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4/6/2010 1:30:00 PM
Arizona rock star winemakers host grand opening of tasting room in Cottonwood
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards was founded by James Maynard Keenan and his winemaking mentor, Eric Glomski, in 2007  fulfilling a shared dream of creating an artisanal, world-class Arizona winery.
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards was founded by James Maynard Keenan and his winemaking mentor, Eric Glomski, in 2007 fulfilling a shared dream of creating an artisanal, world-class Arizona winery.

COTTONWOOD - Having convinced the world's great wine experts that Arizona vino is serious business, Arizona Stronghold masterminds Maynard James Keenan and Eric Glomski invite regular folks to judge for themselves: By attending the grand opening of the up-and-coming label's new Tasting Room.

Keenan (also known as the lead singer of the rock band Tool) and Glomski (also known as the master vintner behind Page Springs Cellars) will be on hand to sign bottles on Sunday, April 11. The event will be held at the Cottonwood Civic Center, 805 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, just a short walk from the Tasting Room.

The winemakers will also host a pair of screenings of "Blood Into Wine," the sensational documentary film that profiles the ASV story. The bottle signing will run from 10 a.m. to noon. The screenings will start at 3 and 6 p.m., respectively, and will be followed by a Q&A session with the winemakers.

"The Tasting Room will help put Arizona wine on the map," Glomski says. "We make our Arizona Stronghold wines about 10 miles away, so it's a great chance for people to drink the wine in its natural habitat. And it gives everyone another reason to visit one of the coolest little towns in Arizona."

Tickets for the screening are $15 and include a glass of ASV wine for audiences 21-and-over. Seats are limited. Advance tickets are recommended by calling (928) 639-3004 (ext. 222) or can be purchased at the ASV Tasting Room (1023 N. Main Street in Cottonwood).

Tickets can also be purchased at the Page Springs Cellars tasting room (1500 N. Page Springs Road) in Cornville and Caduceus Cellars tasting room (158 Main Street) in Jerome.

To reserve a spot in line for the free, 21-and-over bottle signing, queue tickets can be picked up at the ASV, Page Springs Cellars or Caduceus Cellars tasting rooms. Bottles for the signing must be purchased at the event. No other memorabilia will be signed.

Featuring a hand-built bar-top and works by local artists, the ASV Tasting Room will also pour wines from Keenan's Merkin Vineyards, and Burning Tree Cellars, the personal label of Glomski protégé Corey Turnbull. Ultimately, Arizona Stronghold will also offer "vineyard designates": special, limited-run wines available only at the Tasting Room.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards was founded by Keenan and his winemaking mentor, Glomski, in 2007 - fulfilling a shared dream of creating an artisanal, world-class Arizona winery. ASV is one of a small but growing list of Arizona wineries that make wines using 100 percent state-grown grapes.

Respect and renown came quickly. Last year, Wine Spectator gave Arizona Stronghold's NACHISE (a firm, balanced Rhone blend) an excellent "89" score - the highest ever awarded an Arizona wine. The NACHISE also took the top overall award at the 2009 Arizona Grower's Cup.

Keenan and Glomski's efforts to launch the Arizona wine industry into worldwide renown were profiled in the acclaimed documentary film Blood Into Wine, from Phoenix-area filmmakers Ryan Page and Chris Pomerenke. Featuring such underground comedic talents as Bob Odenkirk and the "Adult Swim" comedy team of Tim & Eric, the film (bloodintowine.com) has currently screened in over 50 U.S. cities.

According to filmcritic.com, the film is "like a rock 'n roll version of Sideways. . . creating a hypnotic, enthralling, and fun documentary out of celebrity winemaker Maynard James Keenan, and his attempts to bring respect to the Northern Arizona wine country."

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