If he were still alive, today would be the 195th birthday of Agoston Haraszthy de Mokcsa (pictured, left). A Hungarian immigrant, Haraszthy was invited to the United States in 1840 by a group of Democrats that included Daniel Webster. Believed by some to be the father of the California wine industry, Haraszthy did much to promote and enhance the agriculture and viticulture of the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1857 he purchased a large plot of land in Sonoma and began planting grapevines sent from in Europe. At one point many people accredited Haraszthy with the introduction of the Zinfandel vine, however it is now an honor thought to be shared by several different pioneers. Still, Haraszthy's major contributions to the wine world were cemented earlier this year when he was inducted in the Vintners Hall of Fame. Happy Birthday ol' Haraszthy!
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