In a desperate attempt to up my understanding of all things wine, I found this unique documentary about Maynard James Keenan, the front singer for Tool, a rock band with a profound musical influence and following, and his efforts at establishing a winery in Arizona. This documentary exceeded my expectations on several levels, and if you are considering getting into the business, I would recommend watching this documentary at least twice.
This documentary focuses on Maynard James Keenan (born 1964), an accomplished musician who like so many others who desire a career change at midlife, wanted to break away from his chained existence in the music industry and establish something more in balance with living a life. Keenan, retrospectively throughout the film discusses his need to continue to grow as a person, and although financially secure with his work with Tool, found the decadent lifestyle (his words) not his aspiration. At one point, Keenan reminiscences about returning from one tour and become physically sick from the experience. The experience demonstrated to him it was time to explore new possibilities.
Keenan becoming fascinated with all things wine, ventured into the business under the tutelage of Eric Glomski, settling into the virgin territory of Jerome Arizona. Building a vineyard from the ground up, Keenan discovered the hard way how challenging the industry is; the elements, vermin, water use right advocates, and all other vineyard hostile forces seemed to ally themselves against his efforts at establishing a winery. However, Keenan displayed two assets that often escape other would be entrepreneurs; willpower and access to money.
A well-structured film, it is both entertaining and enlightening on its subject matters of Keenan and wine making. The film provides a biographical insightful picture of Keenan as a person, a musician and business man. Having had such a successful career in the music industry, with legions of music followers, Keenan, has the luxury of harnessing those fans who line up in droves to purchase his wine when he appears in person to sell his product. However, Keenan, desperately seeks to be left alone and prefers to avoid contact whenever possible. During one wine tasting event, Keenan, steps up to the dais to speak, and yet cannot be heard by those in the back of the room. In fact he even appears uncomfortable speaking publicly, despite his career singing to thousands.
If you’re considering the business watch this film. Its insight will give you cause to consider your vino making dreams, force you to add another zero or two to your established budget, and may even save you a fortune in wasted time and efforts.