I would venture to say that it’s practically common knowledge that upcountry Maui is home to pristine wine vineyards. And what better place than the rolling hills of Ulupalakua to grow, nurture and discover the art that is winemaking.
As a couple of young ladies with no plans on a Friday afternoon, an adventure along Piilani Highway led us to Maui Wine. Up here the air is crisp, cool and abundant with refreshing notes of pine, lavender and green grass. With tastings everyday from 10am-5:30pm and 30 minute tours held at 10:30am and 1:30pm we were excited to see what was in store for us, two local girls looking to discover something new and something fun.
We wandered into the King’s Cottage ready for a complimentary tasting. Greeted with smiles, freshly washed and polished wine glasses you are welcome to stand, sip and ask questions. From bubbly to sweet and then to dry, the wines are handcrafted and staff all know the intimate details of each one.
The featured tastings include Maui Wine’s popular Pineapple Wines, Estate Wines and Rose Ranch Wines. I’ve had the famous pineapple wine before and had received it as a gift for Christmas. It’s very sweet but a nice drinkable wine, goes well with Asian-inspired semi-spicy foods here in Hawaii.
I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the tasting room and the magnificent 18-foot bar created by a massive solid mango tree. The ladies offering the tastings were knowledgeable, approachable and very relaxed. You sense a great feeling of pride while you’re here on this property which have been managed for generations by the close-nit community.
Overall, this was a delightful experience. We spent about an hour on property and this included the complimentary wine tasting and the free tour. My friend in turn bought some wine-inspired gifts from the gift shop and we felt a sense of pride to be able to support a locally grown and nurtured business. While no food is served here, you can cross the street to the Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill where they sell plate lunches, sandwiches, burgers and other snacks.
14815 Piilani Highway
Kula, HI 96790
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