Sonoma’s Legendary Winery: Buena Vista
One of the first places I visited in Sonoma back in the ’80s was Buena Vista. It was much more low key than it is today, and the wine wasn’t as good, but the history. The history was one of the most important aspects of the winery back in the day. It remains such today.
A Place In California Wine History
Way back in the 1840s, Auguston Haraszthy de Mokesa had experience growing grapes. Born in 1812 to a wealthy landowner family in Hungary, he had lots of experience in farming and winegrowing. On the hunt for opportunity, he began his journey West. Stopping in Wisconsin, Chicago and San Diego he finally made his way to San Francisco. He discovered Sonoma in 1850. Recognizing the outstanding soils and microclimates in the region he purchased the property. Under his direction in 1861 Buena Vista employed the Méthode Champenoise on their sparkling wine. The first to be doing this in the state of California. By 1864 he had amassed vineyards of over 400 acres. Auguston took the initiative to call himself The Count of Buena Vista as he is still referenced today.
Our family’s philosophy has always been to abide by the rhythms of nature and follow her lead in the vineyards.
The Modern-Day Buena Vista Winery
Today the original structures at the winery are much the same as it was when Auguston was running it. The Boisset family of Burgundy purchased the winery in May 2011. It underwent extensive renovations and reopened in September 2012. The wine is far different from that it was pouring in the 1980s.
The original hand-dug cellars still remain as does the original Champagne cellar. Today it’s the Bubble Lounge. Here you can sip all kinds of sparkling JCB wines made under the Boisset name. You can also sip one unique Champagne made in France. The La Victoire Champagne is outstanding. Made from 70% Pinot Noir grapes and 30% Chardonnay. With aromas of citrus and freshly baked bread, and elegant body, the finish tantalizingly long. Relaxing in this luxurious space where you can enjoy your bubbles is a perfect way to end the afternoon.
The former press house now acts as the Visitor Center and Tasting Room. From honoring the founder of its estate way back in the 1850’s to the Wine Museum on-site premises. History is an integral part of this winery. Most of the pieces are from the Phillippe Bérard collection of wine regions in France and Europe. Some also come from the Boisset family.
The experiences here are many. From barrel tasting, winery tours, a “Be the Count” blending experience and more. There is also charcuterie on-premise and beautiful picnic spots. Buena Vista is an outstanding and memorable wine experience.
Contact Wine Paths Travel for more information and reservations.