efore there were vineyards in every valley north of San Francisco, before Napa and Sonoma were household names before there was a California wine world at all, there was Buena Vista. Founded in 1857, Buena Vista is California’s first premium winery, and its history is as colorful as it is proud. Today, the legend is being re-born under the vision of Jean-Charles Boisset. Just outside the town of Sonoma, the original winery is now a California Historic Landmark, and home to our Winery, Tasting Room, and Visitor’s Center.
Buena Vista. Our future is our past… our vivacious, colorful, and pioneering past!
uena Vista Winery has a rich, delicious heritage as the first premium-and certainly the most colorful of all of the wineries in California. And its founder, the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista,” Agoston Haraszthy, was a vivacious and eccentric pioneer with a veritable love and unending commitment to California wine.
Surrounded by his own tales of intrigue and political exile, The Count immigrated from Hungary in 1842 in pursuit of opportunity and freedom in the burgeoning American West. Following the forty-niners in search of gold in the hills of Northern California, Haraszthy sought “purple gold” – the perfect ‘terroir’ for exceptional wine. He ultimately settled in Sonoma, the birthplace of California and the capital of the short-lived California Republic, where he founded Buena Vista Winery in 1857.
A committed farmer, an experimental innovator and vintner, a respected author, a shrewd businessman, and a brilliant and incredibly zealous promoter, The Count is considered California’s most acclaimed and flamboyant vinicultural pioneer and evangelist.
Despite his abrupt death in 1869 in a crocodile-infested river in the jungles of Nicaragua and following the challenges of the depression, prohibition, and phylloxera infestation; his beloved Buena Vista Winery has not only endured but also prospered. Boisset Family Estates, a family with a true love and respect for Buena Vista, is passionately committed to continuing the imaginative vision and unrivaled legacy first created by The Count 150 years ago. Please join us in celebrating the rebirth of Buena Vista. Our brilliant history, our spectacular wines, and the extraordinary experience at our breathtaking estate.