Maui's Winery - Tedeschi Vineyards
Maui's Winery - Tedeschi Vineyards
It is a little known fact that the largest winery in the whole state of Hawaii is located on Maui. A journey to Maui's Winery is rewarding for its beauty scenery and cool climate alone, but also provides an opportunity to tour the historic grounds and sample wines from the source. Driving up the Haleakala Highway to Ulupalakua area makes for the perfect island road trip no matter where you are staying on island.
A great contrast to the resorts and beaches, at 2000 ft. elevation the air is cooler and the views are huge. Take a drive to the countryside where you may feel like you are in Ireland, or New Zealand. This area is strikingly beautiful and hosts a winery with tasting room and free tour of its facilities.
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tasting Room daily
10:30 a.m., 1:30 & 2:30 p.m. daily
Free tours, free tastings
The Ulupalakua Ranch is renowned in Maui's folklore, this community has hosted Hawaiian Monarchs and V.I.P.'s from back in the late 1800's when the property was called "Rose Ranch". A history of ranching, and agriculture has been fostered in this area for over 150 years, as the ranch changed ownership the uses for the land have diversified. Ranching still occurs on a majority of the 58,000 acres, but through a partnership with vintner Emil Tedeschi the ranch owners the Erdmann Family established vineyards in 1974.
There is no attempt to be "Napa" or any similarly popular wine region tour, this is Hawaiian style and steeped in history. The Maui's wines are unique, as you would expect from near-tropical island. There are some fruits in the mix, like the house pineapple wine that was developed as an experiment while awaiting the maturity of the planted grapes. It became a favorite and has become one of the Vineyards signature wines. The Tasting Room also has estate wines available exclusively through their store. A Maui rose, or Lokealani blend is one of the new favorites. Take the free tour offered 3 times daily and hear of some of the history while walking the beautifully manicured grounds, and visiting the production areas behind the scenes. The tour ends by sampling some of the local wine stocks, with explanations from the helpful staff.
A small museum room, adjacent the Tasting Room, has details on the walls of the historic transformation of Ulapalakua Ranch over the last century. It also tells of the "Merrie Monarch's" visit back in the 1874, and the ceremonial festivities and party that ensued. The Tasting Room is actually the house constructed for the King's visit and he resided within. Imagine as you sample wines from the 18-foot mango wood bar, that you are having a drink in the King's House. The offering of wines includes sparkling, pineapple, grape and a rich raspberry dessert wine.
Some great art has been added to the grounds in recent years. The dynamic sculptures along the entry path to the Tasting Room were carved on the spot by local artist Tim Garcia, out of cypress trees planted back in the 1870's for the visit of Hawaii's "Merrie Monarch" King David Kalakaua. The ranch planted this ring of cypress trees for hula dancers to perform within, notice the artist tried to reflect this in the carvings. A small placard by the stairs to the Tasting Room reveals the details of this ceremonial circle, and why the trees were shaped into sculpture.
Roadtrip! This is a favorite local's get away drive up via Hi-route 37. Make a stop for breakfast or lunch at "Grandma's Coffee Shop" in Keokea approximately 16 miles along route 37. Continue on route 37 for just 6 additional miles to reach the Winery. You may want to drive a few miles past the winery to take in some outstanding views of the backside of Mount Haleakala, and the rugged slopes and terrain. Then turn around and have an afternoon wine tour and picnic. Though the Winery does not serve food, you may bring your own picnic or purchase prepared foods or snacks across the street at Ulapalakua Ranch Store. Check the great photo opportunity on the Ranch Store's porch, some great vintage farm hand sculptures are parked on the benches out front.
Just after Mile Marker 22 at the end of HI- route 37
From Central Maui, take Hana Highway (HI-route 36) to Haleakala Highway (HI-route 37). Turn onto Haleakala Highway heading up the mountain for 22 miles, stay on 37 all the way. When you come to the little community of Keokea. Pay attention when you pass the small gas station, store, and coffee shop, and continue taking the right fork, following the narrow winding road 6 miles to Ulupalakua. GO slow in this area, as there are many sharp turns and awesome views. The winery is just past ranch headquarters and the Ulupalakua Ranch Store, with parking lot entry on the left.