Jerome Sips and Spirits 6

A Whimsical Wine Tour Through One of Arizona’s Most Haunted Cities

Jerome, Arizona, is a tiny mountain town that was once home to the most productive copper mine in the world back in the early 1900s. The wealth from the mine brought thousands to Jerome, and with it a slew of bars, bandits and other unsavory types, earning the city the nickname of “the wickedest town of the West.” Even more, Jerome is teeming with stories of ghosts lingering long after the mine closed back in 1952. However, this “haunted” town is now a thriving art-and-wine-centric city. Here, take a journey through Jerome’s storied, haunted past and very much alive and vibrant present.

Historic Haunts

The Jerome Grand Hotel + Asylum Restaurant

Peeking out from the mountain tops, the towering 30,000-square-foot Jerome Grand Hotel stands one-mile-high and offers spectacular, sweeping views of the city. It was once the best hospital in all of Arizona, but after closing in 1950, it stood vacant for decades. Now, remodeled as a 25-room hotel and restaurant, it is perhaps the most haunted spot in the entire city. One story tells of a hotel worker who was allegedly crushed to death by the key-operated elevator and still resides within the hotel walls. Daring individuals should book room 32 or the Grand Suite, where guests reportedly have experienced the most paranormal activity.

Mile High Grille & Inn

Built in 1899, the Mile High Grille & Inn on Main Street was once the home of undertakers, madams and a ghost kitty, although many believe they never left. Don’t be surprised if you find that your towels and pillow have been moved while staying at the hotel; the cat might even “sleep” in your bed or leave indentations on the covers. Today, the spot functions as a cozy seven room inn on the upper floors and a restaurant serving up classic American fare on the bottom.

The Connor Hotel

The Connor Hotel’s history is as colorful as that of the city in which it resides. Constructed in 1898 as a high-end hotel, the building burned down twice within two years of opening. It closed again in 1931, reopened in the 1960s during the town’s revival and closed again in the 1980s. It is now home to 12 quaint rooms and a happening bar and live music venue, the Spirit Room Bar. There are conflicting reports, but allegedly, you can hear a woman’s voice and a dog growling sometimes at night if you listen closely.

Remarkable Wineries

Caduceus Cellars

Tool frontman and Arizona wine champion, Maynard James Keenan, is the co-owner of Jerome’s Caduceus Cellars. Keenan and his wife, Jennifer, annually produce about 4,500 cases of homegrown Arizona red, white and rosé wines. The modern tasting room is outfitted with natural features, including a brick wall, wooden floors and a copper-colored ceiling. Indulge in the full tasting experience by pairing your wine with a savory selection of gourmet meat and cheese plates.

Cellar 433

Just off Jerome’s Main Street, Cellar 433 stands alone on Hull Avenue. Its bright two-floor tasting room is decked out with a red accent wall, and filled with striking paintings and colorful vases. Guests can sample hard-to-find Arizona varietals like Marselan, Montepulciano and Albarino culled from grapes grown in a 320-acre farm in the Southeastern Arizona town of Willcox. Enjoy your vino with an artisan cheese tray or an aged Brie wheel. One perk here? Great views, as the window-filled space offers sweeping vistas of the surrounding area.

Passion Cellars

This quaint tasting room in Jerome’s Flatiron building features a chandelier, comfy chairs, red curtains flanking the door, a black and white bar and a wall lined with row upon row of sumptuous wines. The wines Passion Cellars stocks hail from Salvatore Vineyards, also located in Willcox, which mostly grows red varietals like Syrah, Zinfandel and Barbera, with a white viognier occasionally thrown in for good measure.