growlers from a keg with a nitrogen line in it. They take the empty growlers, clean them, refill, seal, sign and label.

Tamburrino has decorated Simi's tasting room in a pig theme, from shirts to tap handles. He says that with the pork-centered Bovolo and Charcuterie restaurants nearby, "it fits this region to celebrate the pig."

Other wineries that offer refillable jugs locally include Foppiano (another pre-Prohibition winery, bonded in 1896), DaVero, Preston and Martin Ray.

Cahill Winery -- This small multi-family operation offers 1-gallon jugs of California Red Wine ($20; $18 each refill) from its apple-tree-lined Green Valley winery complete with bocce court. 4950 Ross Road, Sebastopol, 823-1335, cahillwinery.com.

DaVero -- The Healdsburg winery and olive oil producer is about to release a non-vintage Daily Red jug wine for $22. 766 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 431-8000, davero.com. Sign up online for DaVero's mailing list to find out when it will be available.

Foppiano Vineyards -- This old, old, old winery, founded in 1896, offers its Lot 96 Sonoma County 2009 Petite Sirah, meant to be enjoyed as an everyday red table wine, in refillable jugs filled from a tap in the tasting room. 12707 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, 433-7272, www.foppiano.com.

Martin Ray Winery -- Originally known as Martini & Prati and established in 1902, Martin Ray in the Russian River Valley makes a 750-ml (the standard bottle size) jug wine called Red that can be refilled. The 2009 vintage was a blend of carignane, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, zinfandel and merlot. The 2010 -- 100 percent syrah from Sonoma and Mendocino county vineyards -- has just been released and at just $13 is already a bestseller. 2191 Laguna Road, Santa Rosa, 823-2404, www.martinraywinery.com.

Portalupi Wine Company -- In downtown Healdsburg, Portalupi's Milk Jug, a field-blend-inspired red wine, is available in 1-liter ($28) or 1.9 liter ($48) sizes. They're working on plans to make the jugs refillable. 107 North St., Healdsburg, 395-0960, www.portalupi.com.

Preston of Dry Creek -- An advocate of all things sustainable, Preston has long hosted Jug Wine Sundays, a chance to visit and get a refillable jug of Guadagni, a red table wine, that's the equivalent of four bottles of wine and yet only $34. 9282 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 433-3372, www.prestonvineyards.com.

Simi Winery -- Come in for your 2-liter jug of Maiale Cieco and pig paraphernalia, just $46 for the first fill with jug and $36 for each refill. 16275 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 433-3686, www.simiwinery.com.

The Wine Garage -- The affordably minded wine shop in Calistoga offers a refillable jug program, featuring two different blends, one Bordeaux (cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, merlot and petit verdot), one Rhone (syrah, zinfandel, grenache, mourvedre and petite sirah), that are pumped into half-gallon jugs from specially designed gas nozzles. The equivalent of 2? bottles of wine, they sell for $30 per jug and can even be shipped to friends and family. 1020 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga, 942-5332, winegarage.net.

Virginie Boone is a freelance wine writer based in Sonoma County. She can be reached at virginieboone@yahoo.com.