This is where it all starts at 'Ulupalakua Vineyards. Situated at 1,800 ft. above sea level, 'Ulupalakua Vineyard soaks in this breathtaking view overlooking South Maui. The soil, air, and sunlight all play a factor into the characteristics of flavor that come forth in the wine. The workers for MauiWine had just finished their harvests for the year. The leaves begin to change color as they fall off the branches, leading up to the next couple months of pruning the vines once again for the new season.
The vinification process starts with the harvesting of the grapes. After they've picked the grapes, the harvest is then transported to the winery for preparation and primary fermentation. The next steps will include racking, a process that removes leftover sediment by draining the wine into container after container which allows the wine to give off less and less sediment until it is ready to move onto the next process, fining and then filtration.
In this rustic, overgrown building, the workers prepare and bottle their wines in their custom laboratory called, "The Lab. Bottling wine has become more complex and high-tech throughout the years. Henry, the worker, was gracious enough to give a little sneak peek at the process they use at their winery.
Each wine created here at the historic, former Rose Ranch Estate imbues a sense of location and a sense of fulfillment. They are primarily, famous for their three Pineapple Wines, made with handpicked Maui Gold Pineapples. Next they've got a more expansive list of Estate Wines. The Estate Wines show off the different types of grape varieties that are grown at their vineyards. Lastly, their Rose Ranch Wines celebrate the historical Rose Ranch, invoking emotions of flavor in each of their four unique blends.
Before the winemaking era, these grounds hold a rich history of ranching and plantation life. The land passed through many different owners, and was often visited by King Kalākaua and his wife, Queen Kapi'olani. The first vineyards were planted in 1975 and their first pineapple wine debuted in 1977 and remains as their best selling wine to this day.
Click here to read more about their history.
"In front of the main store, a ring of Cypress Trees were planted in the 1870s for King Kalākaua, the “merrie monarch”, in which he could watch hula troupes perform in his honor -a favorite pastime during his visits to Rose Ranch. The trees stood tall for almost 150 years until winter winds in 2012 brought down two of the 145-foot trunks. To preserve the circle’s deep meaning, MauiWine asked a local artist, Tim Garcia to carve the remaining trunks in a way that told their profound story." - MauiWine
Store & Museum
As you ascend up the steps and enter the main store, you are boldly greeted with a back wall of MauiWine's own featured products. Comfortable pull up a seat at the bar and speak with any of the knowledgeable workers while sampling a suggested wine or one of your own choosing. Enjoy pairing it with the meat and cheese platters available. Choose to enjoy your wine experience by sipping a glass outside and looking out at the beautiful views of the gardens. Or take a small tour of the historical story of Rose Ranch through a room with pictures and captions highlighting James Makee and King Kalākaua's visits. Before leaving, pick out some merchandise displayed for sale from featured vendors.
The Tasting Room
This historic "Old Jail" once served as Captain James Makee's office. It now serves as a private, 40-minute tasting experience that allow it's guests to experience four select wines with a private host. The wines frequently change and feature unreleased wines, specialties and exclusives, not found in the King's Cottage Tasting Room.
Tucked away on the slopes of Haleakalā, MauiWine is a location that cannot be easily missed. Once a destination fit for a King, it is now a winery that produces wine fit for a King's banquet. You need to visit MauiWine.
MauiWine is open Monday-Sunday 10am-5pm.
14815 Piilani Hwy, Kula, HI 96790