A Legend Reborn



It’s easy to see why a vivacious icon such as Jean-Charles Boisset felt compelled to restore Buena Vista to its former glory. Anyone with an ounce of imagination (and JCB has pounds of it) would be inspired by the legend of the self-proclaimed “Count of Buena Vista,” Agoston Haraszthy. Agoston arrived in California via wagon train, surrounded by 49’ers struck by gold fever. He dreamed in a different color, and soon set his sights on Sonoma’s unique terroir. In 1857, he founded California’s first premium winery on a site called Buena Vista Ranch. 

Agoston was a driven pioneer and a larger-than-life personality, much like JCB. He is credited with the first gravity-flow winery in California, the first excavated wine caves, and the first to try Redwood trees for wine barrels. Today, JCB and Buena Vista are passionately committed to continuing the Count’s work. Since acquiring the historic estate, he’s invested heavily in restoring the grounds, including retrofitting the Champagne Cellars – a prescient move that likely saved the building from the 2014 South Napa Earthquake. “We are the shareholders of the Count’s vision,” says Boisset, embracing the ethos that “Our future is our past… our vivacious, colorful, and pioneering past!” 

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