Maui, Hawaii doesn’t normally come to mind when thinking about fine wines, but here on the lush slopes of a dormant volcano you’ll find a truly unique vineyard . . . an unexpected treasure for wine connoisseurs where the labels on the wine bottles are works of art, the tasting room is a cottage once built for a Monarch, and the wines are served at Presidential Inaugural Balls.

The drive from Central Maui climbs 2,000 feet and curves along the slopes of Mt. Haleakala amid spectacular coastal views, rolling hills and the lush pastures of the region known as Ulupalakua.

The path from the vineyard’s parking area winds through verdant, park like grounds to the cottage and tasting room where the entrance hall features historic photographs taking visitors on a fascinating journey back through the history of the ranch where paniolos - Hawaii's cowboys still herd cattle on horseback today.

Originally established in 1856 as “Rose Ranch,” the Hawaiian Monarch, King Kalakaua and his Queen Kapiolani were such frequent visitors, that in 1874 a cottage was built for them. The cottage still stands today, and is used as Maui's Winery tasting room.

In 1963 current owner C. Pardee Erdman purchased the 20,000 acre parcel, by then a working cattle ranch, and renamed it "'Ulupalakua Ranch."

In 1974 Tedeschi Vineyards was established on Ulupalakua Ranch land leased to Emil Tedeschi, a Californian vintner. Today Maui's Winery sells an assortment of wines made from grapes as well as several other specialty wines made from pineapple, passion fruit and even raspberries. The surprisingly affordable prices range from just $10 for Maui Splash to $39 for Framboise de Maui.

“Wine is one of the most civilized and natural things in the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” - Ernest Hemingway

Adding to the unique beauty and charm of this vineyard, the label for each of the wines is a unique work of art with historic significance. For example the label for “Rose Ranch” Cuvee, the original name of the ranch was named by the wife of the original owner after the Lokelani Rose, the official flower for Maui Island.

A visit to the vineyard wouldn’t be complete without a stop at The Ulupalakua Ranch Store just across the road to see the colorful full-size carved paniolo characters waiting on the porch to greet visitors. As an added bonus The Store has a great selection of local snacks and takeout lunches to enjoy at one of the nearby picnic tables.

Once discovered, the beauty, charm and remarkable wines of this historic vineyard bring visitors as well as locals back again, and again.

Author's Bio: 

Marquita Herald is Lifestyle Blogger and editor of Inspired Gift Giving. She is a self-employed author, business strategist, marketing consultant to solo entrepreneurs, and an avid promoter of the solo entrepreneur lifestyle.