Buena Vista Winery Opens California’s First Historic Wine Tool Museum

Buena Vista Winery today unveiled a first-of-its-kind museum in California dedicated to the history of winemaking and its tools. The museum features a collection of rare and authentic 19th and 20th century European viticulture tools that are theatrically arranged and displayed against the winery’s historic cellar walls, which date back to 1864.  Visitors will be guided through a twenty-minute show that presents the story of winemaking through the use of these tools from vineyard to bottle, while also learning about the life of the vivacious and eccentric founder, the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista”, Agoston Haraszthy.  Tickets for the museum are $25 per person and include a tasting of four wines plus a guided tour.

“The exhibit is a performance – a dramatic dance of the tools, with lighting, special effects and movement,” said Proprietor, Jean-Charles Boisset. “It is designed for guests to discover and experience the world of wine and the rich history of California winemaking.   It celebrates and communicates the historical significance of wine as part of our civilization and part of our cultural fabric, while paying homage to Buena Vista Winery’s central role in California’s long and storied place in the wine world.”

Boisset purchased Buena Vista Winery in 2011 and immediately began a significant restoration to preserve and protect the winery’s cellars and caves.  In 2012, a seismic retrofit was completed that allowed the cellars to re-open to the public after closing due to the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. That same year, the building was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013, Buena Vista Winery was awarded the California Preservation Design Award for using innovative center-core drilling technology, which made it possible to restore and preserve the original character of the building from 1864.  It is thanks to this restoration that the building is standing in perfect condition today following the recent Napa earthquake in August, 2014.  While other historic buildings toppled, the Champagne Cellars at Buena Vista Winery suffered no structural damage. The creation and opening of the Historic Wine Tool Museum is another milestone, and for Boisset, a crowning achievement in the revitalization of the property.

The tools on display include: picks, secateurs, grafting knives, presses, a dramatic presentation of pomace cutters, as well as the tools used in barrel making, such as batissoires, adzes, doloires, and more.  From the pioneering zeal of Count Haraszthy through the devastation of phylloxera, the collection guides guests through the the evolution of the wine world through its tools.

“We are ambassadors and stewards of these historical objects, and we have the opportunity to share them with America in the ideal location: the first premium winery in California. We are thrilled and honored to share this moment of history that enhances the culture of wine and history in America! Our mission at Buena Vista is to bring a renewed sense of energy and life back into the winery so that it can return to its glorious past.  As we like to say…Buena Vista’s past is its future!  The Historic Wine Tool Museum is the true embodiment of this spirit,” concluded Boisset. The museum is an extension of the Boisset family’s collection in Burgundy, France, which is housed at the Imaginarium at Louis Bouillot in Nuits-St-Georges.

Guests may reserve in advance at www.buenavistawinery.com, via 800.926.1266, or at the Buena Vista Winery Tasting Room.  Museum Tours are available daily by-appointment at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM (walk-up visitors will be accommodated as availability allows; groups of eight or more require advance reservation).  In addition to the $25 tour and tasting, families will also be offered a choice of a museum-only experience for $10 per person, and children with paying adult are free. The winery offers additional guest experiences that include: “Be the Count” wine blending experiences, private tastings, barrel tastings, winery tours, tastings of a wide selection of award-winning, small-production wines, and beautiful picnic areas.

About Buena Vista Winery

Buena Vista Winery is California’s first premium winery and was founded in 1857 by Hungarian immigrant, Agoston Haraszthy, the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista.” Possessing a deep regard for the significance of Buena Vista’s place in California wine history, Jean-Charles Boisset purchased Buena Vista in April, 2011 and added the winery to the Boisset Collection.  Today, Boisset is returning Buena Vista Winery to its original glory with the complete restoration and re-opening of the historic property.  The wines are achieving new heights under Winemaker Brian Maloney and Consulting Winemaker David Ramey. Buena Vista Winery is located at 18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma, CA. For more information, please visit www.buenavistawinery.com.

About Boisset Collection

Boisset is a family-owned collection of historic and unique wineries bound together by a common cause: authentic, terroir-driven wines in harmony with their history, their future and the land and people essential to their existence.  With more than twenty historical and prestigious wineries in the world’s preeminent terroirs, including the Côte d’Or, Beaujolais, Rhône Valley, California’s Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, and the Napa Valley. To learn more about the Boisset Collection, please visit www.boissetcollection.com.