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
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