Billionaires have a lot of power but do they have the power to change the map? That's what wine tycoon Jess Jackson would like to happen. According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat,
Jackson's company, Jackson Family Enterprises has asked to rename a Sonoma Valley mountain as part of a marketing strategy. The company has petitioned the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to change the name of Black Mountain to Alexander Mountain as part of an attempt to create a special grape-growing designation of the same name on Jackson's property. Jackson lives on 5,400 acres that he calls Alexander Mountain Estate. He does not own Black Mountain but lives near it. The mountain has had the same name for generations. Jackson wants the name change because Jackson Family Wine applied several years ago for a Alexander Mountain viticultural designation to highlight the wines coming from this specific area.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names will run any potential name change by several city councils in northern Sonoma County and Native American tribes with ties to the area. Some say that the Alexander Mountain name may be fitting because it reflects the proximity to Alexander Valley. The mountain seems to have originally been named for its color (its thick crop of chaparal makes it a little darker than other mountains nearby) but the name Black Mountain is pretty common, there are three others in Sonoma County along and 266 more Black Mountains across the U.S. A Black Mountain viticultural area would not be specific enough because of the commonality of the name. Jackson has already changed the name of the road onto his property from from Foote Road to Alexander Mountain Road. He may have a bit of a wait for his mountain, it can take years to get this kind of a request approved.