Before 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, the winery has a rich and unrivaled heritage as the first premium — and certainly the most colorful — of all of the wineries in California. Its founder, Agoston Haraszthy, the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista,” was a vivacious and eccentric pioneer with a veritable love and unending commitment to California wine.
Just as we know today, the Count understood that great wine comes not only from great grapes, but also from great places. He chose the southernmost part of Sonoma Valley to build his winery due to the ideal location and ability to stretch his more than 6,000-acre estate into parts of Sonoma and Napa. Both regions offer a unique terroir — the magical combination of all the attributes required to create outstanding wines of a particular site — from the soil and the climate to the site’s exposure to the sun and the vine itself.
Through our current wine offerings, we are fortunate to uphold the legacy that was built by our illustrious founder. These wines are a culmination of the storied history of Buena Vista… a story like no other. They honor the estate’s original foundation in the Napa and Sonoma valleys as well as the influence and prominence that Buena Vista Winery holds in establishing Napa and Sonoma as the preeminent wine regions of California.
Our History and Legacy
Buena 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 Europe in 1840 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, birthplace of California and 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 continue 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.