Maui’s Winery is the Valley Isle’s sole commerical winery boasting a varied selection of wines including sparkling, pineapple, grape and our coveted raspberry dessert wine. With hard work, attention to detail and the pursuit of excellence, Maui’s Winery continues to be a successful and thriving agricultural business and popular visitor destination. We believe that it is our duty to be stewards of our land by producing a wine that reflects the distinctiveness of Maui.
The story of Maui’s Winery is a great story of sustainability. In 1974, in collaboration with Californian Emil Tedeschi, Ulupalakua Ranch began growing grapes, remaining true to the area’s agricultural heritage. While waiting for the grapes to mature, they decided to develop a sparkling wine made from the plentiful pineapples on Maui. A scant amount of this wine was produced, but the public response to the wine was so positive that it was decided to pursue the endeavor of making a still pineapple wine. Three years later, Tedeschi Vineyards released a Maui Blanc pineapple wine from local fruit. In 1984, after years of labor and development, the first grape product was released: Maui Brut Sparkling.
Over the years, Maui’s Winery enjoyed a successful partnership with Maui Pineapple Company, obtaining juice from their pineapple operations. After Maui Pine sold its production assets to Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company in 2009, the winery was able to buy the juicing equipment and bring it to Ulupalakua. Pineapple juice is now crushed from delicious Maui Gold Fresh pineapples right here at the winery
by John H. Lienhard
Today, a machine keeps a gentle land from being gobbled up — but only for a while. The University of Houston’s College of Engineering presents this series about the machines that make our civilization run, and the people whose ingenuity created them.
In 1951, a young woman took me to a fancy luau at the University of Oregon. It was peculiar culture shock for me. Half the college students from Hawaii studied in Oregon. My left-brain focus was ill-fitted to the easy-going rhythm of the event. I still had much to learn.
Ukeleles and steel guitars nattered on cheerfully in 8/8 time. Everyone wore shorts or muumuus. And the food! It was roast pork and pineapple — poi washed down with pineapple — pineapple juice and gin. I never saw so much pineapple.
Less than sixty years before, Queen Liliuokalani had ruled Hawaii. She was a poet and composer, but not much of a manager. Hawaiian and American members of the so-called Annexation Club managed to depose her and ask the United States to annex Hawaii.
Hawaii became a U.S. Territory in 1900. The mainland was a huge market for her pineapples and sugar. She became a market for our manufactured goods.
Now think about the armor-plated pineapple. A skilled operator, with coring and slicing machinery, could cut up 10 or 15 a minute. Pineapple canning was absolutely limited by the rate a human could core, peel, juice, and slice a pineapple. And then, all the juice near the skin was wasted.
Growing sugarcane and pineapple is hard work, as generations of plantation and farm workers in Hawai’i can attest, but making money at it these days may be even harder. While conditions have improved in modern times for the islands’ fieldworkers, the competition from Third World countries — with different standards of living and labor laws — has also increased.
One of the latest large landowners to cry uncle is Maui Land & Pineapple, which announced Nov. 3 that its pineapple subsidiary — renowned for its "Maui Gold" brand — would cease production at the end of the year. Citing losses of $115 million since 2002, along with $20 million in expenses for a new packing facility, the announcement continued: "The painful decision to close pineapple operations at MPC after 97 years was incredibly difficult to make, but absolutely necessary. We realize this ends a significant chapter in Maui’s history — an important part of many lives, over many generations."
The company’s last harvest took place two days before Christmas, but just before New Year’s, a group of investors came up with a plan to continue operations on about 1,000 acres — a third of the former farm — under the name Haliimaile Pineapple.