The estate of Orson Welles has denied rumors that a local media consultancy has procured the rights to digitally insert Sonoma Valley brand names into an upcoming re-release of the director’s masterpiece, Citizen Kane. Sonoma-based VinSpin had hoped to place several “posthumous product placements” throughout the film, including an edit of Welles’ iconic utterance of “rosebud,” which opens the film (spoiler alert – it’s a sled!). “What if we replaced ‘rosebud’ with ‘Ravenswood?’” asked VinSpin CEO Mick Robins, who also suggested a Citizen Kane remake before realizing he could “digitally recycle” the existing film. “What if we changed Welles’ character to ‘Citizen Kunde?’” Robins reminded that he has no relationship with either of the companies he mentioned, just a lifelong love of Welles’ oeuvre, which includes several late-career television commercials for Paul Masson wine. “Welles only had a few years to sell wine when he was alive, but he’s got an eternity now that he’s dead.”
• • •
As the self-appointed Media Czar to Sonoma Valley, my life is rife with responsibility. Not only must I sacrifice many of my waking (and working) hours to endure an endless stream of wine-related events, frequent fetes and the adoration of tens of wine industry people, I’m also called upon to “write the wrongs” perpetrated against the Valley in the media. Or at least apologize for the ones that I, myself, have inadvertently created by indulging my enthusiasm for the Valley’s many delights (and varietals). Given the vigilance of my esteemed readership, I know that the three of us can preserve Sonoma’s media integrity – to wit, I urge you not to read the under-reported stories below and forbid you to share them with your friends via a mass e-mail or through links on your wine-themed blog. Together we can make a difference (and a small human pyramid).
• • •
A border skirmish erupted between Napa and Sonoma Counties in the Carneros appellation last week. The grape-growing region, the only appellation shared by the two counties, was the scene of an emotionally charged conversation that turned violent between brothers Seth and Cary Oskea, who had run their late-model Audi out of gas on the county line. Cary, who was seated in the backseat in Napa County, reportedly made a verbal denunciation of his brother Seth’s ability to plan. Seth, who was behind the wheel in Sonoma County, retaliated by attributing the failure of Cary’s romantic life to a fixation with a college girlfriend, who had also once been his college girlfriend. Cary then put his brother in a chokehold and attempted to drag him into Napa County. Seth thrashed back and likewise tried to pull Cary into Sonoma County, but only managed to tear his brother’s shirt – the shirt, Cary reminded, that had been given to him by the mutual ex-girlfriend. Seth countered that the shirt was actually his and that Cary had mistaken it for another, similar shirt acquired during a road trip the brothers had taken to Joshua Tree. Cary agreed that indeed might be the case and added that the Joshua Tree experience had been a “good experience.” Seth concurred that the experience had been good for both of them and brought them closer together after their parents divorce. Cary began crying, followed by Seth, who added, “I love you, man.” Cary reciprocated his brother’s affection and suggested that they depart to Joshua Tree that very moment. They high-fived. Then the brothers remembered that they were out of gas.