January 9th, 2011

These days, as they say, green is the new black. I know that this is ultimately good. I know that change on the scale that things need to be changed will not happen unless environmentalism becomes a popular movement and that a popular movement will, inherently, be trendy. But, is it just me or is the word green is starting to sound a bit disingenuous? I even found a website,, purporting to give green marketing advice. It sells its services by telling prospective clients that, “perceptions of environmental, ethical, and social stewardship are the fastest growing contributors to consumer brand value”. Notice the word “perceptions”. Still, I know all of it will lead more to good than to bad, and so I am trying harder to accept it.

But, acceptance on hold for just a moment, I found something just ever so slightly snarky tonight on the Conn Creek Winery website that made me pretty happy. In describing the construction, in 1979, of their Napa Valley winery, they refer to its energy-efficient design as having led to “perhaps the first ‘green’ winery building in Napa Valley”. I love those quotation marks, the acknowledgement that the sensible, cost-reducing choice they made over 30 years ago now makes them seem cool and ahead of their time. A lesser company wouldn’t be self-conscious enough to add that bit of punctuation and while there’s no doubt that this is boastful and pretentious on the part of the Conn Creek Winery, still I love it as a snub to all this green-mania.

The thing is, that little syntactical nose-in-the-air gesture was not a stepping out of character on the part of the Conn Creek Winery. Their wines are kind of over-priced and pretentious. But they’re good too. And you can drink them for free every night, here with us in our bar.

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