Haraszthy, Agoston

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Haraszthy, Agoston (1812–69), early california wine-grower and promoter, frequently but wrongly identified as the ‘father of California wine’. Born in Austro-Hungary, he went to the United States in 1842 and to California in 1849, where he engaged in multifarious activities, including politics, horticulture, and gold-refining. In 1856, he bought a sonoma county vineyard and established the Buena Vista winery, still extant today. In 1861, as a member of the state commission on viticulture, he travelled to Europe and sent back many thousands of vine cuttings to California. His account of this trip and of his work as a wine-grower in California, Grape Culture, Wines, and Wine-Making (1862), first brought California as a wine state to the attention of the nation and is Haraszthy’s main claim to importance in the history of wine in America.