Tool and A Perfect Circle singer Maynard James Keenan discussed winemaking in a new Vice Munchies article.
Though he seemingly has no interest in spelling out his wines for the mainstream, he faces an uphill battle as a winemaking celebrity. “To be put in the same category with [Bon Jovi, who has a rosé brand] is infuriating,” he says. “No offense to him or Drew fucking Barrymore—get out of the way!” He likens those who slap their names on someone else’s liquid for a money grab to guitarists uninterested in performing or recording their own parts.
Keenan also faces resistance because his wines are subtle. They are not mainstream crowd-pleasers, but beautiful, complex, and restrained—like the inversion of his deceptively heavy music, hiding great power behind seemingly delicate façades. They require careful attention.
He also recounted a story about legendary Brunello producer Gianfranco Soldera.
“The first thing he’ll show you is his wife’s vegetable and flower garden,” Keenan begins. “And if [Soldera] catches you staring over at the tasting room trying to find that bottle you want to add to your collection… the fucking tour is over. Because you didn’t recognize what made his wines unique: These flowers; these bugs; these vegetables…[they’re] what elevates the Sangiovese to be different from any in this area. He’s not gonna tell you that out loud; he’s gonna watch to see if you’re paying attention.”