I know a lot of people in Venice love Tool, and I certainly know a lot of us love wine ... thus it was no surprise at all when looking on Netflix at what people are watching in Venice, CA, that they are currently into the documentary Blood Into Wine - the story of how Maynard Keenan from Tool is creating wine in Jerome, Arizona.
A couple of years ago I was out on an excellent rock tour called The Justice Tour, led by Tom Morello. Our last stop of the tour was Chicago, and as Tom and Maynard are old friends, Maynard was booked for this finale show. People were EXCITED. The day before the show, Tom got a text that there was no way Maynard was going to make it, as there was something going on with the grapes at his vineyard and he had to be there. The fans were not pleased (though they still got an epic show).
Now having seen the film about Maynard's passion and drive to excel at wine making as he has done with his music, I can totally understand how he would cancel a show to see to his grapes. Caduceus Vineyards is his place in Jerome, Arizona (a former Ghost Town), not the likeliest place to spring to mind when thinking of wineries. But Maynard and his partner, Eric Glomski, are there, pioneering a whole new way of thinking and creating in Arizona's Verde Valley.
Maynard is an intense dude, and you can see why he has risen to the top of any of his chosen fields ... he means business. He seems to be pretty dark, but this film shows his funny, and even tender side (I laughed. I cried a tear too, when he speaks about the "Judith" wine he created for his late mother. You will too).
I remember a year or so ago they had a wine bottle signing at Whole Foods on Lincoln, where fans lined up for hours to get Maynard and Eric to sign their fresh bottles of Merkin wine. The goth chicks and tattooed guys were thrilled to get to see their hero live, but they also got to learn a little about wine in the process. Some of those signings are documented in the film, and it's cool to see people getting behind and supporting anything Maynard does. I like Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer, so of course I wanted to see the movie, but I finished feeling a lot smarter about the process of wine making as well.
Rock and learning - that's pretty much all you want out of entertainment. Heck, maybe out of life itself.
Check out Blood Into Wine ... I think you'll dig it. We can discuss over a bottle of Sangiovese from Jerome!