MauiWine at Ulupalakua Ranch
Wine Grown on the Slopes of Haleakala
Wine Grown on the Slopes of Haleakala
Hawaiʻi’s oldest and most well known winery is a true find. Located on the rolling slopes of Haleakala in ʻUlupalakua, it’s quaint ambiance and impressive wine menu is much appreciated after a long day out on the road. Be sure to sample Maui’s fine wines (be sure to take some home), hang out on the lanai (porch) and explore the tasting room!
Spreading “Aloha” by offering wine tastings to everyone, (over 21 years of age), who comes by is just one more reason to not miss this little gem in upcountry Maui.
The “King’s Cottage” was formerly the guest cottage for the King and his visitors to the ranch and is today’s tasting room. In 1874 King Kalakaua brought his wife Kapi’olani to Rose Ranch. They enjoyed their stay so much they became frequent visitors. The cottage was built specifically for him. He was known for his enjoyment of entertainment and gambling and he hosted many a late night “‘ao ‘ao” (party) and poker games while serving the finest libations, especially champagnes.
Captain Makee had a flair for entertainment also and would announce the arrival of the King by firing a cannon from his property. The cannon can be seen today on the grounds under centuries-old trees that Kalakaua would have also seen himself.
The history of Rose Ranch is tastefully displayed all over the property in the form of photos, paintings and other types of art and artifacts. The vine-covered sugar mill, the lava rock dairy (now the bottling room), and the old plantation jail are all utilized today.
MauiWine was born with the planting of its first grape vines back in 1974. It was obvious this endeavor of growing wine grapes would take time so wines made from other readily available tropical fruit, especially pineapples, might work. Inspired, they tried their luck at creating a pineapple wine, the first of which became Maui Blanc. Today these wonderful wines, known for its unique tropical flavors, are shipped worldwide from this beautiful and open upcountry location!
The history of this upcountry property is very interesting. It all started in 1845 when Linton L Torbert of the Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society leased 2,300 acres of this land from Kamehameha III. He began farming potatoes and corn as well as sugar. James Makee purchased Torbert’s plantation at auction in 1856. An Oahu businessman and first president of the Kapi’olani Park Association, Makee moved his family to Maui and named the property “Rose Ranch” after his wife Catherine’s favorite flower. For three decades the former whaling captain farmed sugar, raised cattle and experimented with several crops. He even planted cotton to take advantage of shortages due to blockades during the US Civil War. He imported purebred cattle stock and also established a dairy. His “sweet butter” was popular in Honolulu. Catherine Makee’s gardens greeted visitors to a profusion of roses, flowers, rare plants and shrubs. Today her work can be seen in the circular garden beds near the old jailhouse.
To better understand how to rule the Hawaiian people in a changing world King Kalakaua voyaged around the world. He met with the President of the United States as well as the royalty of Japan, China, Siam, Burma, British India, Egypt, Italy, Belgium, the German Empire, Austria, France, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain and Ireland. In doing so he was the first King to have ever traveled around the world. When he returned to Hawaiʻi he commissioned the building of Iolani Palace and set Hawaiʻi on the path to a British style Monarchy. He ruled until his death in 1891.
The signature taste Maui is most well known for, (besides cane sugar), is pineapple, without question. Just as Napa Valley in California is known for its grapes and subsequent award-winning wines, here in Hawaiʻi we have the fabulously delicious Maui Gold pineapples, which are exemplary. They’re constantly in demand worldwide because so many different foodstuffs can be created from this one plant; sauces, jams, jellies, candies, juice, dried fruit, cakes, bread, desserts, tropical drinks with umbrellas sticking out of them and last, but certainly not least, exotically inspired wines.
Every fabulous gourmet dish needs an equally amazing libation to compliment it and this winery has a uniquely impressive selection. If you so choose, and time allows, a final treat of the day can be a quick tasting of MauiWine’s best samples. And, some of the wine is made from our Maui Gold Pineapples — instead of grapes! Make your final exploration of the MauiWine tasting cottage, for a relaxing sunset to end your special day exploring the Road to Hana. “E’ ola” (good health to you) and we hope this was your best day on Maui!
A favorite from MauiWine, it has been featured on Emeril’s cooking show, and for good reason. It’s perfect with seafood and it’s a great substitute for champagne at brunch. It boasts, (in addition to pineapples), hints of grapefruit, green pear and zest of lime in all the right places. Oh, and don’t forget the bubbles… it has fantastic little bubbles!
It is sweet but not overly so and has a “silky texture”. You’ll find you will enjoy this pineapple wine with nearly everything but it especially shines when paired with a spicy meal. If you love Indian or Thai dishes, grilled BBQ chicken or blackened fish then be sure to buy a few bottles. You’ll probably polish it off before you leave the island, but if not, you can always take some home for a little reminder of your best vacation ever!
An aperitif wine it’s great for sunset picnics on the beach. It is sweet with smooth overtones of exotic fruits this wine has a lovely texture as well. It tastes as if Maui’s finest grown fruits were trapped in a bottle at their peak of flavor!
Ship These Delicious Maui Wine Varieties Directly To Your Doorstep
A full tour of the winery commences at 10:30am and again at 1:30pm to educate and inspire you. Since Valley Isle Excursion arrives later in the day, after a full day of touring, we just don’t have the time to do more than explore the area around the King’s Cottage tasting room, and take a taste – of course! Spend a half day, come back up to Kula and do a MauiWine winery tour. Now that’s something you can use that rental car for… tomorrow!
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