Maynard James Keenan, the frontman of TOOL and an accomplished winemaker, along with the team at Caduceus Cellars And Merkin Vineyards, invites individuals to experience a whole new side of the Verde Valley
This unveiling will take place on October 6, as the doors open to the Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery & Trattoria, alongside the Caduceus Cellars Hilltop Facility and VSC Ventura Room.
Nestled in Cottonwood, Arizona, this ambitious venture represents two decades of effort put forth by the TOOL frontman. Spanning seven acres, the establishment emerges on the grounds of the former Masonic Lodge in the region.
It encompasses a fresh winery and cellar, a tasting room, a restaurant, and a food production greenhouse, as well as a gelateria, all set against the backdrop of a vibrant vineyard in the heart of historic Old Town Cottonwood.
“In the many years I’ve been working towards this moment,” says Maynard, “one of the things I discovered when it comes to bridging the hurdle of exposing people to Arizona wine is context. So by putting a place like this in the middle of Cottonwood with five acres of vines, to winery facilities with a full greenhouse, and a full kitchen, all the context becomes visible, and you kind of break down the barriers of whatever preconceptions you have of Arizona wine.”
The Caduceus Cellars Hilltop Facility & VSC Ventura Room stands out with its expansive 9,500-square-foot production facility, complemented by a five-acre vineyard housing Graciano, Tempranillo, and Garnacha grape varietals. A notable addition is the new VSC (Velvet Slippers Club) private tasting room.
This facility extends exclusive opportunities for private tastings and tours, granting visitors a comprehensive insight into the lineage and mechanics of Caduceus Cellars.
In parallel, the Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery & Trattoria emerges, featuring a winery and barrel space, an onsite greenhouse, and a bottle shop. This establishment is destined to house the renowned Merkin Vineyards restaurant, the Trattoria, famed for its award-winning culinary offerings.
The 6,600-square-foot restaurant, led by Chef Chris Smith, presents a breathtaking 270-degree vista of the Verde Valley. Its interior showcases a prominent central bar and an outdoor patio.
The menu boasts an array of fresh salads, handcrafted pastas, and wood-fired pizzas. Adjacent to the restaurant, guests will find a winery with an 8,000-case production capacity and a barrel room displaying custom concrete fermentation and aging cubes.
The complex’s foundation includes the Merkin Vineyards Pocket Park Gelateria, where patrons can savor freshly crafted gelato and obtain a token to access the Hilltop Tram, a nostalgic homage to the region’s history in copper mining. Gelato Master Kelley E. Foy spearheads the gelato production, introducing a variety of seasonal flavors.
The destination is located at 770 Verde Heights Drive in Cottonwood, Arizona.
Established in 2004, Caduceus Cellars And Merkin Vineyards specialize in crafting high-elevation wines predominantly from Italian and Spanish grape varieties. The wines are cultivated from the 125 acres of estate vines spanning both northern and southern Arizona. Alongside his wife Jennifer and co-winemaker Tim White, Keenan oversees the production of around 8,000 cases per year at their unique subterranean concrete facility, known as The Bunker.
TOOL returns to the road this fall, expanding on their recently announced festival appearances (Power Trip, Aftershock and Louder Than Life) with an additional six weeks of performances, including TOOL’s first Canadian dates since 2019.
The tour announcement follows TOOL‘s debut live performances of 2023, headlining both Welcome To Rockville and the Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival in recent weeks.
Tickets for all non-festival shows are on-sale.
TOOL 2023 tour dates:
Sep. 22 – Louisville, KY Louder Than Life Festival
Oct. 3 – Loveland, CO Budweiser Event Center
Oct. 6 – Sacramento, CA Aftershock Festival
Oct. 8 – Indio, CA Power Trip
Oct. 10 – Salt Lake City, UT Delta Center
Oct. 12 – Idaho Falls, ID Mountain America Center
Oct. 14 – Nampa, ID Ford Idaho Center
Oct. 15 – Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
Oct. 17 – Eugene, OR Matthew Knight Center
Oct. 19 – Portland, OR Moda Center
Oct. 20 – Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome
Oct. 22 – Kelowna, BC Prospera Place Arena
Oct. 23 – Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
Oct. 25 – Edmonton, AB Rogers Place
Oct. 27 – Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
Oct. 29 – Winnipeg, MB Canada Life Center
Oct. 31 – St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Nov. 1 – Milwaukee, WI Fiserv Forum
Nov. 3 – Knoxville, TN Thompson-Boiling Arena
Nov. 4 – Charleston, WV Charleston Coliseum
Nov. 6 – Rochester, NY Blue Cross Arena
Nov. 7 – Allentown, PA PPL Center
Nov. 10 – Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
Nov. 13 – Manchester, NH SNHU Arena
Nov. 15 – Boston, MA TD Garden
Nov. 16 – Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Nov. 19 – Montreal, QC Bell Center
Nov. 20 – Toronto, ON Scotiabank Arena
Nov. 21 – Toronto, ON Scotiabank Arena
TOOL‘s latest LP, “Fear Inoculum”, arrived in August of 2019.