Here we are LC and JA, on the island of Maui, enjoying the ocean and the sight of whales, the curvy road to Hana, the tropical scents of plumeria and the taste of just-picked papaya. As if that weren’t enough, what else do we find? A winery, the only commercial winery in Maui. Ah, blog duty calls.
Maui’s Winery (www.mauiwine.com) has an interesting California connection. Emil Tedeschi, the son of a Napa Valley vintner, co-founded the vineyard, called Tedeschi Vineyards, in 1974. Apparently, while he was waiting for the grapes to reach fruition, he decided to make wine from pineapple. Why not? What we tasted was from that lineage. Maui Blanc is made entirely from Maui pineapples. It was a little sweet, a little dry, smelled like pineapple (surprise!) and we liked it.
And we liked the rest of the wines we tasted as well. The Upcountry Gold was a full dry Chardonnay—very refreshing and smooth. The Ulupalakua Red was a nice medium-bodied blend of Syrah and Merlot, and the Rose Ranch Cuvee was a fun sparkling rose made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We finished the tasting with their very sweet Framboise Raspberry Wine, which the tasting room servers suggested would be fantastic over ice cream or with dark chocolate.
The tasting is free and in a lovely tasting room in a small dwelling that was built in 1874 for King Kalakaua. The grounds, at an elevation of about 2000 feet on the slopes of Haleakala, are lovely to walk around, with majestic trees and ocean vistas. If you ever find yourself in Maui, the Maui Winery Tasting Room is definitely worth a visit.
And if you want to continue your exploration of agricultural Maui, you can do what we did and visit the Surfing Goat Dairy www.surfinggoatdairy.com/. Upon arrival, our first sight was a set of five-minute-old triplet baby goats struggling to stand up. We took a tour of the dairy operations, fed hay to some “kids,” and did a cheese tasting of a variety of their soft and hard cheeses (their “Udderly Delicious” cheese was served during the inauguration festivities for President Obama). We finished off our dairy escapade by tasting two of their 16 goat cheese truffles, one with passion fruit, the other with Calamondin lime. By the time we left, the three little ones were standing strong and steady.
Both stops were wonderful windows to the earthy gifts of Maui. And both places do ship their products, so if you would like a little bit of Hawaii in California, or wherever you live, check out their websites. Aloha!