Sonoma County grape-stomping champs to appear on 'Live with Kelly and Ryan'

Dee Dee Lombardi Brandt and her sister, Angela Lombardi Carvalho, are in New York City, where they’ll see some sights, shop and stomp grapes on live, national TV in a foot-to-foot competition with Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa.

“We are very proud to be able to represent Sonoma County,” Dee Dee said by phone Wednesday as she and Angela drove toward SFO for their flight.

Dee Dee, a Century 21 real-estate agent, and Angela, who does home staging and design, are the Harvest Fair’s current grape stomp champions, having won the competition last year and in 2016.

Producers of TV’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan” reached out to them because hosts Ripa and Seacrest share a fascination with record-breaking. Evidently, the celebs decided to try to beat Sonoma Wine Country’s best grape stompers.

In the competition on Friday’s live show, which appears locally at 9 a.m. on ABC, Dee Dee and Angela will stomp grapes in one tub and Kelly and Ryan in another. The world record holders will be the team that presses the most juice in just one minute.

Win or lose, the sisters, reared in Rincon Valley, will be back at the Harvest Fair on Oct. 7.

Dee Dee said she and Angela will have a few free days in the Big Apple. She vowed, “We’re going to paint the town purple.”


REIGNING CATS & DOGS: Maybe there’s a screenplay in how, just days apart, canines and felines took over the art cinemas in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.

This evening, the New York Cat Film Festival will occupy the Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol. There are two programs, one starting at 6:30 p.m. and the other at 8:15 p.m.

Proceeds from the Rialto’s evening of cat cinema will benefit Forgotten Felines.

And Sunday afternoon from 12:30-3 p.m., puppies in training by Canine Companions for Independence will be at Santa Rosa’s Summerfield Cinemas. The occasion: the screening of “Pick of the Litter,” a documentary about five puppies that may or may not make the cut as guide dogs for the blind.


AGAIN, THE WALL: I goofed on the time when I wrote about this Saturday’s induction of Daniel Ellsberg, Dolores Huerta, Tui Wilschinsky and Therese Mughannam-Walrath onto Sebastopol’s 4-year-old Living Peace Wall.

It’s from 11 a.m. to noon.

Note also that there’s an eight-minute film from last year’s induction online at


THERE’S THIS TRACTOR at the National Heirloom Expo, which concludes today at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

It looks pretty much like a rumbly, diesel-guzzling, smoke-spewing 1948 Ford tractor, but as I and others watched it roll it made barely a sound and emitted not a whiff of exhaust.

Mendocino Coast inventor Steve Heckeroth beamed beside his first-of-its-kind, all-electric, zero-emission Soletrac tractor.

He buys the frames from a historic factory in India and finishes them with batteries and an electric motor. Check out

Heckeroth said farming with diesel “takes 10 units of fossil energy to put one unit of food on the table.”

He envisions organic farmers and grape growers working the land with either of his two electric tractors models and the Earth smiling.

You can reach columnist Chris Smith at 707-521-5211 or

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