The Vineyard Lifestyle

Browsing The New York Times last night, I came across “Buying into the Vineyard Lifestyle,” and because I am a masochist (and I always look for things to make fun of here), I clicked on it. As I read, my eyebrows etched higher and higher, and I kept waking up chortling in the middle of the night, so I decided that I needed to talk about, er, “the vineyard lifestyle.”

For those of you who don’t feel inclined to check out this hard-hitting piece of investigative journalism, the article is about a couple who apparently really liked Tuscany (what is it with Americans and the Tuscany obsession), so they decided to bring “Italy to Georgia.” Yeah, that’s right.

So, apparently Italy is not about the culture, the people, the unique archaeological artifacts. Italy, my friends, is about building a McMansion in rolling vineyards where you can live isolated from the rest of society. You don’t go to Italy to speak Italian, eat raw milk cheeses, and experience the countryside. You go to Italy because you want a comfortable and familiar environment which reminds you of home, sort of, with enough orange paint to be sufficiently exotic. But you don’t want to actually see Italians or anything.

And don’t even get me started on “vineyard developments” like the one where this “little piece of Italy” has been built. You know, I actually know someone who lives right next to a vineyard, and between the random spraying of God-knows-what and the fans, it’s really not, uhm, a “lifestyle.” It’s a cheap place to live, and she likes the space to exercise her dogs.

Apparently, buying a home with a vineyard is the next big thing, because people aren’t aware of how much of a pain in the ass it is to raise grapes, or of how finicky winemaking really is. I love how even farming has become commodified in this country, how suddenly a sanitized version of the rural lifestyle is the next trendy thing. Apparently these yuppie scum don’t realize that a. they are not living the “rural lifestyle” and b. they are destroying real rural life in their push for “adorable” second homes. Or third. Or fourth.

You know, there are so many things wrong with America that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin.

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