According to The Pulse Of Radio, the former winemaking partner of TOOL frontman Maynard James Keenan has taken a swipe at the singer in a report from AZCentral, saying that a new wine-rating initiative started by a group led by Keenan is unnecessarily divisive. Eric Glomski, who owns Page Spring Cellars and was once in business with Keenan, stated: "I don't need Maynard Keenan or Kent Callaghan to tell me whether my wine is quality or not. The person buying and drinking that bottle is the one who needs to decide."
The newly formed group, called the Arizona Vignerons Alliance, reportedly aims to help consumers by asking Arizona winemakers to voluntarily submit their bottles for tastings and lab analysis. If the wines meet certain standards and are proven, through an audit, to come exclusively from Arizona vineyards, the wines can display the Arizona Vignerons Alliance logo on the label.
Glomski had been business partners with Keenan in Arizona Stronghold, a winery the pair turned into a nationally distributed brand, before the partnership split in 2014.
Glomski, whose winery is described as one of the state's largest and most decorated, said he did not plan to submit his bottles to the group. He explained: "It doesn't sound like a leadership role. It does seem like it's divisive."
He added that he is not against having high standards for wine, saying: "If somebody wants to uphold a group of ideals for themselves, that's wonderful. But, just go do it."
Keenan, who owns Caduceus Cellars with his wife Jennifer, is one of four winemakers behind the Alliance. The others are Kent Callaghan, Rob Hammelman and Todd Bostock.
Arizona was not known for its winemaking when Keenan launched his business there years ago. He told The Pulse Of Radio a while back what the success of the project has meant to him. "It's confirmation that, you know, as an artist you can create," he said. "It doesn't really matter what forum, as long as you have enough focus and drive and you're a quick study. To be a decent musician or an actor, you have to have some kind of sense of the subtle, and I think making wine, that's absolutely crucial. You have to notice the nuances and be able to predict the changes and navigate things without panicking."
None of the founders of the AVA have passed their own quality standard yet, but expect to begin certifying wines later this year.
Keenan and TOOL completed a short winter tour at the end of January and next the singer will head out on the road with his other act, PUSCIFER, beginning on March 17 in Riverside, California.