Ágoston Haraszthy (1812-1869)
- He was born in 1812, in Futak (Bácska county, Vajdaság) into a noble family
- In 1840 he travelled to America, where he spent an active two years
- In 1844 he published a book with the title Travels in North America
- In 1844 he moved to America with his family and founded a city called ‘Széptáj’ (means ’Beautiful land’, today called Sauk City). He built a church and a school, ran a steamship service and produced his own wine.
- In 1849 he moved to California, and settled down in San Diego
- In 1850 he became the first county sheriff and later the first Marshall of San Diego, while he also created the first hospital and prison of San Diego
- In 1851 he was elected as member of the California People’s Assembly
- In 1857 he established the first winery of California (called Buena Vista)
- In 1861 he brought along approximately 100.000 grape stocks from Europe and thereby ’imported’ at least 300 types of grapes to California
- In 1862 he was elected as the President of California’s Agricultural Association
- He was lost in 1869 in Nicaragua on a river, where he was most probably devoured by alligators
Pinoeer of California winemaking
Being one of the most important and most interesting personalities
history of Hungarian-American relations, Ágoston Haraszthy has also
prominent spot in the history of viticulture activity in California.
was an outstanding character in his era, with a grand-style of
thinking. He was
even acknowledged by John Tyler, US President, who dedicated an evening
reception to his honour. His American fans claim „Count Haraszthy” was
known for his quick thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and concern for
issues. A love of the soil, never ending energy, ingenuity and
thinking might be censidered keys to Ágoston Haraszthy’s over-all
success as a
businessman and as a citizen with international interests and
As a part of the Haraszthy200 Festival, the „red & white – vörös és fehér” exhibition is organized as a way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Ágoston Haraszthy’s birth. The event will run parallel in California and Budapest presenting avant-garde, constructivist, concrete, MADI, monochrome and geomathart contemporary artists. Art is limitless, it connects continents, centuries, countries, cultures and peoples.
This civil initiative also serves the purpose of promoting Hungary, through the beauty and power of art. As artistic curator of Haraszthy 2000 Festival, and also, Ágoston Haraszthy's collateral descendant in Hungary, moreover, founder of International Mobil MADI Museum Foundation, I invite all, young and old, American and Hungarian, artist and winemaker to join us in saluting the memory and heritage of this "Pinoeer of California winemaking" in an avant-garde spirit. Parallel to the exhibitions a wine conference will be organized presenting American and Hungarian wineries, discussing the various colors, ingredients and the cultural and historical importance of wine; and of Ágoston Haraszthy’s heritage, his movie like life and the era he lived in.
Zsuzsa Dárdai, art critic