Ágoston Haraszthy

Born 8/30/1812, Futak, Hungary, died 7/6/1869. “Father of California Wine Culture!” – Ronald Reagan.

Hungarian Nobleman.  After serving in the Hungarian Diet, took up the cause of the democratic revolutionary Louis Kossuth. Feeling the heat after the arrest of Kossuth, he traveled throughout Europe and came to America in 1840.

He found his way to California and became sheriff and state representative in San Diego County. In Buena Vista he imported two hundred thousand vine cuttings, including the most important European varieties such as the famous Hungarian Tokaj grape at his Sonoma winery.  Due largely to Haraszthy’s initiative, California was to produce most of the nation’s wine. Half a million California acres were to be turned over to viticulture, second only to orange growing in the State’s agricultural economy.

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