by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
October 9, 2000
With permission from California's Governor, Haraszthy brought sample cuttings of foreign grape varieties to california in 1861. His careful and scientific methods of selecting, planting and grooming the grapes earned him the title of 'Father of California Wines'. Today, his estate and vineyards are available for visitors to see and enjoy at Buena Vista Winery.
Much of Sonoma's prosperity faltered in the 1920's, with the onset of prohibition, but Buena Vista was one of the few wineries which remained open to make wines for sacramental and medicinal purposes. The current revival of interest in wines began in the 1960s and today the wine industry flourishes once again.
A visit to Buena Vista Winery, just a short distance from the plaza, is a definite must for visitors. Located on a lovely hilltop just above the center of town it offers lovely shaded picnic areas, and self-guided tours as well as daily guided historical presentations.
A short, pleasant walk along a lane of crepe myrtle, pine and aspen trees brings you to the lower picnic area where you see stacked oak barrels and the huge, ornately carved barrel of Colonel Haraszthy.
Complimentary tastings are available in the elegant tasting room at a wide bar done in richly carved wood. Special 'select edition' tasting are also available for a small fee. Picnic fare is available and a very nice array of tastefully crafted wine souveneirs items are on display for purchase in the gift shop.
The winery is open daily from 10am to 5pm and ample parking is available. (Historic presentations are given daily at 2pm). Picnic tables are available at no cost.
From journal Historic Sonoma