Above: from left, winemaker Eric Glomski, national sales manager Paula Woolsey, Mosaic Wine Group founder Dan Redman, and winemaker Maynard James Keenan at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona.
Mosaic Wine Group kicked off their newest business relationship with Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski of Arizona Stronghold, Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, traversing the vineyards of the Northern Arizona Highlands. We first met these visionaries of the Arizona wine scene in Texas when they were on a tour of the US introducing their wines and signing bottles through Whole Foods Market. This wine project is a collaboration of two passionate and pioneering souls — Maynard (legendary frontman for iconic rock bands TOOL, A Perfect Circle and his latest endeavor, Puscifer) and Eric Glomski (former winemaker at David Bruce Winery). The two met and became immediately driven to produce world-class fine wine from the soils and micro-climates that Arizona provides.
Above: high altitude, cool temperatures, limestone soils and the canyon breezes created by the presence of an ancient lake bed make for ideal conditions for growing fine-wine grapes. The canopy at the top of this Grenache vineyard has already begun to develop while the lower-lying plants are taking much longer — a great example, winemaker Eric Glomski pointed out, of the area’s unique micro-climates.
While touring the vineyard properties and winemaking facilities with Maynard and Eric, we immediately understood why this was a special place, capable of producing wines that we could stand on our soapbox and be proud to sell. Ascending the winding roads into the mountains two hours north of Phoenix (near Sedona), we were able to see for ourselves what this team saw in the soils of Arizona. For those of us who once considered Arizona to be marred by desert conditions, too hot and dry for grape vines of any consideration or consequence — take off your blinders and come see for yourselves! These sites are characterized by limestone and volcanic soils, average elevations of 4,000 ft. above sea level and climatic conditions that are conducive to Rhone, Bordeaux and Italian varietals.
Above: Maynard James Keenan practices integrated farming at his top growing sites, where fig trees and plum trees are planted in growing sites adjacent to his vineyards.
Enter Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski. Maynard has an immense passion for wine and an eye for wines with acidity, balance and soul. Eric Glomski honed his winemaking skills with Pinot Noir, one of the most difficult, fickle grapes to grow and produce. Together, they set out to produce varietals that made sense to them with the terroir of Arizona. Red Grapes include Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Mourverdre, Petit Syrah (and currently searching for a few others). White Grapes currently planted include Malvasia Bianca, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and a unique varietal that Maynard named “Aurelia,” which was discovered in the area and for which Maynard & Eric are currently propagating to plant in the vineyards.
Above: as is clear from viewing the strata of the subsoil, the growing sites are rich with limestone, ideal for growing fine-wine grapes. Dan and Maynard are touring Maynard’s top vineyard, where Cabernet Sauvignon is grown for Caduceus “Judith,” named after Maynard’s mother.
There are three distinctive labels from Maynard and Eric: Arizona Stronghold, Caduceus Cellars, and Merkin Vineyards. While the real fabric of this story is all about Arizona, the team set out to produce a line of wines to help set the stage as these vineyards develop and production increases, thus also producing a handful of wines from California vineyards in Paso Robles. The wines are primarily blends that will please the most savvy of wine lover, while also pleasing the novice consumer seeking fulfillment with all the bells and whistles. The common thread with these wines is a brilliant backbone of acidity and minerality that frames the structure, concentration and depth of each wine.
Above: from left, Eric, Paula, Maynard and Dan barrel taste together.
Mosaic Wine Group is honored to be working with these incredible pioneers of the wine industry. We hope that you’ll seek these wines out and help us to tell the story of this visionary team of Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski. And stay tuned for more great news to come, including a full-length documentary on this project, called “Blood to Wine,” poised for release later this year. We’ll be posting updates as they become available.
These wines will be available soon in Texas and other markets throughout the US. Please contact us for more information, or to learn more about this incredible wine project.