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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Tour of Buena Vista Winery (photos)

Buena Vista in Sonoma is a state historical landmark. It's the first premium winery in California. There had been grapes in the state since the early 1800s, but it was Agoston Haraszthy, the founder of Buena Vista in the mid-1800s, who commercialized and modernized California winemaking.

The winery has gone through numerous owners in the 20th and early 21st centuries and had gotten a little stale. Jean-Charles Boisset, "the flamboyant Frenchman," purchased the estate less than five years ago and has been quite busy restoring Buena Vista to its past glory -- with some French influence.

At the end of May there was an open house letting folks go through and see what's been done. It's something else!

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

The approach to the main winery buildings is littered with various statues and wood cutouts of famous people. I'm not sure why some of them are here. Actually, not quite sure why any of them are here.

The historical cellar building

The Champagne Room, available for special tastings. Boisset imports real French Champagne from back home.

There is a historical wine tool museum. These are old wine making instruments imported from the old country. A bit dramatic, yes, like something out of a horror movie!

Need a souvenir? Something really tacky? How about a bobblehead?  There's one of the founder, Count Haraszthy. Okay, that's kind of humorous, but Boisset has one of himself? Weird.

This book was found in the Champagne Room. It says it all.

If you like what you see here check out the photo gallery at the web site for his JCB label. I'm still laughing! This guy must be great at parties.