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Maynard with Ganesh

Maynard with Ganesh

How are the wines developing in the bottle?
Dunno. Too soon to tell. But, they seem to be doing okay. Some of my earlier stuff, which is mostly California grapes, is doing great. Part of that is a testament to the winemaking, but it’s also a testament to the older vines that are in California, an established area. The one’s from Arizona seem to be doing really well.

Generally speaking, they resist it. It’s change, they fear change.

What role does the town of Jerome and the local area play in the vision of your wines?
Generally speaking, they resist it. It’s change, they fear change.

Does it add to your creative process of creating the wines?
I’m of the opinion that this is an important thing for this area and for this town, so I’m going to continue moving forward, in spite of them trying to shoot themselves in the foot. It’s the same kind of politics in every small town. Every small town has its vocal minority, this one just happens to be a little louder than most.

Any local food and wine pairings that stand out?
Don’t know yet. We only have a couple of years of wine in bottle. So, time will tell.

Are there other regions in the world that share similar characteristics to what you are doing here that you look to as a model?
Yes and no. You can only use somebody else’s region and take notes on that region to a point. This is a unique spot, every spot is unique. We’ve had vineyard managers with decades of experience come out and look at our vineyards in Arizona and see what’s been happening on our sites for the last ten years and scratch their heads and go “I have no idea why this is happening here.” That’s because it’s not there, it’s here. It’s unique, it’s special. It’s something that we’re going to have to get our head around and make lots of mistakes and accidentally have some successes along the way and figure out what it is.

What else are you drinking beyond local wines?
Spanish wines, Italian wines. This area is ready for that kind of wine. This is perfect Spanish and Italian territory here. Lots of slopes, lots of volcanic intrusions, limestone. I’m guessing, just on paper, it should lend itself better to Spanish and Italian style wine.

What are you drinking when you aren’t drinking wine?
Water.

Tap or bottled?
Tap. We’re right on a mountain spring, so just drink the spring water.

How did the “Blood Into Wine” film project come about?
I was a part of “The Heart is a Drum Machine” documentary, and when the guys were up here filming it was very much a closed-environment film where they were basically just filming people on black backgrounds. We’d find a spot near the winery [to film] and while they were here looking at the vineyard around them while we were trying to [film] in a black box, they realized “We should do a documentary of what’s going on outside of this building.” So they approached us later about the documentary.

Talk about the experience of filming “Blood Into Wine.”
You know, it’s a film. With a film crew. It went okay. But, you know, it’s invasive. Interrupts your daily routine. It’s tolerable.

How are your wines being received? Does your celebrity status get in the way of people taking your wine seriously?
Initially it will get in the way, but the truth is in the bottle, so we’re doing okay because when people actually open the wines and taste them with even an inkling of authority they understand that there’s something going on here that’s worth pursuing.

And you did a tour to support the wine.
A little, yes.

How did that go? Are you attracting new wine drinkers?
We’ll see. That’s another one of those “most likely in 10 years” when they lose interest in the rock star and actually open the bottle. They’ll probably realize that it’s a gift that they didn’t really understand how important it was at the time. If the bottle’s properly stored, and they lose interest in the signature on it, and actually open it with the right meal in ten years, it will be a whole new world to discover, and they’ll probably thank me later.


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