In 2012, I interviewed Tool/A Perfect Circle front man Maynard James Keenan. His campy side project, Puscifer, was coming to the Escondido Center for the Arts and I had been hired to write a preview. The notoriously antagonistic Keenan was pleasant and chatty, although I was surprised to find that we spent half (or more) of the conversation taking about wine. Turns out, the prog/metal singer started Caduceus Cellars in Northern Arizona. He’s serious about trying to give Napa Valley a run for its money.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a small blurb about local singer-songwriter Jack Tempchin. I was again surprised to find that he, too, has made a foray into winemaking. Named after the big hit he penned for The Eagles, and bottled at South Coast Winery in Temecula, “Peaceful Easy Feeling” Cabernet Sauvignon can now be found at many Tempchin shows – some of which even include a wine tasting and bottle signing.
And they’re not the only ones. It seems that rock and roll has become more civilized these days – one corkscrew and Chianti at a time. Here are some of DiscoverSD’s other favorite rock-vintners:
The Material Girl has long diversified her portfolio, and fermented grapes are no exception. If you ever visit her Ciccone Vineyard & Winery in Suttons Bay, Michigan, don’t expect to see her Madge-ness hanging out. But there’s a good chance you’ll run into her dad who still runs the place.
When the vet pop rocker wrote “Don’t Drink The Water,” it was only because he was trying to steer fans to his Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville, Virginia. The vineyard even hosts weddings on site and has a wine club.
Not sure if he’s still in the spirits game, but for a while there, you could get a Sauvignon Blanc from the gold-grilled rapper and his Little Jonathan Winery. Turn down for what? Well, maybe just for a minute while I sip this Merlot.
The Primus frontman and bassist is perhaps best known for “Sailing The Seas of Cheese,” his band’s 1991 high-water mark. He’ll have to get more specific when he’s pairing it with something from his Claypool Cellars in Sebastopol, California.
The Aussie singer and star of “Grease” is no bandwagon jumper. She got “Physical” in 1981, and it was only two years later that she founded Koala Blue Wines. The brand has since expanded to include food and drinking water.
Not that the iconic Mexican singer needed any help with the ladies, but now after he sings them a bolero, he can offer them a bottle of Chardonnay with his picture on it from Viña Ventisquero in Chile. Picante!
The bearded drummer is reuniting with his old band mates for a tour this fall (including a stop at Viejas Arena on December 2). But when the estranged musicians are together in the greenroom again, you can bet he’ll be sipping on one of his many wines from The Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar.
Yep. Even the Black Eyed Peas singer has a winery. Run in partnership with her father, Fergie’s “gotta feeling” that people will love the Syrah from her Ferguson Crest Winery in California’s Santa Ynez Valley.
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene. He has interviewed hundreds of artists, from the legendary to the underground, for print and television. Follow McDonald and his melodic musings on Twitter @eight24_ or Instagram @scotteight24. Send your music musts to firstname.lastname@example.org.