Maynard James Keenan: These Are The "End of Days"
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I suppose a quick introduction is in order. My name is Maynard James Keenan and I am currently a Verde Valley winemaker in beautiful Northern Arizona in my Small Domestic Farm Winery known as Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards. I'm also co-owner and founder of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. My current and former life also includes the international recording acts and multimedia projects known as Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, and Tool.
For some reason I've been asked if I would take up space in the New Times with my Zippy the Pinhead-esque blitherings and meanderings. Not sure why they would ask me of all people, but my wife said I should do it. So as a good spouse does, I said yes dear, in that cadence, and without punctuation or quotations. So we begin.
The inherent problem with being a Chicken Little-type person is that if or when the sky ever falls, I'll be too flattened to snip "See? I told ya so!" And although I live near Sedona, I possess no crystal ball, and any Tarot cards I may have owned have certainly all been shredded in the spokes of my long retired banana seat Huffy.
And yet, these last few years, I'm seeing some truth to all these Earth Changes stories my hippie neighbors keep interpretive dancing about. It's only the first week of September and we've already harvested 80-85 percent of the 2012 vintage. That's 111 tons of a possible 130-140 tons. Historically, my first red to be picked was the Merkin West, Judith's Block Cabernet Sauvignon. Usually between the 8th and 12th of September, but last week I barreled down this finished wine. Done. Picked, processed, fermented, pressed, settled, barreled. That's pushing roughly 3.5 weeks ahead of schedule. Truth be told, we have several sites that appear to be only slightly ahead of schedule and much more aligned with previous vintages. But they're still a tiny bit ahead of schedule overall. So screaming, "I told you so!" might be a bit premature without a bit more due diligence.