Celebrating the count’s 200th birthday
The Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee and Buena Vista Winery invite all lovers of Sonoma’s rich history and wines to a celebration of Count Agoston Haraszthy’s 200th birthday on Saturday, Sept. 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grinstead Amphitheatre in the historic Sonoma Plaza in the City of Sonoma.
This free event, in Grinstead Amphitheatre in the middle of the Sonoma Plaza, is open to all and will feature:
• Signing of the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Agreement
• Reading of the Haraszthy 200th Birthday Commendation Proclamations sent from major governmental entities
• A bi-lingual production of a 20-minute play: “The Count of Buena Vista”
• Hungarian music and dance
• Hungarian culture exhibitions
Haraszthy, founder of Buena Vista Winery and known as “The Father of California Viticulture,” was born in Pest, Hungary, on Aug. 30, 1812.
The Count came to California leading a wagon train in 1849, was elected to the California State Assembly, ran the San Francisco Mint and in 1857 founded Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma. He saw the great potential in Sonoma for world-class wine and famously suggested that California would become more famous for wine than for the gold that had originally attracted so many early Californians.
The Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee was created in the spring of 2012, and is comprised of Hungarian-Americans in Sonoma and the Bay Area. The Cities of Sonoma and Tokaj, Hungary, have become sister cities and a delegation from Tokaj, led by the Mayor of Tokaj, János Májer, will be in Sonoma to celebrate the count’s birthday and sign the official documents making Sonoma and Tokaj sister cities.
The Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee is sponsored by Buena Vista Winery, which is also celebrating the near-completion of the extensive restoration of its historic winery by its new owner Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates.
Since the beginning of the year, Boisset has donated $1 for every bottle of the count: Founder’s Red Wine sold in the tasting room to the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee.
A check will be presented at this event for the amount raised of $2,500.
These funds are being used to offset the costs of the visit by the Hungarian delegation, and on future collaborative programs focusing on student exchanges in the wine industry between Tokaj and Sonoma.
“I am very grateful for this generous donation from Mr. Boisset,” said George Webber, chair of the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee.
“The outpouring of affection for the Count of Buena Vista has been extraordinary, and I am very excited to tell his amazing story to the world in this fun-packed show on Sept. 1. I am also grateful to the Cities of Sonoma and Tokaj, and to Bill Boerum, president of the Sonoma Sister Cities Association for helping make this relationship come to life,” he added.
The Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee operates under the auspices of the Sonoma Sister Cities Association, a registered nonprofit organization.
For more information on the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee visit sonomasistercitiesassoc.org.
Or call Webber at 260-9511 or email him at email@example.com.