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The Arizona desert has become the final frontier for winemakers in the USA and while it was considered too challenging just decades ago, several vineyards have made incredible headway in pushing an Arizona style that’s all its own.


Caduceus Cellars

merkin caduceusCaduceus Cellars is a small family owned and operated winery. The family in question just happens to belong to Maynard James Keenan, who you might know better as The Guy from the Rock Band Tool.

Keenan took up winemaking when he decided he’d like to lead a (sometimes) quieter life. A friend suggested Arizona. “Northern Arizona is truly a remarkable place. I scratched my head for years wondering why no one had attempted to grow grapes in what appeared to be the perfect climate. Harsh yet mystical. A survivors paradise.”

Keenan entered the wine business in the 1990’s, focusing on smaller quantities, and care and attention to the craft. It wasn’t until he’d already plunged headlong into his new business venture he found out from a relative that his great grandfather, “Spirito” Marzo, had vineyards and had made wine in Venaus, Italy, just North of Turino in Piemonte. As Keenan puts it, “my tastes in wine reflect this history”.

If Keenan’s celebrity and profile got him on the winemaking map, he and his crew’s talents have kept him there. His wines are enormously popular. Coveted, even.

As enticing as his lineup may be, Caduceus Cellars current limited production doesn’t allow them to entertain wide international distribution. But Crimson Imports is one of the few companies permitted to share wines like those under the Merkin and Caduceus labels.

Caduceus Cellars wine is available exclusively at J Webb Wine Merchant in Calgary. Click here for Edmonton distribution.

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