Those who follow the musical career of Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of bands such as Tool, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, may not know that he is an accomplished winemaker in the Grand Canyon state. He planted his first vines in Arizona in 2002 and from 2009 has been making such good wine at his Caduceus winery that he has become a bit of a poster boy for Arizona wine. He tells wine writer and ex Arizona resident Elaine Chukan Brown how the late South Australian winemaker Taras Ochota inspired him to become America’s pioneer of unusual blends – a red wine grape with a white one, for instance.  Other Australian influences include using his lab equipment to analyze two of the country’s most famous classic wines which showed him that grapes don’t need to be super-ripe to make great wine. He reveals himself as a real wine geek and committed farm-to-table restauranteur – in fact there’s hardly any mention of music in this intriguing conversation with the man who has arguably done most to put Arizona on the world wine map.

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