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History Hill.

Winery Heroes of History Hill

Field review by the editors.

Sonoma, California

There's something for history tourists and wine appreciators at the Buena Vista Winery, founded in 1857, long established as a wine country historical landmark. Its old stone press house, caves and champagne cellar offer a glimpse of Sonoma Valley wine making as it might have been in the 19th century.

History Hill.

The owners of Buena Vista augment that gentle tug of time travel with their strangely appealing History Hill.

History Hill runs along Old Winery Road, a private boulevard visitors stroll from the parking lot to the old winery. At first glimpse it appears as if classical marble statues are perched in the hillside foliage, but they turn out to be flat photo cutouts of "The Ancient Gods of Wine." Photo cutout figures are spread along the roadside, and a few lurk in the forest up into the Mayacamas Mountains.

Founding Fathers.

History Hill chooses to enlighten about the Founding Fathers, the Western Expansion, and other epochs with a selection of cutout "heroes." The luminaries of 19th century science are given their due (Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison), along with heroes of the wine industry. Father Junipero Serra is credited with bringing the grape to California for mission vineyards, while the "Father of Modern California Viniculture" is praised for his malolalctic fermentation chops.

History Hill is adjacent to Buena Vista's hedge maze, "The Count's Journey." Signs scattered in the maze describe the life of County Agoston Haraszthy, the winery's founder.

Inside the Press House, visitors can do a wine tasting, or register to take a tour of the cellars. Those activities aren't for free, but anyone can walk around the Press House. Of particular note is a collection of taxidermied peacocks on the 2nd floor, posed on perches with framed signs identifying them by name: "I am Pinot Noir," and "I am Pinot Mernier."

Stuffed peacocks named after wines.

After a bit of wine sampling, the heroes of History Hill help point visitors back down the road to the parking lot.

Winery Heroes of History Hill

Buena Vista Winery

18000 Old Winery Rd, Sonoma, CA
Property gated after hours. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Fee for tasting, tours.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Train TownTrain Town, Sonoma, CA - 2 mi.
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Chef Impaled on ForkChef Impaled on Fork, Yountville, CA - 8 mi.
In the region:
Petrified Forest, Calistoga, CA - 21 mi.

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