Rock-Star Wines

Favorite music industry winemakers


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Rock-Star Wines
There’s an old saying that if you want to make $1 million dollars in the winemaking business, it’s easy -- just start with $4 million! That may not be entirely true; you’re probably more likely to end up with nothing, but that’s another story.

Well, it is certainly easier to get into this risky and difficult business if you are flush with cash, and that is seeing an increasingly large number of celebrity-owned wine brands. We’ve previously taken a look at some of the great sporting figures of the gridiron and racecar world, but today I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the great music industry names that are now proudly, and successfully I might add, making wine.

It’s not very surprisingly to see that many in the entertainment, and particularly the music, industry have branched out into winemaking. Seems like as people get a bit older, and a bit slower, they might want to replace a bowl of brown M&Ms and a fifth of Johnnie Walker Black with something a bit easy on the system. So, without further ado, here are five of our favorite music industry winemakers.

Mentioned in this article


  • As far as taste goes ... my second favorite is Mick Fleetwood's Cabernet.

    Jan 12, 2011 at 1:29 PM

  • Snooth User: ecowper
    152156 191


    "I’m talking Arizona, folks -- not the first place the mind goes when talk turns to vintage vino. "

    Well, I was in Arizona recently, and I was totally surprised by some of the local wine being made there. As I thought about it, though, once you are at higher elevations where the temps are more like Spain or Siciliy, it makes sense. And the Tempranillo stuff I tried was pretty good, actually.

    Jan 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

  • "Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer for the metal band Tool, seems like an unlikely fellow to be making wine"

    ...awfully presumptuous statement, the author obviously knows nothing of this man's history...former military man, rock musician, proud parent, innovator of NUMEROUS musical styles and the founder of three different bands...

    WHY would someone think him not to be this cultured and adventurous...

    Jan 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

  • Snooth User: zombron
    333020 31

    How did you guys miss Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville, VA? It's owned by Dave Matthews.

    Jan 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

  • Snooth User: DS221
    200326 1

    And what about Boz Scaggs? Great Syrah and Rose too!

    Jan 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks Ted for your series of statements.

    You must think that discovering vineyards and building a brand is a part time job, but of course I know you don't since I'm not presumptive and answer questions before I write something down.

    You know that building a winery and a brand is a full time job that requires not only the commitment of time on site but also off promoting the wines. As one of the most commonly searched for wines on Snooth I have watched the interest in Caduceus over the past years coincide to a certain extent with Tool's fame.

    The fact that someone has such a full plate, active in a field with distinctly different demands than the wine industry makes him an unlikely fellow to be making wine.

    Zombron - Easy listening will be in part two!

    Jan 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

  • I haven't tried any of Carlos Santana's wine, however I have purchased a pair of his shoes - does that count for something?

    Jan 12, 2011 at 2:47 PM

  • How about a true award winner with greater than 90 point wines coming out of Washington State. Charles Smith (Chateau Smith) has some truly wonderful Syrahs and he started out as a rock band manager in Europe I believe and came back home to become a brilliant vintner!

    Jan 12, 2011 at 3:47 PM

  • Snooth User: SMFN
    466282 59

    Maynard James Keenan is a musical genius and no doubt extremely creative...but can he really make wine??? I take both music and wine very seriously and would love some input on Caduceus wines before I blindly order some bottles! Has anyone tasted them?

    Jan 12, 2011 at 4:03 PM

  • Snooth User: MrBrummy
    580600 1

    Greg...first as a big wine lover with intermediate knowledge I appreciate your insight as well as the rest of the folks that take part. I live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and have in the past years ventured out more into the AZ wines and have to say...WOW! There truly are some great "winos" out here with some awesome wines. As a matter of fact just finished my last bottle of Caduceus Naga 2007; love it! I get up to Jerome to Maynards' tasting room whenever I can and have enjoyed most of what I have sampled and always bring some home. Last thought: check out Maynard's movie Blood Into Wine if you haven't excellent look at his passion for wine, wine production and what he does with the brand. thx

    Jan 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM

  • SMFN -

    We hosted Maynard and his winemaking mentor Eric Glomski here at City Winery in May of 2010 for a screening of his film "Blood Into Wine" which documents Maynard's serious commitment to winemaking. 300 people tasted alongside Eric and Maynard and his wines are thoughtfully and carefully made. Order with confidence.

    Jan 12, 2011 at 4:24 PM

  • Snooth User: TomNBowie
    669648 1

    Also - Geoff Tate of Queensryche;

    Jan 12, 2011 at 7:55 PM

  • Snooth User: SWAFF
    279517 1

    Does Kirk Hammett make wine?

    Jan 13, 2011 at 1:17 AM

  • Surely we're forgetting such memorable rock-star wines as Chris de Burgundy, Screaming Eagle Jay Hawkins and Merlot Haggard?

    Jan 13, 2011 at 4:27 AM

  • Being an actual hands-on winemaker, I take exception to those who call themselves "winemakers" when what they do is have their business manager write checks. When someone works harvest for three months, nutures the wine for 12-36 months, blends the final product, and gets the wine to market, then they can be called a "winemaker". The Pope commissioned (paid) Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, but we never talk about the Pope being an artist. Some of the people in your article are in fact "winemakers", most are not.

    Jan 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    I hear you mbrown.

    I should have said that these were mostly rock "winemakers", as opposed to the real Mccoys out there. It's easy to slap your name on something, much more difficult to actually work your ass off and become a true winemaker.

    Jan 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM

  • Snooth User: shimpo
    649052 2

    You folks obviously have never met Maynard Keenan the winemaker! I helped with the harvest this year at this Jerome vineyard and he worked as much as anyone there. Maynard ran the forklift dumping the grapes into the destemmer and believe me he made sure every drop of that precious free run was captured. Have you tried his Judith? The words hand -made come to mind…

    Jan 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

  • Unlike many celebrity "winemakers" Mr Keenan of Caduceus Cellars can actually attach the moniker to his long list of titles. He is more involved in his winery and vineyards than most.
    Caduceus wines are diverse and wonderful. The AZ grapes are definitely different than CA, but that's a good thing. Caduceus recently started a wine club called The Velvet Slipper Club. It's a great way to get a sample of the wonderful wines Caduceus is producing.
    I've personally tasted the 2008 Nagual del Naga (a little new, but still wonderful) and the 2007 Nagual del Judith (also new tasting, but equally as amazing - this wine is the first to be produced with 100% AZ grapes and is dedicated to Mr. Keenan's mother).

    Jan 14, 2011 at 7:30 PM

  • Snooth User: schellbe
    Hand of Snooth
    247770 225

    I've heard of three of these people. I did better on the wine icon quiz. But I like wine, and I don't care much for entertainment.

    Jan 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM

  • Agree, Dave Matthews definitely should be on here!

    Apr 19, 2011 at 2:23 PM

  • Snooth User: pgg1313
    838174 60

    You forgot about Dave Mathews. He has a great vineyard in Virginia called Blenheim Vineyards. A great group of wines across the board. It's almost as if you don't acknowledge Virginia as a great up and comer in the wine industry, Virginia has some awesome wines that you need to take a look at.

    May 26, 2011 at 1:53 PM

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