Tuesday, October 30, 2012
A Destination for History, Wine, and Hauntings
In the early 1900s, Jerome, Arizona was well on its way to being the capital city of Arizona as it approached statehood. A boom town, supported by the billions of dollars worth of copper ore in the surrounding hills and mountains, Jerome was built by the United Verde Copper Company. The entire town started off as a mining camp clinging to the steep cliffs of Cleopatra Hill. Within the first 10 years of production, the high output of copper led Jerome to go from a camp made of canvas and wood, to a booming city touting cutting-edge architecture.
Unfortunately, the good times couldn't last. By 1933 the mines had closed up shop and residents left in droves to find work elsewhere. For years the town sat nearly abandoned, with only a few tenacious holdouts and new-age hippies populating the crumbling foundations of the ghost town.
In the early 1990s, the town saw a resurgence as a tourist attraction. Now, in 2012, Jerome is going through another change as it is becoming the premier destination for wine-lovers. Not only are there several wine tasting rooms and wine bars in Jerome, but many varieties of grapes are also being grown on those steep hillsides that once held millions of dollars in precious metals.
Just below Jerome, in the Verde Valley, the banks of the Verde River offers the perfect, nutrient-rich soil and climate for vineyards, and many are springing up quickly. In fact, Cottonwood, Arizona, just below the town of Jerome has pooled municipal funds to create a learning environment for prospective winemakers to study the art.
With its rich history and full-bodied flavor, Jerome and the Verde Valley area is the perfect destination for wine enthusiasts.