Maynard James Keenan: Villagers
"Wine makes everyone hopeful."
These are the inspirational words that appear on a sign that our friend Topper's mother bought for our tasting room. The sign showed up on "one of those days," and I promptly displayed it. This subject came up this past weekend while celebrating a respectable showing at our Arizona Wine Growers Association wine competition, and at dinner the evening prior to the Festival at the Farm. I don't quite recall who got the ball rolling, but one of us made a thankful statement about the tenacity our little gang of vintners has demonstrated over the years.
The rewards of our patience and focused efforts haven't gone unnoticed by others outside our little state bubble. I'm not talking about attention. Anyone can posture and hoot their empty claims of grandeur loudly enough to draw a few eyes. I'm referring more to recognition. Recognition takes time. Recognition is awarded to the diligent by those who were at first doubtful. And generally, recognition wasn't the goal to begin with. It's just the cherry on top of consistent, thorough efforts. We still have much to learn. But it's encouraging to know we've done a few things correctly along the way. So in this respect, the recognition gives me not only hope, but drive.
It reminded me of a comment I'd read a few months back after I'd described all the positive forward movements we've been making in our region. The person said something like, "Wow. The way you're describing your so-called accomplishments, one would think you'd discovered a cure for cancer." Uh, no. We make no such claim. But because I love to take on the role of devil's advocate, I decided to ponder that one a bit more and formulate a position.
I'm not an M.D. and couldn't even begin to list the top 10 carcinogens, their attacks, or their treatments. I am however a storyteller. And as such, I will make my case from an uninformed romantic's point of view. I will attempt to demonstrate hope and drive as possible "C word" deterrents. Wish me luck.