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SPAIN’S GRAPE DIVIDE

A group of young winemakers are driving Rioja crazy

@timatkin

HE’S GOT BOTTLE: Rodríguez is about to win a yearlong battle to change the wines of Rioja—maybe.
PAOLO DUTTO

ABEL MENDOZA is a grape grower to the tips of his wine-stained fingers. His dented, mudencrusted Jeep is a familiar sight on the back roads of Rioja, northern Spain, traveling between his 40 different parcels of vineyard— some of them no larger than a tennis court—in the towns of Ábalos, Labastida and San Vicente. The man has a visceral attachment to the land. As a sign on the wall of his kitchen puts it: “When I die, bury me with my tractor.”

Mendoza knows the soils and microclimates of his native region as well as anyone. A few hours in his company provide lessons in geology, history and humility, as well as the lexicon of Spanish swearwords. He’s not a politician— diplomacy is low on his list of skills—but Mendoza is a key figure in a local movement that wants to see the wines of Rioja return to their viticultural roots. To many of the younger, vineyard-focused producers in the region—groups such as the socalled Rioja ’n’ Rollers, a loose affiliation of nine growers and winemakers in their 20s and 30s—he’s a hero.

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TRUMP'S MISSING EMAILS Over the course of decades, Donald Trump’s companies have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders. These tactics, exposed by a Newsweek review of thousands of pages of court lings, judicial orders and a davits from an array of court cases, have enraged judges, prosecutors, opposing lawyers and the many ordinary citizens entangled in litigation with Trump. In each instance, Trump and entities he controlled also erected numerous hurdles that made lawsuits drag on for years, forcing courtroom opponents to spend huge sums of money in legal fees as they struggled sometimes in vain to obtain records.
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