MauiWine at ‘Ulu­palakua

Where Maui - - Editor's Itinerary -

WITH ITS MICROCLIMATES,

fer­tile vol­canic soil and year-round sun­shine, Maui has slowly be­come a mecca for brew­eries, dis­til­leries and a sin­gle win­ery. Yet, the pro­duc­tion of spir­its is noth­ing new to the is­land. In fact, its his­tory can be traced back to King Kame­hameha I, who was said to be an afi­cionado of rum after be­ing in­tro­duced to it by a sea cap­tain. Even such prom­i­nent fam­i­lies as the Alexan­ders and Bald­wins were once known as Pro­hi­bi­tion­ists. To­day, though, brew­ers, dis­tillers and vint­ners op­er­ate in the open, many pro­vid­ing tours for any­one in­ter­ested in learn- ing—and tast­ing—the process. The drive to MauiWine at ‘Ulu­palakua is wind­ing, scenic and re­ward­ing once you ar­rive. Framed by blos­som­ing flower beds and a tow­er­ing va­ri­ety of trees planted more than 150 years ago on the orig­i­nal Rose Ranch Es­tate, the win­ery is perched 1,800 feet above sea level on the slopes of Haleakalā. The vol­canic soils here pro­vide a rich en­vi­ron­ment for grapes to flour­ish. Founded in 1974 by the Erd­man fam­ily, MauiWine is the is­land’s sole com­mer­cial win­ery that pro­duces a var­ied se­lec­tion of es­tate-grown grapes, in­clud­ing Syrah, Chenin-Viog­nier, Mal­bec and Gre­nache. Vint­ners also pro­duce pineap­ple-in­fused wines, which gen­er­ally don’t age as well as grapes. Com­pli­men­tary tast­ings are of­fered ev­ery day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Guided tours are con­ducted daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., start­ing at the King’s Cot­tage, which was once a moun­tain re­treat where King Kalākaua—the last reign­ing king of Hawai’i— and Queen Kapi’olani would come to re­lax and be en­ter­tained. “The tour sounds better with a taste of wine first,” quips a vis­i­tor from Portland, Ore., who was sam­pling the Sparkling Wine. “We have our own vine­yards in Ore­gon but the scenery isn’t any­thing like this.” Kula, 808.878.6058, mauiwine.com

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