..why she hates the whole genre. Now that big biz is buying up every winery in sight, I'm all for the giants reducing their hoggy carbon footprint and inch towards non-chemical growing practice. I'll also be delighted to see them reduce the weight on those ego-driven, hefty, mine is bigger than yours bottle. But I am so annoyed by this whole, "Kiss Me I'm GREEN," campaign. Of course grapes should be grown from sensible vineyards that are at least organic, but the GREEN GRAPE focus begs the question of what is in the bottle? Yeasts? Enzymes? Tannin. DeAlking? Reaciding? Ultrafiltrating and other acts flavor and taste altering machines? GREEN is a pretty color but when it comes to wine, it means nothing. On May 5th, the First International Green Wine Competition , is to be held in California. There are four categories for submission, concerned with the way the grapes are grown. This has caused a stir on the Decanter.com website, where several winemakers, including Doug Tunnel (who will be with me on the Portland Indie wine festival’s panel, “How Natural is Natural, May 2nd) weighed in with outrage that a GREEN wine competition had a 'transitional' category which also allows "Oregon LIVE and Certified Salmon Safe programs"--which are sustainable. Sustainable agriculture allows chemicals. Another protester likened the sustainable inclusion to 'being a little pregnant.’ Agreed. Agreed. Then there is the Biodynamic grape category. That one bugged me. The rules state that wines that use GMO yeast would be disqualified. Does this mean one can enter a wine in the organic category and use GMO? (By the way, no industrial yeast is allowed in Biodynamic wine.) But the one that really got me all riled up was: Class 4: Natural (International Imports Only) International wines made from grapes farmed without the use of chemicals. This category is open to International Imports ONLY. It is intended for those within the International community who has traditionally farmed without the use of chemicals, but who have not sought certification. Wineries entering Class 4 must sign an affidavit (provided with the Class 4 Entry Form) that they do indeed farm their grapes without the use of chemicals of any kind. Wineries found to misrepresent themselves under these guidelines will be disqualified. + Besides the fact that the Vin Naturel movement is alive and strong and bears no relation to their category, there is also the ironic language: "traditionally farmed without the use of chemicals." Where the irony? In the Old World 'traditional' farming refers to farming WITH chemicals. In general, I don't like the idea of wine competitions. In fact, I always had trouble with competition. When I was in summer camp I boycotted Color War. But if you're going to do something like this, hell, do it right. Do it honestly. Don’t help along the usage of GREEN as a smokescreen for the wine industry. Find out what the deal is and don't hide behind ignorance, or the question might be raised, as I do here, that perhaps what is at play is ignorance that is willful.