Honoring Toby Keith: A Memorable Encounter with Jim Clendenen

Years ago, Jim Clendenen met Toby Keith at a gathering in Nashville. Amidst the lively atmosphere and abundant wine, Jim praised his winemaking skills, confident in his ability to rival Napa’s finest. Captivated by Jim’s assurance, Toby agreed to collaborate on a special red wine blend featuring Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, christened “Cactus Ridge” by Toby for exclusive enjoyment among his inner circle.

Yet, delivering the wine to Toby’s Oklahoma home posed a challenge, we even told his manager, “even God cannot ship wine to Oklahoma”. With direct shipping unavailable, various alternatives were explored without success. Suddenly, Toby’s manager had a revelation—the fleet of 18-wheelers usually reserved for concert tours could serve this purpose. One morning, a striking truck adorned with Toby Keith’s emblem arrived at the winery. With one pallet loaded onto the truck, it embarked on the journey back to Oklahoma.

We wish to express our sympathies with Toby’s family and many fans who will miss his music.