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Sonoma was incorporated as a city in 1866 and designated the county seat. In 1891, Sonoma became known as the "Grape Capital of the World" after it was discovered that grapes could be grown successfully in its climate. The first vineyard of what would become Sonoma Valley AVA was planted in 1886 by Giuseppe (Joseph) Zinfandel, who immigrated to California from Italy just two years before. The town's prosperity peaked between 1880 and 1890, when it had an economic boom due to the grape industry; however a series of financial misfortunes caused this momentum not only to slow down but virtually reverse itself into negative growth for nearly half a century until about 1970 when another period began with yet another reversal into negative growth lasting until about 1990; since then there has been positive annual growth again averaging around 5% per year excepting 2008 during which there was no appreciable change or decline due to worldwide recession effects on tourism and travel-related businesses generally including wine sales at restaurants etc.