May 12, 2014, Jerome, Ariz. – Under the new ownership of Arizona vintner Maynard James Keenan, the Arizona Stronghold vineyard in southern Arizona will be renamed the Buhl Memorial Vineyard. Earlier this month, Keenan became the sole owner of the historic, award-winning 70-acre vineyard.

The name change honors Albert K. Buhl, husband, father, cross country and track coach, and a trailblazer in Arizona winegrowing. Buhl, who died last November, brought a number of new varietals to the state including pinot gris and malvasia bianca to his Dos Cabezas Vineyard. The site was the second large-scale vineyard to be established in Arizona following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, and became the cornerstone of wine industry development in the Kansas Settlement of Cochise County.

“Some of the strongest and most expressive clones on this site were planted by Al,” Keenan said. “In light of his untimely passing, I felt naming the vineyard after him was the least we could do to honor his efforts and memorialize his legacy.”

Buhl purchased the original 40-acre plot in 1990.  The land was then sold to Keenan and Terrence Glomski and family in 2006 under the Arizona Stronghold banner but has reverted exclusively to Keenan. The amicable split agreement gives the Glomski family the rights to the Arizona Stronghold name, facility and sister vineyard in Graham County.

“We have yet to see the full potential of this vineyard,” said Keenan. “Until now, farming practices and site management have understandably been focused on medium- to higher-yielding vintages. This is quite common in unproven startup winemaking regions. I’ve witnessed firsthand how the best vineyards in the U.S. and abroad have been cultivated to produce top-quality wines. My vision for the site is to follow, as much as I can, those practices that will accurately and consistently express the undeniable world-class identity of the Southwest terroir. Of course, we have our own curveballs to deal with as the Arizona climate is quite unique and challenging, but my intention is to do this right, cut no corners, and to choose quality over quantity.”

Following the restructuring of the site, most of the fruit will be used in Keenan’s Merkin Vineyards wines, while the new vineyards coming on in Northern Arizona will go into his Caduceus Cellars wines. “We’ve had a lot of fun putting blends together with fruit from all over the region,” he said. “It’s exciting to witness the potential here in the Southwest, and winemakers from all over Arizona have been able to shift that from potential into proof positive in recent years. Now it’s time for me to shift the focus in my cellar to more micro-climate-driven wines. The Buhl Memorial Vineyard will be the cornerstone of that intent.”


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