Michael Keenan spent about half of our time together describing his wines. He spent the other half apologizing for his colorful language.
“Once in San Diego I participated in an elegant dinner- 10 wines with 10 courses. I found out later there was a secret contest to see how many times I would drop the f bomb during it,” he admitted with a look of mischief in his eye.
When our giggles subsided, someone asked, “So how many times were there?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “At least 18.”
If a stereotypical winemaker is arty and even a touch pretentious, Keenan proved anything but. His spirited attitude and knack for lively storytelling won me over immediately. The story of his wines begins when his father, Robert Keenan, purchased 180 acres of abandoned land in 1974. The property on Spring Mountain in Napa used to be a well-established vineyard called the Conradi Winery. Unfortunately, it fell into disrepair during prohibition. Robert saw hope in it though and hired a contractor to begin the ambitious task of breathing new life into the land.