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Tool frontman opens wine tasting room in Arizona ghost town

Maynard James Keenan, frontman of multi-platinum-selling US rock band Tool, has opened a wine tasting room in Jerome, Arizona.

The Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room opened its doors on 4 July and will be open 365 days a year.

Keenan, whose great grandfather made wine in Northern Italy, owns Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Cellars in Cornville, Arizona, home of US Senator – and presidential candidate – John McCain.

The singer is also a partner of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, an 80-acre site in Sulphur Springs Valley in the state, which he co-owns with winemaker Eric Glomski.

Jerome was a copper and gold mining village in the late 1800s before becoming a ghost town after a series of miners’ strikes. It dipped to a low of 50 inhabitants in the late 1950s. The population today is estimated to be around 343.

The town is thought to be one of the most haunted in the United States and was hailed ‘the wickedest town in the West’ by the New York Sun in February 1903.

A documentary about Keenan and Glomski’s desert winemaking venture, Blood Into Wine: The Arizona Stronghold, is currently in production and set for release next February.

Keenan is a prolific musician, best known as the lead singer of heavy rock bands Tool and A Perfect Circle, with whom he has released seven albums.

Caduceus Cellars takes its name from the staff carried by Mercury, messenger of the gods. A merkin, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a form of pubic wig, popularised in the 18th century.

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Written by Lucy Shaw

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