Monday, January 23, 2006

Tree huggers vs wine-lovers: cage match!

In simple terms of happy confluence, there is no bigger lottery winner than American winemakers: between the health studies and the movie, they must have wondered if they'd ever have to pay for real advertising again. But there had to be a buzzkill. Or at least a buzz saw: "developers are buying up land in remote, ecologically fragile areas such as northwest Sonoma County...[and] are eager to turn their forests into vineyards because wine grapes, especially for high-end pinot noir, are worth more than timber."

Who wants to be known as the winemaker who cut down the redwoods? The label design alone would be tricky. And you know you look bad when the Sierra Club can issue an opposing statement that is the very model of reason and moderation: "'We're not saying you shouldn't drink wine. We're saying there are more appropriate lands to grow wine grapes on.'"

That's right. It's come to this: we're all environmentalists now.

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