Count Haraszthy selected as 2012 SV Muse
The Sonoma Community Center’s board of directors has selected Buena Vista Winery founder Count Agoston Haraszthy, as its 2012 Sonoma Valley Muse. Haraszthy is often referred to as the father of California viticulture, and was the first to make premium wines in California.
Buena Vista, the winery Haraszthy founded in 1857, will host this year’s Muse celebration on Saturday, Oct. 13. Cocktails and entertainment begin at 5:30 p.m., with a sit-down dinner and fund-a-need auction directly following.
The evening will offer a mid-1800s theme, the era when the count began development of the Buena Vista estate. Patrons are encouraged to dress in finery reflecting the period.
Buena Vista Winery was the dream of the young Hungarian, who wanted to blend European varietals and California climate to start an industry that has become one of California’s claims to fame. A true adventurer, Haraszthy founded a city in Wisconsin, led a wagon train across the plains, became the first sheriff of San Diego County, a state legislator and was involved in the San Francisco Mint.
But his roots in the Tokaj region of Hungary called him to grow grapes and make wine. He believed he found the perfect place in Sonoma, where the soil and climate are conducive to viticulture and the land was available. With vine cuttings from many places in Europe, he established his blends and at one time had “the largest vineyard in the world.”
Today’s Buena Vista is being redesigned and restored by its new owner, Jean-Charles Boisset, a man who honors history and whose vision for his Sonoma winery is as encompassing as the man who founded it.
His generosity in hosting the 2012 Muse celebration ensures guests will savor the Valley’s past while enjoying the newly updated winery grounds and buildings.
This is the eighth annual Sonoma Valley Muse, the Sonoma Community Center’s signature benefit for cultural programs and restoration of its historic building. The celebration honors a man or woman who has left an indelible cultural mark on the Valley by their presence.
The event showcases excellence in food and wine and includes artistic expression highlighting the honoree’s accomplishments. Past Muses have included Jack London, M.F.K. Fisher, Nicholas Carriger and other past local luminaries.
This year, all proceeds from the evening will go toward the transformation of Andrews Hall to a state of the art small performance theater, with construction scheduled for January 2013.
Tickets are $175 and available through the Sonoma Valley Box office or at the SCC office.
For further information or to buy tickets, call 938-4626, ext. 1, or go to www.sonomacommnitycenter.org and click on Box Office.