Maui Wine, Ulupalakua Vineyards
The entry sign telling you that you have arrived
I’ve been on vacation in Maui for the last couple of weeks and it’s been great! Very relaxing, the weather has been beautiful. Last week, we made our way to Maui Wine. Until last year, the winery was known as Tedeschi Vineyards, but they decided to rebrand to highlight their “regional significance”. Regardless, it is the only winery on Maui.
It’s a 45 minute drive up a winding road from Kahului. The temperature went from 87 to 75 in the first 20 minutes, so be prepared for that. Once we got there, I was struck by the views from the sprawling grounds. It’s gorgeous!
Part of the beautiful grounds of the Maui Winery
We wasted no time in finding our way to the tasting room to find out what the deal was. Turns out you can taste any 3 wines from their list of 8 free! That day, they were not tasting one of the wines (Hula O Maui
, their pineapple sparkling wine) and they were completely out of one of the wines (Framboise
, their raspberry dessert wine), leaving 6 wines to choose from. Luckily, I was with my husband so I chose 3 to taste, he chose the other 3, and we got to sample all 6 that were available for tasting that day! The pours are pretty small, so I only had a sip of each, but it was nice to be able to try before buying.
As for the wines: The day we visited they were tasting 2 pineapple-based wines and 4 grape-based wines.
My favorite was the Maui Splash. I enjoyed its strong ripe pineapple aroma. By contrast, the smell of the Maui Blanc was not for me. I was tempted to buy a bottle of the Lokelani, because I generally enjoy a nice sparkling wine, but the sample I received wasn’t enough to sell me on buying a $28 bottle.
The tasting bar at MauiWine
It’s too bad they weren’t tasting the pineapple sparkling wine. It sounds like something I might have liked, but I didn’t want to take a chance and buy a whole bottle for $24 without tasting it first. At first I wondered why you couldn’t buy by the glass or pay a fee to taste them all, but after doing a little research and pondering, given its location on a narrow, winding country road, it’s probably difficult to get licensed for more than minimal consumption. It would not be very safe to try to drive that road even slightly impaired.
Aside from the wine, the experience of tasting in the King’s cottage is pretty cool! The history of the site (insert picture) is impressive and the views are breathtaking.
Good to note: They sell their wines at Safeway in Lahaina and
The “Merrie Monarch’s” 140+ year old Hula Circle
perhaps other retailers on the island, so if you don’t buy or don’t buy enough of your favorite wine while you’re at the winery, you can get some later. That being said, you do save 10% when you buy 3 or more bottles at the winery. I learned that aside from the complimentary tasting they offer a “king’s visit” tasting. It’s offered Wednesdays and Thursdays and costs $50. Seems a little pricey, but you get to taste the estate wines in the unique setting of the “Old Jail” on the property. I was interested in their Chenin Blanc-Viognier and Chenin Blanc from their current estate releases. Also, I would consider this winery pretty kid-friendly. My 2-year-old enjoyed running around the grounds and exploring with his dad.
Let’s fire this cannon! I wonder if it’s grape-shot…
Overall: Definitely worth the journey for the tasting and the scenic vistas. Would’ve been more so if it had been possible to taste the pineapple sparkling wine and/or the estate wines I was interested in.
Now let’s talk about that Ube Bread…