With sunshine, warmth, and wet weather, farms on Maui have been able to grow some spectacular produce. And while we all expect to see pineapples and sugarcane, nowadays, there are more than a few unusual things growing in the Maui Upcountry.
Tedeschi Vineyards have managed to grow wine.
Learn more about this unusual Maui export with this guide to Tedeschi Winery.
Does Maui Have A Vineyard?
Maui is known for many types of produce. Pineapples, coffee, papaya, macadamia nuts, they all come to mind when you think of Maui. Wine? Not so much.
But the tropical conditions and volcanic soil of Maui are good for more than you might imagine. And it turns out, you really can grow wine on Maui.
In fact, wine has been produced on Maui since 1984.
It’s actually one of Maui’s most famous exports that has led to the popularity of this lesser known product: the pineapple! The Maui pineapple is at the heart of the MauiWine brand, and pineapple wine was the very first wine they produced.
Tedeschi Winery and MauiWine
First released in 1984, Maui’s wine gained a reputation as Tedeschi Wine. That’s because the historic vineyard was owned in partnership with Emil Tedeschi, of Tedeschi wine.
However, they have since rebranded, and since 2014 Tedeschi Wine has been known as MauiWine. If you see Tedeschi wine for sale, then it probably came from the brand’s California vineyard.
The name change came about as a natural response to how people thought of the wine. It was known colloquially as Maui wine, so the brand adapted to match. Maui is so integral to the making of the wine that the name change came naturally.
MauiWine also markets themselves as from the Ulupalakua Vineyards! The historic home where the wine is grown is an important part of the brand.
What is MauiWine?
MauiWine is the premier vineyard on Maui. In fact, it’s currently the only vineyard on Maui. The brand sells red, white, and rosé wines, as well as their iconic pineapple wine.
MauiWine was founded on Ulupalakua Ranch. Once owned by King Kamehameha III. The land was later leased to become a farm, and even later a ranch.
Over 200 years after King Kamehameha III’s ownership, the Ulupalakua Ranch was purchased by C. Pardee Erdman, and this was the start of MauiWine.
Erdman partnered with Californian wine expert Emil Tedseschi in 1974, and began the long journey of planting and growing the vineyard. While the grapes were growing, they experimented with Maui’s famous pineapple, and created the original pineapple wine.
Pineapple wine proved to be a hit, so they kept it in production while experimenting with the grapes. The incredible diversity of the Maui landscape allowed for a variety of grapes to thrive, leading to the array of products offered by MauiWine today!
Can You Tour MauiWine Vineyards?
MauiWine offers the opportunity for a private tour of the vineyard, culminating in guided wine tasting.
The private tours take you around the historic estate that makes up the Ulupalakua Vineyards, teaching you all about the wine making process. You also learn the story of the Rose Ranch, which is now an integral part of the MauiWine vineyard.
At the end of the tour, guests are invited to a guided wine tasting. Six different wines are complemented by a MauiWine picnic box, and you can put your new-found wine knowledge to the test.
If you don’t fancy a tour, MauiWine also invites visitors into the King’s Cottage Tasting Room. Sample the wine and the food from the historic King’s Cottage, built in 1870 for the last king of Hawaii.
All tours and tastings must be booked in advance.
Where Is The Maui Wine Vineyard?
The MauiWine Vineyard is located in the Maui Upcountry, on the slopes of Haleakala. Found in the south Kula area, MauiWine can only be accessed from Hana, or from Central Maui. Ulupalakua sits at around 2000 feet above sea level.
If visiting from Central Maui, follow the Haleakala Highway (Route 37). Keep following Route 37 past the community of Keokea, until it reaches MauiWine.
From East Maui and Hana, follow the back road around to MauiWine. This journey will take roughly 2 hours.
Can You Really Make Wine From Pineapples?
It sounds impossible, but you really can make wine from pineapples. Perhaps even more surprisingly, you can create good wine from pineapples. The MauiWine specialty may sound like a novelty, but it’s actually just a really good wine.
MauiWine creates their pineapple wine using the juice of Maui Gold Pineapples. Crushed and left to ferment, the resulting wine is lively, with a crisp finish and a touch of the tropical. It’s an easy to drink wine, best enjoyed in the sunshine.
Pineapples on Maui have often been used as a symbol of hospitality and welcome. Maybe consider a Maui pineapple wine for your next dinner party?
Does MauiWine Vineyards Host Weddings?
MauiWine doesn’t host private events, and can only be accessed for tours and tastings.
Although MauiWine has a stunning backdrop and plenty of wine on hand, it is a working farm. Their focus is making and developing the best wine possible.
Are There Any Other Vineyards On Maui?
Currently, MauiWine is the only vineyard operating on Maui.
But if you want some other Maui made drinks to toast the sunset, try the Haliimaile Distillery Company for rum and vodka, or Ocean Organic Vodka.
And there’s always Maui Brewing Company, for tropical flavors combined with delicious beers.
Is MauiWine Good?
Opinions of wine are always subjective, but we think MauiWine makes some fantastic wines.
Some wines are best known for their terroir—how the taste embodies the land it was grown on.
Maui wine has that sunshine and aloha taste that’s so typical of Maui.
A Surprisingly Delightful Maui Export
MauiWine produces some cheeky Maui classics, and some premier wines. Thanks to the growing conditions of Haleakala, and the diverse climate pockets of Maui, they create an impressive range of sophisticated wines.
If you still aren’t sure, take a trip to the vineyard, and find out for yourself.