First planted in the 1830s, Hungarian nobleman Agoston Haraszthy purchased the property in 1857 and christened it “Buena Vista.” Many consider his first vintage the birth of the California wine industry. More of a visionary than businessman, however, Count Haraszthy was forced from the property for financial reasons in 1867. The land changed hands several times before being sold to Frank Bartholomew, the pioneer journalist and president of United Press International, in the early 1940s.
Frank and his wife Antonia Bartholomew resumed growing grapes and making wine on the property, resurrecting the Buena Vista label. Their first vintage in 1947 signaled the beginning of a fruitful 20-year “hobby.” In 1968, after years of success, they sold the brand name and the original 15-acre winery site, keeping more than 400 acres and the estate vineyards for themselves. The Bartholomews devoted their sunset years to their passion for the wines and history of their property, even creating an exact replica of Count Haraszthy’s villa. Upon their passing, a foundation was set up to keep the property wine and vineyard related in perpetuity.
The current Bartholomew Park Winery was founded in 1994, with a vision to produce handcrafted wines reflective of the grand history and unique character of this estate. Though the winery is relatively young, the Bundschu family has been growing grapes and making wine on their nearby Rhinefarm Estate since 1858, and embraced the opportunity to honor and advance the tradition of this site. The historic winery building and gardens have been fully renovated, and the 37-acre estate vineyard completely replanted, and Bartholomew Park Winery has embarked upon a mission to produce vineyard-specific wines which are among the finest in North America.