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Tool frontman to headline NZ Pinot conference

Maynard James Keenan, frontman of American metal bands Tool, Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, is to headline at Pinot Noir NZ 2017 in Wellington next year.

Maynard James Keenan, photo credit: Travis Shinn
Maynard James Keenan, photo credit: Travis Shinn

The Ohio-born singer-turned-winemaker will speak at the popular Pinot conference at Wellington Waterfront held on 31 January to 2 February 2017.

Previous speakers include Hollywood actor and winemaker Sam Neill of Two Paddocks in Central Otago, who opened the conference in 2013.

A flier for the conference
A flyer for the conference

Keenan, who makes wine at Caduceus Cellars in northern Arizona, is keen to educate himself about Pinot Noir and share his wine story with participants.

Keenan works with Italian, Spanish and French varieties at his Arizona estate, but the weather conditions have proved too harsh for Pinot Noir to thrive.

“Looking at the soil, looking at the area, it seemed like the wise bet would be something southern Rhône, something Italian and something Spanish, and that proved to be true,” he recently told music website Team Rock.

Keenan, who organisers say “provides a real point of difference” at the event, will be joined by keynote speakers Jancis Robinson MW and Ken Ohashi MW.

Supported by New Zealand Winegrowers, the conference launched in 2001 to celebrate Pinot Noir in New Zealand and has earned a dedicated following.

Next year’s event will draw 117 producers from New Zealand’s diverse Pinot producing regions showcasing over 300 wines. Registration for Pinot Noir NZ 2017 opens on 1 March 2016.

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