Helen Bacigalupi, who's grown wine grapes off Westside Road with her husband, Charles, for four decades, won't picket "Bottle Shock" showings or demand a correction.
But Helen, 82, would like to set the record straight.
The new film on the earth-shaking victory of a Napa Valley chardonnay over France's best whites in 1976 leaves the impression the triumphant grapes were grown at Calistoga's Chateau Montelena.
"The Napa people never wanted anyone to know that the chardonnay came from Sonoma County," Helen said.
Years ago, she said, her granddaughter contacted journalist George Taber, whose book, "Judgment of Paris," inspired the movie. She urged him to get it right about the origin of the 1973 chardonnay that alerted the world that California wines had arrived.
Taber did tell it straight.
He wrote that in '73, Chateau Montelena bought "just over 40 tons of chardonnay from local growers" -- about 20 tons from Henry Dick in Alexander Valley, 14 tons from the Bacigalupis in Russian River Valley and the remaining 5 tons from Napa Valley growers John Hanna and Lee Paschich.
So 80-plus percent of the grapes whose wine brought Napa global acclaim in '76 came from Sonoma. The film doesn't mention that.
Helen said the 4 acres of chardonnay vines that produced the grapes she and Charles sold to Montelena 35 years ago still bear fruit, though less each year.
"They're just dying off one by one," she said. She'd like to pull them out and replant, but the Napa Valley winemaker who now buys the grapes pleads that she not.
Leslie Rudd, owner of Oakville's Rudd Vineyards & Winery (and chairman of Dean & DeLuca) knows the story of those vines, and he hopes to keep it going until they've pushed out their last grape.
TOUGH OLD WINE: Sebastopol's Jan King and Tom Harriman were thrilled back in 1993 to play Wine Country tour guides to longtime friends Don and Tonette LaGrone, then residents of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.
While wine-tasting 15 years ago, the foursome bought a nice bottle from Joseph Swan Vineyards in Forestville -- an '89 Steiner Cabernet Sauvignon. They didn't drink it.
Said Jan, "We all signed our names and a few sentences on the bottle, and vowed not to drink it until we were together again."
The LaGrones took the bottle when they returned to their beautiful Gulf-side home outside Biloxi. This same week in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck.
The LaGrones' house was mostly blown away. But while slogging about in the mud lot that used to be their home, they did find a couple of things they could salvage.
A blouse, and the bottle of Swan cabernet. Though parts of the label had soaked off, Tonette and Don could make out two signatures and salutations: Until we meet again! Good friends, good food, good wine, good lives.
The LaGrones brought the bottle when they came to Sebastopol recently to see their friends for the first time since '93. Everyone held their breath as the 19-year-old bottle surrendered its cork.
Delicious, said Jan, proud new owner of a battered old empty bottle she'll keep forever.
BRING HOME THE BRONZE: Henry Trione is doing all he can to prevent the destruction and sale-for-scrap of the cowboy sculpture stolen last week from the Wild Oak Saddle Club.