Wine Tasting At MauiWine – Maui’s Upcountry Winery And Ulupalakua Vineyards
I’ll be the first to admit that we’re just a little bit wine snobby. Our primary home is in the Napa Valley and most of our friends are involved one way or another in the wine industry. In fact Jeff’s family has a long history in this valley (7 generations!) and our son continues the tradition and works in wine sales (and of course we love to drink good wine, who doesn’t?) What’s very interesting to us, and fun little fact that a wine grower from our town here in Napa Valley has been involved with MauiWine since it’s wine-making inception! We love that Napa Valley-Maui connection!
When you think of Maui, wine country isn’t the first thing that comes to mind but MauiWine & Ulupalakua Vineyards are putting out some very lovely wines. Located on the hillside of Haleakala in the upcountry area of Maui known as Kula, MauiWine is producing some delicious varietals! The cooler upcountry temperatures combined with the unique terroir allow for some amazing and complex tastings!
Wine grapes are not the only basis for their wines, they produce their famous pineapple wines and sparkling wine as well as a raspberry dessert wine.
What started out as a temporary wine making exercise soon flourished into a signature wine. While waiting for the grapes to mature, MauiWine began making wine from local pineapples. It’s popularity earned it a permanent spot on their wine list!
Their signature pineapple wine ‘Maui Splash’ is crisp, sweet and slightly acidic with rich pineapple overtones. Perfect for afternoon wine coolers on a tropical island!
MauiWine and surrounding estate and vineyards has a rich and varied history and heritage dating back to 1841. It’s well worth a visit to learn about this rich history.
The Estate wine list includes a Grenache with tasting notes of “roasted nuts. cherry fig. orange rind. cactus. wet fire wood. olive. dusty. plumb. progression. vagrant. wood cabin. curious.” Very interesting tasting notes, wouldn’t you say? I know they had me at ‘cherry fig, orange rind’. But I doubt I’d turn down sips of the Malbec either how does ‘belgium chocolate. dark cherry. blueberry cream. sweet mint. figgy. pistachios. gushy‘ sound?
Spending an afternoon wine-tasting upcountry is a lovely experience. We love to sit on their veranda and sip while nibbling on a nicely laid out charcuterie plate. There is a large checker-board for an impromptu game or head over to the lawn for a little game of corn hole.
The well manicured tropical landscape is inviting and makes us think back to a quieter time when upcountry Maui was Paniolo country.
Visiting the winery is easy, just head to Kula along highway 37 – travel through Maui Beef company territory and enjoy the expansive views. You’ll come upon the winery on the left with the Ulupalakua Ranch Store and deli on the right. I recommend having lunch at the Ulupalakua Ranch Store and wine-tasting in one afternoon. We’ll add a blog post soon about the Ulupalakua Ranch Store and Deli soon!
We found that we really liked one of the wines they produce so we joined the wine club so that we can get it back home as well as provide for our guests. One of our favorites is Kula, a crisp white wine at a very ‘weekday wine‘ price point – and with tasting notes of; ‘ginger, peach skin, tangerine oil, apricot, honeysuckle. pomelo. asian pear. jacaranda, nectar flower, sweet basil root‘, it is indeed a yummy wine!
The wine club is well worth checking out (make sure they can ship to your state.) Jeff and Casey, our son, really like the 2015 Syrah. With tasting notes of “kiawe smoke. dill. plumb. rhubarb. morels. wet forest. dates. tobacco. darkness. new leather. thought provoking. masculine. fig. green tea” it doesn’t take much convincing to sip this luscious wine!
Visiting the Winery – From their website:
“Starting at the King’s Cottage, we invite you to engage your senses with a tasting at our 18-foot bar, crafted from a single piece of solid mango wood. Take a step back in time with us and enjoy the rich culture of this historic location.
Originally constructed in the 1870s, the King’s Cottage was built for the visits of King Kalākaua, the last reigning king of Hawai’i, who would come to the slopes of ‘Ulupalakua to relax, entertain, and enjoy a little royal vacation time.
Here, it is our privilege to continue this rich tradition of home-grown hospitality as we offer a taste of our handcrafted wines. Whether you plan to visit our historic winery in a group or as a romantic outing for two, you can experience all of our unique wines here, including our popular pineapple wines, Traditional Methode sparkling wines, and our small production estate wines.
Tastings are offered here every day from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and guided tours of the historic estate, production area, and wine cellar depart the King’s Cottage lanai at 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.”
Tours: 10:30am & 1:30pm, 30 minutes
No reservations required for groups of less than 10
Tasting: $10-$15 Fee (flight of 5 wines)
Private tastings are also available:
“For our most exclusive MauiWine experience, it is our pleasure to offer a personalized tour with one of our knowledgeable wine consultants. Stroll through the beautiful historic estate, view our production area, and enjoy a one-on-one wine tasting in one of the many historic buildings on the estate. A great way to make memories with friends, family, and those you love at MauiWine—all part of this unforgettable private experience.
Time: variable, unavailable for same day booking
Starting at $400, inquire for pricing
A Rare Vineyard Experience
A visit to our vineyard is not only a memorable adventure for the wine enthusiast, but a chance to experience the beauty of the island in an unparalleled way. Stroll between the rows of grapes and run your fingers through the rich volcanic soils that sustain our vines and give each of our varietals their distinctive character. In our 23-acre vineyard, you get away from it all and escape to a little slice of island paradise that is made available to few. At sunset, this experience offers an unbelievable perspective of the island that can’t quite be put into words. Join us outside, in the center of one of the most unique vineyards in the world. Experience a tasting of our estate wines that is designed to be as exclusive as the ground you stand on… where the flavors and aromas of our unique wines blend with the fresh mountain air and the warm glow of the majestic Maui sun disappearing behind the horizon.
*Booking requests must be received at least 7 days in advance and within 45 days of requested date.
Availability Seasonal & Extremely Limited
$850.00 Minimum – Advanced Booking Required
*See Vineyard Experiences for information on private tours and tastings in the vineyards.”
Head on up country and enjoy the spectacular views, laid back style of a bygone era and sip some delicious wines.
Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,