Tool’s Maynard James Keenan to Open New Scenic Arizona Winemaking Facility

The Tool singer has expanded his wine operations to the lavish complex in Cottonwood, Arizona

maynard james keenan wine facility
Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery & Trattoria, and Caduceus Cellars Hilltop Facility and VSC Ventura Room (courtesy of Speakeasy PR) and Maynard James Keenan, inset (photo by Alex Kluft)

    Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan is opening a new winemaking facility on the site of a former Masonic lodge in Cottonwood, Arizona.

    Keenan and the team behind his Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards will open the facility on October 6th. The complex will feature 270-degree views of the Verde Valley and include the Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery and Trattoria restaurant, the Caduceus Cellars Hilltop Facility, and the VSC Ventura Room.

    It’s the culmination of 20 years of work by Keenan, who founded Caduceus Cellars in 2004.

    “In the many years I’ve been working towards this moment,” explains Keenan, “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.”

    For wine connoisseurs, the new facility is sure to be a vacation destination, with its seven acres featuring a new winery and cellar, tasting room, restaurant, and food production greenhouse set amidst a vineyard in the heart of historic Old Town Cottonwood.


    The Caduceus Cellars Hilltop Facility houses a 9,500 square-foot, state-of-the-art production facility — alongside a five-acre vineyard consisting of Graciano, Tempranillo, and Garnacha grape varieties — and a new VSC (Velvet Slippers Club) private tasting room. Private tastings and tours will be available, taking visitors behind-the-scenes of Caduceus Cellars.

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    In the Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery, you’ll find a barrel room, on-site greenhouse and bottle shop, and the Trattoria restaurant, which is helmed by Chef Chris Smith and sports the aforementioned 270-degree vista of the Verde Valley.

    Furthermore, at the base of the complex, is the Merkin Vineyards Pocket Park Gelateria where customers can buy fresh gelato and hitch a ride on the Hilltop Tram that transports them to the top of the development — a reminder of the area’s copper-mining past. More information can be found at the respective websites for Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards.


    With the opening of the new wine facility and Tool’s upcoming Fall North American tour dates, it’s setting up to be a busy season for Maynard. The trek kicks off October 3rd in Loveland, Ohio, with tickets available here.

    Watch a video preview of the winemaking facility below.