Blame it on the pandemic, but Meniketti Wines – the second act by Dave Meniketti of heavy metal band Y&T and his wife Jill – is coming to an end.
The couple began making wine at the behest of Rob Jensen of Testarossa, the Los Gatos facility where they made their first vintage in 2013. Carried by the front desk, the couple searched for their own fruit and logged on. with winemaker Sabrine Rodems of Wrath to produce a series of vintages.
The Meniketti had planned to open a tasting room in Saratoga or Campbell, but those dreams were shattered by the pandemic and the fires, and they made the painful decision to stop producing wine.
Winemaking may seem like a strange side activity to a rock musician who attributes his longevity to avoiding potent drinking drinks and other vices that have done so in so many of his contemporaries. Dave Meniketti is the last surviving member of the original group, which started in Oakland in 1974.
“I was the most sober and responsible,” he says. “I didn’t like to party. We got really passionate about wine spending time in Europe on tour.
“In 2001, we went on vacation to Italy and found ourselves drinking the local wines and eating this great food,” his wife adds. “Friends in the wine world kept praising Dave’s great palate and telling us we should make ours.
“We are really proud of each vintage. Sabrine is so talented. She and Dave have created some excellent wines for us.
The Meniketti are offering all their wines at 50% off on menikettiwines.com, using the code MERC50. Vintages include the 2019 Meniketti “Temptation” rosé, Monterey; the 2018 Meniketti “Contagious” Chardonnay from the San Saba vineyard; the Syrah Meniketti “Black Tiger”, Monterey; and the Meniketti “Forever” 2017 pinot noir, Tondre Grapefield, Santa Lucia Highlands.