Count Agoston Haraszthy Returns

On Sunday afternoon we had the pleasure of attending a wine tasting party in San Mateo at the office of the Honorary Consul General of Hungary, Eva E. Voisin, to announce Count Agoston Haraszthy’s upcoming 200th Birthday Celebration on September 1, 2012, in Sonoma. The Buena Vista wines that were poured were donated by Jean-Charles Boisset, the current owner of the winery.

Buena Vista Winery

Buena Vista Winery

As you may know, the Count is known as the “Father of California Viticulture” and the entrepreneur who founded Buena Vista Winery in 1857. The Count emigrated from Hungary in 1840 and was involved in various business ventures in Wisconsin, San Diego and San Francisco before settling in Sonoma. He spent years experimenting with many different grapevines he had imported from Europe.

The town of Sonoma, where the Buena Vista winery is located, has developed a sister city relationship with the city of Tokaj (pronounced Tokai), one of the top wine producing towns in Hungary. Tokaj is also the city where Count Agoston Haraszthy had helped his father make wine.

A year ago the Boisset family purchased the Buena Vista Winery and is retrofitting the wonderful cave system that was closed after it had been damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake. The construction is scheduled to be completed by mid-August.

The actor playing Count Agoston Haraszthy is George Webber, who previously had spent
years impersonating General Mariano Vallejo in Sonoma. He has been hired by Buena Vista to be the ambassador for the winery and to play the role of the winery’s founder.

In this slide movie presentation, we learn some facts about the Count’s role in the history of California wine.

On September 1st, 11 am to 2 pm, there will be a birthday celebration in the Sonoma Plaza honoring the Count’s 200 birthday.

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