The addition of Buena Vista Winery further strengthens Berkmann Wine Cellars’ California Portfolio
Having left Hungary for the New World, the self-proclaimed ‘Count of Buena Vista’ Agoston Haraszthy founded Buena Vista in 1857 to pioneer the production of high quality wines in California. Here he introduced ground-breaking viticultural practices such as dry-farming and hillside planting as well as constructing California’s first gravity fed winery. On his death in 1878 the estate was sold off and wine production went through a hiatus until the property was purchased by the Bartholomew family in 1943. Working with the famous winemaker and viticultural pioneer André Tchelistcheff, the winery once again became a force in California during the state’s post-prohibition resurgence. Following several changes in ownership, the historic winery was purchased in 2011 by the Boisset family from Burgundy. Under Jean-Charles Boisset the winery has undergone extensive renovation and the Count’s original vision is being pursued with renewed vigour.
The winery is located just outside the town of Sonoma and since the purchase, the Boisset family have invested heavily in renovating the previously dilapidated winery buildings, restoring the cellars to their former glory. In 2012, director of winemaking Brian Maloney and his team were the first people to make wine in the historic cellars in over thirty years. The winery is widely thought of as California’s first and the property has now been officially designated as a California Historic Landmark.
The range consists of six wines showcasing the diversity of California’s terroir and the contribution of Buena Vista to establishing the California wine world.
The grapes for the North Coast Chardonnay are sourced from contract grower vineyards in Mendocino, Sonoma and Lake Counties, including vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Redwood Valley and Clear Lake. The wine is fermented in a mixture of stainless steel and oak barrels, most of which are old. Following partial malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged for a further nine months both in tank and barrel. The result is an elegant Chardonnay, with flavours of Asian pear, stone fruit and citrus alongside subtle notes of vanilla and smoke from the oak.
Similarly, the North Coast Pinot Noir comes from vineyards in Sonoma and Lake Counties, as well as vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Sonoma Valley. Following harvest, the grapes are sorted and pressed and after fermentation is complete, the wine is aged in a mixture of French, Hungarian and American oak barrels for eleven months. Aromas of ripe, red fruits give way to delicate flavours of raspberry and black cherry on the palate with soft tannins and a bright finish.
Meanwhile, the North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from vineyards in the Fountaingrove District, Sonoma Mountain, and Alexander Valley. Following harvest, the grapes are sorted and pressed and after fermentation is complete, the wine is aged in a mixture of French and American oak barrels for ten months. Medium weight, with flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant and cherry, and a hint of black pepper spice which is well framed by plush, velvety tannins.