Just what is it about the countryside, particularly wine country, that draws in the tourists? Is it the rolling hills and the unending azure sky? Perhaps it comes down to the virginal quality of the land's air and water—the terroir that creates the grapes we so love.
Or maybe, at the end of the day, people just want to roll up their sleeves and wallow in the filth. Just really get their gutter-pig on and feast upon the pastoral mounds of steaming garbage dotting the landscape. After all, nothing says provincial life quite like a sun-kissed heap of decomposing produce and some not-so-decomposing condoms.
The latter seems to be the impression that New York's Mayor, Bill de Blasio, has been operating under. What in the hell else could explain why the ever-embattled Democrat is trying to get New York's iconic Finger Lakes to accept much of New York City's rank garbage for the next 20 years? Which brings us to the greater point of this article: some dude is naming his vineyard's rosé after de Blasio and his precious garbage.
Yup. "No Trash! De Blasio Blush" is the acerbically titled rosé that Eagle Crest Vineyards is rolling out as part of their protest against the proposed $3.3 billion, 20-year contract to send trainloads of New York City's finest garbage to Seneca Meadows. The aforementioned landfill is the largest municipal landfill in all of New York and is located in the Finger Lake region of central New York—a region famous for its wines.
"The Finger Lakes shouldn't be the garbage dump for New York City," exclaimed Will Ouweleen, the owner of Eagle Crest. "Send us your tourists, not your trash."
Ouweleen's winery is located in Conesus, which is only 40 miles west of the landfill. Incidentally, the area that will be negatively affected was just last year named by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as the "2014 Wine Region of the Year". The magazine honored the wineries in the Finger Lakes for their overall quality and their economic boon on the region.
"I was trying to send a message to the mayor that we've been at this for a century and a half, working to build a Finger Lakes brand," stated Ouweleen, who happens to have been the vintner who hooked Pope Francis up with some sacramental wine during his recent visit to New York City. "In the very year that Wine Enthusiast Magazine named us number one of the top ten wine destinations in the world, we have Mayor de Blasio deciding to make us the garbage dump of New York City," he said.
Ouweleen is working with the Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition and calling for the abandonment of the plan on the grounds that it could end up polluting Seneca Lake and will destroy the area's oenotourism—a fact they and their prototype bottle of No Trash! De Blasio Blush pointed out at a Department of Sanitation public hearing held last month.
New York's Department of Sanitation insists that the proposal is sound and that all trash will be loaded into containers that are "equipped with odor emission, noise, dust and other environmental controls." The city's statement went on to explain that "each rail car . . . will replace three to four long-haul transfer trailers of waste that currently travel on the New York State Thruway and state roads to the landfill."
While Ouweleen and the Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition may think that de Blasio's proposal is as rotten as the very trash it deals in, No Trash! De Blasio Blush is another matter entirely. "It begins sweet, finishes tart, perfectly balanced with fruit-forward flavors of strawberries and raspberries," Ouweleen told the New York Post.