Most everyone wants to visit Maui for golden beaches, fabulous resorts along the coast, and to play in the beautiful blue of the Pacific ocean, but personally I also love to go Upcountry, taking the scenic drive along Hwy 37, just past the tiny town of Keokea, this is where you will find Tedeschi Vineyards – Maui’s Winery.
Maui’s Winery is situated on the historic grounds of what was once known as Rose Ranch where King Kalakaua came to relax, the cottage housing the tasting room was built for King Kalakaua, as you stroll throughout the original gardens, under 100 year old trees you know you have arrived at a very special place. Literally as you tour the grounds with the winery staff, you are walking the same pathways once taken by ali’i(royalty). Throughout the tour you will learn how many of the historic lava rock buildings are now used in the wine making process, as well as the steps necessary to produce wine.
So how did Maui’s only commercial winery come to be in the middle of Ulupalakua Ranch? In 1974 the winery in collaboration with the ranch began to grow grapes in keeping with the agricultural heritage of the area, while the grapes were growing and maturing the winery began to experiment with pineapples that were already plentiful on the island and produced a sparkling wine that was very well received by the public, but hard to produce they had to come up with other options a little easier to produce, after three years of experimenting Tedeschi Vineyards released a Maui Blanc pineapple wine from local fruit. Finally in 1984 the first grape product was released in the form of :Maui Brut Sparkling, and today they have a wide variety of wines to offer.
The tasting room is open daily 9:00am – 5:00pm
Free guided tours of the winery are offered at 10:30am and 1:30pm – no reservations are required ( but they do make reservations for small private winery tours and tastings – and groups of 10 or more guests – contact them via email firstname.lastname@example.org ).
If you go during lunch time, I suggest you go just across the street to the Ulupalakua Ranch Store, get lunch to go and have a picnic under the majestic old trees that stand guard over the winery. If you are brave enough try the famous Ulupalakua elk burgers, but as for me still working up my courage to try that, I prefer something from the grill from Maui Cattle Company Beef, and then spend time in the winery gift shop and history room after lunch.
So how do you go Upcountry to find the Ulupalakua Ranch and Maui’s Winery ? Located about 1 hour ‘s drive from the resort areas of Wailea and Ka’anapali.
From Central Maui, take Hana Highway (Hwy 36) to Haleakala Highway (Hwy 37) – at the town of Keokea, stay to the right and continue another 5.1 miles to Ulupalakua.
Maui’s Winery – P O BOX 953, Ulupalakua, Hawai’i 96790 – Toll Free 1-877-878-6058 www.mauiwine.com