In a town of less than five hundred, Jerome, Arizona is home to a vibrant community of writers, artists, artisans, musicians, historians, and families. The Jerome Chamber of Commerce website’s FAQ section lists their major industries as “art, wine, light manufacturing, and tourism.” While not the primary reason for the historic copper mining town’s successes over the last couple of decades, Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards have certainly provided a point of attention to the small town and more eyes mean more interest. More interest means a better chance at prosperity for the citizens of Jerome.
Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards are the winemaking companies owned and operated by singer/songwriter, actor, raconteur, and of course vintner Maynard James Keenan. Keenan, a Jerome resident since 1995, started growing and producing wine in the hills of Jerome in 2009.
“You have to do it for yourself,” Keenan told Revolver in 2017, “but you have to understand that there’s a community around you and that community around you, if they’re inspired by your actions, then they can build on that.”
In addition to the vineyards, Keenan also owns and operates various businesses in town including his music store/barber/gift shop Puscifer: The Store, The Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Wine Tasting Room, and Four Eight Wineworks a winemaker co-op that provides learning opportunities to up and coming winemakers.
“We’ve set up a scenario where people come in, they’re just looking for a job, but hopefully by the time they leave they’ve made a connection with the Arizona wheat, the Arizona grapes, Arizona produce, the interaction with the barber. There’s commerce and communication that’s happening that spirals out from there and hopefully, we can build on that.”
A busy man who thrives on the need to press forward creatively, Maynard is an advocate for hard work and maintaining creative motivation.
“Life is too short not to create something with every breath we draw.”