Above: From left, the guy I work for, Dan Redman, and winemaker Maynard Keenan look out on Maynard’s top growing site. The limestone-rich vineyards are terraced like the ones I’ve seen in Chianti Classico.
Did I turn on, tune in, and drop out somewhere near Sedona? Have I drunk the Kool-Aid? Did I inadvertently eat the brown acid?
Above: The high desert in Arizona is an awe-inspiring place. I wish my camera could do it justice.
I have to confess that I was skeptical: the thought of finding anything less than entirely spoofilated wine in Arizona seemed chimerical.
But what I discovered instead was honest winemakers trying to make real wine. The wines I tasted and the people I talked to gave me a lot to think about. Terroir, I remembered, is not just about soil, exposure, and climate. It’s also about people and what they believe in. Every tradition (and every cult, as it were) has to begin somewhere.
Above: An almond tree adjacent to one of the vineyards I visited. Maynard practices integrated farming and at one of his sites, he has built a small swamp that he hopes will encourage pollination of the young vineyards.
Dan and I will post more about our visit at the Mosaic blog next week. Right now I’ve got to get my butt back to Phoenix and get on a plane to the Bay Area to meet up with Tracie B.
Above: They told me that Axl Rose and Howard Stern are regulars at the resort where I ate a delicious, spicy bowl of posoles with chicken and pork.