Geoff Tate uncorks new wine and music projects

Preview: Frontman for QueensrĜche also dabbles in Insania
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Geoff Tate, the talented frontman of the multiplatinum progressive metal band QueensrĜche, will perform at The Depot Sept. 18 with an eight-piece band of virtuosos backing him.

But enough about music. Let's talk about the wine.

Tate's touring to promote Insania, a Bordeaux-style wine he developed at Three Rivers Winery in Walla Walla, Wash.

"I'm a wine collector but not a wino," Tate said in an interview from his home state of Washington. "I've tried it in so many countries that I've come to appreciate it."

Several years ago, Tate met

Holly Turner, a winemaker at Three Rivers Winery. They struck up a friendship, and eventually Turner offered the singer the opportunity to try his hand at crafting a wine blend.

"He had been thinking of making his own wine," Turner said from the vineyard, harvesting grapes as she talked on a cell phone. "There's no reason not to do it."

Tate had loved the Bordeaux wines he sipped while on QueensrĜche tours in France, so he worked with Turner to make a Bordeaux-style wine blend of four grapes - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot - cultivated in Washington state.

After trial and error, Tate said, he found a flavor that "expresses how I feel about wine," which he said was a great dark fruit, with a nice, long finish. "When you taste it, you'll know why it's called Insania," Turner said.

Futures of Geoff Tate's Insania Red Wine are available at $35 per bottle by contacting the winery at 509-526-WINE. Wine will be bottled and shipped in February.

It will still be in the bottling process when Tate comes to perform at The Depot, so the wine won't be available, but speaking of music, his one-of-kind, soulful voice will be.

He's bringing an eight-piece band that includes the drummer of QueensrĜche and a member of the 1990s rock band Third Eye Blind. Together, the musicians will perform much of Tate's 2002 solo album, as well as some QueensrĜche material the group has never performed live before.

But even with the winemaking and solo tour, Tate still has time for QueensrĜche. Right before he arrives in Salt Lake City, Tate and QueensrĜche are schedule to record their next album during the day, with Tate rehearsing his solo band at night.

And, if the mood strikes him, he'll stop and sip a glass of wine.

David Burger writes about popular music. Contact him at or 801-257-8620.