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Wine.Luxe Magazine
Aug 3, 2017

James Maynard Keenan and Caduceus Wine Cellars

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A boy from the northern Midwest USA grows up to be a rock star. That rock star becomes a winemaker. Wow! What luck! Wow – yes. What luck - to a degree. This is because the phenomenal transformation of James Maynard Keenan has been largely organic.

Many brilliant business people figure out what others want then give it to them. Keenan figured out what he wanted, and it turned out other people wanted what he was eager to give. (And sure, he’s an entertainer willing to give to his crowd!) Whatever he is or was giving, what he has always set out to do was to give his absolute best. Furthermore, he insists he competes against himself rather than against others.

 

This is the kind of mentality one must have to go from baby- and boy-hood in Ohio to young adulthood in Michigan to becoming so many other things in so many other places. Keenan joined the Army and was offered an opportunity to study at West Point. Instead, Keenan chose the art of voice. (In fact, he went into the military specifically to fund his art university ambitions via the G.I. Bill.) In time, Keenan fronted for the bands Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer – each time on the edge of self-inspection. Yet, Keenan is conscientious about releasing his lyrics. His concern is that not everyone will understand them.

 

However, in the winemaking world, the parlance is easy. Fans like or don’t like the wines. I first tasted the Caduceus wines when I was opening a restaurant for Jean-Georges Vongerichten at The Phoenician in 2008, and I was blown away. Granted, at the time, many of the wines were made with fruit purchased outside Arizona, namely California. That is no longer the case, and I continue to exude over the wines.

 

Additionally, Keenan has since learned that a great-grandfather owned vineyards and made wines in northern Italy’s Piedmont. Even more delightful, though long unbeknownst to Keenan, is that this family heritage wine was shadowing him. Keenan has long been devoted to Italian varieties in his Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Cellars.

 

If you’re enticed by Keenan’s unusual trajectory thus far, his influential music past or his determination to make Arizona’s best wines and bring them (like him) into the limelight, check out his book or audio book, A Perfect Union of Contradictory Things, released late fall. There’s much more to the story. This is only a portion of the exhilarating journey, and rest assured James Maynard Keenan is still on the road! As Rolling Stone magazine quote Keenan, “Even though this is a biography, I feel like it’s more of a map.”

美國中西部北部的一名男孩長大後成為搖滾明星,然後成為一位釀酒師。這是怎樣的運氣? 事實上這樣的一個轉變,對於詹姆斯·梅納德·基南(James Maynard Keenan)來說,幾乎是自然發生的。

 

很多成功的商人可以預估到其他人的需要,然後滿足他們。基南卻是找到自己所愛,然後讓別人愛上他所愛的東西(當然,他是一個藝人,娛樂大眾是他的本能!)。無論他正在給予誰,他一直做的是給出他所能做最好的。 更重要的是,他堅持與自己競爭,而不是與其他人競爭。

 

從俄亥俄州長大,於密歇根州成長,然後在其他地方延續傳奇。基南後來加入了陸軍,並在西點軍校學習; 然而他卻選擇了聲音的藝術。(事實上他以G.I.Bill 獎學金進入西點軍校,以資助他讀藝術的心願。)同時,基南先後加入了Tool A Perfect Circle 以及Puscifer樂隊 ,認真地發表他的歌詞。他明白並不是每個人都會理解他們。

 

然而在釀酒世界中,喜惡較易分辨。酒粉們喜歡他的酒、或者不喜歡。 2008年,當我在The Phoenician為Jean-Georges Vongerichten開餐廳時,我品嚐過他的Caduceus葡萄酒,瞬間被感動了。 當時,許多葡萄酒都是採用亞利桑那州外(加州)的葡萄。 雖然現在情況已不一樣了,我還是喜歡他們的葡萄酒。

 

基南後來認識了一位在意大利北部皮埃蒙特釀造葡萄酒的祖父。也許他並不自覺,但是這位仁兄對他產生很大影響 —— 基南在他的Merkin葡萄園和Caduceus酒窖釀造起意大利葡萄品種。

 

如果你被基南的事跡吸引 —— 他具有影響力的音樂或他在亞利桑那州釀造最好的葡萄酒的決它,你可以去看看他在今秋將出版的書(或音頻書)「A Perfect Union of Contradictory Things」 。當然這只是他旅程的一部分,詹姆斯·梅納德·基南依然在探索的路上! 「滾石雜誌」這樣形容基南︰雖然這是傳記,我覺得它更像一本地圖。

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