Moe Momtazi is an Oregon winemaker. His vineyard sits next door to a legal weed farm, run by Richard Wagner. This week, The Outline ran a piece about the fierce and bitter quarrel, in and out of court, raging between the two. And this, my friends, is a hell of a lede:
Moe Momtazi, an Oregon winemaker, was checking his grapes for diseases on April 26, 2017, when he spotted a trail of dried red splatter. The 67-year-old hopped out of his Jeep and walked to the edge of his property, where a cow was grazing.
As he got closer, he saw it: The the animal’s backside was speckled with blood. Its long swishy tail was nothing but a raw pink stump. Someone had snipped it off.
To spoil too much of this engaging read would be a shame, so I shan’t, but it is very much worth the click. The central conflict stems from Momtazi’s belief that the cannabis odor will taint the terroir of his grapes in one of the world’s most lucrative wine-growing regions. Wagner, for his part, believes that Momtazi just doesn’t like cannabis, and wants to make him sound like a criminal.
But like the best long-reads, “Wine and weed go to war in Oregon” goes much deeper than that, touching on the friction created in communities that are now home to marijuana farms. The cow thing is nuts—and a charge that Wagner denies. But it’s a great read beyond that, too. Give it your clicks! Then someone get Netflix on the phone because I am going to need an in-depth, serialized look at this conflict, ASAP.