Tedeschi Winery

The Tedeschi Winery in Maui Hawaii is located on the vast Ulupalakua Ranch on the leeward (southwestern) flanks of the Haleakala Volcano. The elevation of between 2,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level provides an excellent climate for grape growing and Maui wine production. The easiest route to Tedeschi Winery is via the Pulani Highway (Route 31) from Hana Town. This scenic route loops around the lush coast through the eastern edge of Haleakana National Park. It then becomes Route 37, where it is first called the Kula Highway and then the Ulupalukua Road.

A more rugged road accesses the ranch from the south coast at about Makena Big Beach. This is an unpaved gravel road through the most undeveloped part of the island. If you come from this direction, you should ensure that your car rentals have four-wheel drive. Whichever route you choose, you will find this is an extraordinarily scenic drive with expansive views of Maui's southern coastline and the offshore islands of Molokini, Kahoolwae, and Lanai. Tedeschi Winery and the ranch both provide ample reward for having made the drive.

Tedeschi Winery in Maui Hawaii and the ranch, second largest cattle ranch on the island, both have a long and fascinating history. The ranch was originally established in 1845 primarily to grow sugar cane and some other crops. Even cotton was cultivated during the Civil War to replace the southern cotton that could no longer be brought across the Union blockade. These crops were shipped to the ports of La Perouse Bay, Lahaina, and Kahului. The transformation from crop farming to cattle ranching occurred from 1900 to 1922. Paniolos, the Hawaiian cowboys you can also see in Makawao, were imported to wrangle the herds, and the ranch general store and luncheon grill still caters to these cowboys who have worked the ranch for generations.

In 1974, the Tedeschi Winery in Maui Hawaii was founded here. It had its roots in the famous Tedeschi family vineyards located in the Napa Valley near Calistoga California. There are only three commercial wineries in all off Hawaii, and the Maui wine produced at Tedeschi Winery is the only one on the island. In 1874, King Kalakaua and his Queen Kapi'olani visited what was then called Rose Ranch. He became such a frequent visitor that a cottage was built especially for him, and today it is one of the most historic buildings in Maui and the winery's tasting room. The centerpiece of the tasting room is an 18-foot long bar carved from a single mango tree.

The first vintage produced by Tedeschi Winery was made from a more traditionally Hawaiian fruit Maui Blanc Pineapple Wine. The first grapes were harvested in 1980, and the first Maui wine (Maui Brut Blanc de Noirs) was produced and bottled in 1984. Tours of the ranch and winery are possible, and the only dining spot up here is the Ranch Grill, serving steaks, burgers, and other luncheon fare - accompanied by Maui wine of course. There are some hiking and horseback trails (on quite rugged trails; children must be age 13 or older and a minimum of five feet tall) that meander through the ranch and overlook the Ahihi Kinau Preserve. There is also excellent sporting clay shooting, and in the ranch store you can rub elbows with the paniolos as they shop for saddles and cowboy hats.

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