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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Wine Tasting in Historic Mining Town, Jerome, Arizona

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Old mining town of Jerome, Arizona

Old mining town of Jerome, Arizona

My annual visit

Every year I go to the States and visit family for a month. This year, we all decided to go to the historical mining town of Jerome, Arizona and see what we could find.

With the restrictions of COVID, we called ahead to see which places were open, which allowed us to bring my sister’s pooch, and where these tasting rooms were located.

We started with Google Maps and when possible, contacted places through Facebook. Ginger, of Vino Zona responded right away and enthusiasm showed in her communication style. Yes! They were open. Yes! They accepted loving pets. Yes! They gave tastings.

Winding narrow roads, no guardrails

So off we went to Jerome, up in the mountains, through winding roads and dramatic cliffs.

Jerome is small and very hilly, with narrow, used-to-be dirt pathways now called roads through town. Finding a parking place anywhere was a challenge, but we were able to park our vehicle and made our way up a small incline to Ginger’s shop.

Ginger-haired, Ginger, Proprietor of Vino Zona, Jerone, Arizona

Ginger-haired, Ginger, Proprietor of Vino Zona

Due to some unforeseen events at her Bed and Breakfast located above the wine tasting room, we encountered a ginger-haired woman scurrying around, setting up for the day. (This must be Ginger, right?) I proceeded to introduce us all, mentioned that we were the ones who contacted her through Facebook, had the small dog with us, and we were interested in tasting her wines.

 

 

 

 

Professional as she was, Ginger never missed a beat, and asked us to sit down while she continued setting up her shop. She mentioned that this was a small town, with rules about COVID. So, if we stood up, we were to wear our masks. If we sat down and tasted the wines, then of course, we didn’t have to wear them.

Charmingly, the shop had a history in the mining town. Upstairs used to house the miners during the day, and down below, where the tasting now took place, used to be an ice cream shop.

A sitting area in Vino Zona, Jerome, Arizona

Just like the Olden Days

Menus of wines available to taste were presented in front of us, and from this selection, we chose what we wanted to try.

Ginger emphasized that all the grapes for the wines she sold were organically grown in Arizona. She was proud of the Southwest Wine Center which was a wine-making college and that many women were pursuing second career as winemakers. Average age of the students? 44 years old.

One after another, the wines were brought out.

wines available for tasting, Vino Zona, Jerome, AZ

Wines available for tasting, storage below, refrigerated case in the center

My brother-in-law prefers reds, my sister likes whites. It was before noon, a little early for me, so I thought I’d go with a white…  and see where it might lead me.

I have to say that the wines were all distinctive and the whites that my sister (who used to own a wine shop in Santa Cruz, California) and I were tasting, took us aback.

We were impressed. Flavor!

My brother-in-law found a red that was satisfying to him, but before we decided on our purchases, Ginger recommended we try some of her Sangrias.

Akaisha at Vino Zona, Jerome, AZ

Not a Sangria-Gal, but maybe I changed my mind!

Now I have to admit that I’m not big on Sangria. Yes, I know I live in Mexico, yadda yadda yadda… but I have never really leaned in that direction for my wines.

Well, Blow me down!

One sangria was clean, fragrant and peppery, perfect for a fruit plate in the afternoon. And the other, a habanero chili infused wine, had me dancing with the fiery kick.

Whaaat?!

I liked these.

I was so impressed, that I purchased one of the Sangrias and my sister purchased the other, along with a white that begged for a seafood accompaniment.

Another couple from Los Angeles, California came in to taste, and we chatted with them a while. I took a look around the shop, noticing all the original artwork (which is for sale), done by Ginger’s now ex-husband. (“We’re still really good friends.”)

Artist Mark Hemleben, Jerome, AZ

Artist Mark Hemleben

I would recommend this wine shop for two substantial reasons.

One is Ginger herself. Original, congenial, authentic, informed about her products, and gracious to her customers. The second reason, of course, is the wine she offers for tasting. These are also original, a little outside the box, distinctive, and memorable.

If you are ever in Jerome, Arizona, stay at The Kelly House or stop by Vino Zona for some exclusive wines.

 

 

 

 

distinctive wines from Vino Zona, Jerome, AZ

Our purchases with autographed bottle of Sangria

The Kelly House

View, Vibe, and a wine shop underneath. The best view in Jerome.

www.thekellyhousejerome.com

Vino Zona – Super fine Arizona wine

Sip amazing AZ wine in down-to-earth Jerome style

www.vinozona.love

vinozonajerome@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vinozonajerome

Southwest Wine Center

Verde Valley Campus

601 Black Hills Drive

Clarkdale, AZ 86324

(928) 634. 6566

www.SouthWestCenter.org

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

contact Billy and Akaisha at theguide@retireearlylifestyle.com

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