On the rolling slopes of Haleakala is a winery where the vineyards soak up the sun while overlooking the ocean tides, a history rich with culture, and the warmth of the Hawaiian people. Maui Wines is a must see stop while in Maui.
Established in 1974, the winery offers free tastings in the “King’s Cottage” named after King David Kalakaua ~ the last reigning king over the Kingdom of Hawaii. In front of the cottage the king and his wife would watch hula dancers perform in his honor. There is also a ring of Cyprus trees where planted for the king to symbolize the Hula Circle. The cyprus circles lasted 150 years, until strong winds brought down two heavy trunks in 2012. To preserve the meaning of the PA Hula (Hula Circle) local artist Tim Garcia carved the remaining trees to symbolize the story. Garcia carved 3 hula dancers, 3 guardians, 2 oblelisks, an infinity vessel and a male form representing King Kalakaua.
The King’s Cottage dates back to 1874 and the winery has an exhibition room showcasing the history of the land just off the main tasting room. The main room holds an impressive bar made from the trunk of a single mango tree, inviting you in to taste their intriguing wines. The honey gold surface comes to life when the sun hits it just right.
Most of the wines are infused with tones of pineapple, which is what the Aloha State is famous for. At first I was hesitant that this would be an overly sweet disaster, however I was pleasantly surprised when trying the wines how well constructed they were. The top 3: Maui Blanc – boasts flavors of peach, mango, and pineapple (of course). The slightly sweet flavor would make it a perfect match for blackened fish. Lokelani – their sparkling rose if reminiscent of fresh raspberries, with almond and citrus notes that sing in harmony together. Ulupalakua red – a smooth medium-dry red made from cabernet sauvignon and syrah grapes, with ripe berry flavors with spice on the end. Brilliant.
How does MauiWine produce these well balanced wines? It lies in the combination of the rich volcanic soil, and temperate climate that ensures a long growing season.
Since MauiWine is located in Maui’s historic upcountry region it is a little bit of a drive with a slow climb up the vivid green slopes of Haleakala Volcano, yet you are rewarded with panoramic views of the shores below.
Besides the free tastings they have tours at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m, and they are open Monday – Sunday 9-5:30. If you are in Maui consider checking out this little gem off the beaten path.
14815 Piilani Highway, Kula, HI 96790
Want to see some amazing photos from Maui’s Road To Hana? Click here!