An Afternoon Upcountry

There is one location on Maui that is far away from the busy pace of Lahaina’s Front Street, all of the day-to-day commotion in Kahului, and removed from the golden stretches of famous sand near Kihei. Nestled on the massive slopes of Haleakala, you will find a handful of smaller towns that make you feel like you’re somewhere in the midwest instead of on a tropical island; farms stretch over rolling hills, cattle roam freely, and horses are more common than surfboards. This area is typically referred to as: Upcountry.

Cody and I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring upcountry, so this time around we carved out an afternoon to visit two places that have been on our “list” for quite some time.

Wine Tasting at the Tedeschi Vineyards

When I began my second round of the 101 goals challenge I thought a wine tasting would be a perfect item to add. I had seen (yet never sampled) the wine grown and distributed by Maui’s very own winery and I was intrigued. I mean they have a wine made from Pineapples… PINEAPPLES! You guys, how awesome is that? 

Tedeshi Winery Maui

On the 30 minute walking tour I learned that the Tedeschi Vineyards began in 1974 through collaboration with Ulupalakua Ranch. As they waited for the first batch of grapes to mature, they decided to produce a sparkling pineapple wine made with fresh Maui Gold Pineapples and to their surprise it was a hit with customers. Currently, the winery produces grape, pineapple, sparkling, and dessert wines which are sold in stores throughout Hawaii and can be shipped to many states on the mainland.

Tedeshi Winery Tedeshi Winery

One of the most interesting facts of the Tedeschi Vineyards is the aging process. There is not an underground cellar like many wineries, simply because excavating the hardened lava rock is complicated and expensive; instead, the wine is aged in an open warehouse in steel bins. Yes, that is correct, this wine is not aged in wooden barrels like you would expect. Maui’s climate and humidity would ruin the barrels thus ruining the wine, so instead the wine is aged in steel bins above ground, where temperature and humidity can be monitored multiple times a day.

UpcountryWinery2

Tedeschi Vineyards offers free tours three times a day at 10:30, 1:30, and 2:30. And in case you’re wondering, our favorite wine was the Lokilani, a Hawaiian Sparkling Rose named after the official flower of Maui.

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

I suffer from migraines more often than I’d like to admit, and when I read about the benefits of Lavender Oil, one of the first places that came to mind was the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm located on the steep slopes of Haleakala.

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm focuses on bringing sustainable Aloha to the World through educational stewardship, nurturing the well-being of the community and the planet. Their movement is, “driven by a deep belief that Aloha connects all living things and when acting within its value center, the result is a sustainable and beneficial way of life that creates possibilities and opportunities for everyone.”

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

We paid the $3 entry fee and wandered the beautiful grounds; there are over 30 different varieties of lavender on the farm which are used to produce all sorts of products ranging from soap to tea and everything in between. The strong scent of lavender hung in the air, but I did not see a massive sea of violet like I had expected, and after overhearing some of the other guests we found out that the best time to visit is in the summer as most of the plants are in bloom. (Have you visited in the summer? I’d love to hear your thoughts.) 🙂

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

Lavender field

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

Looking down towards the ocean

Ali'i Kula Lavender Shop

Ali’i Kula Lavender Shop

Before leaving, I purchased three vials of the Lavender Essential Oil ($12 for 1/8 of an ounce), one for myself and two for gifts, and we also sampled the Lavender Tea.

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm

We enjoyed our afternoon spent Upcountry and look forward to going back as there are two additional upcountry farms on our list:

Have you spent any time upcountry? What else should I see on our next visit?

Leave a comment

  1. gmroeder
    February 16, 2015 / 5:45 PM

    If you haven’t yet, – the “Nude Beach”. It’s hidden away – I wouldn’t even know how to find it again. Wonderful for snorkeling.

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:34 PM

      Gmroeder,
      I believe you’re talking about Little Beach, near Big Beach, yes? We went there for the drum ceremony a few years back.. it was an experience… to say the least 😉

  2. February 16, 2015 / 7:16 PM

    Heh…Surfing Goat Dairy’s motto…”the feta mo’ betta.”

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:37 PM

      Hi Maxwell 🙂
      Good to know… My little brother’s nickname is “Goat” so I was thinking that it might be a fun stop if we find the time next year… If not, I’m not going to stress about it, but I do want to stop by Ocean Vodka sooner rather than later 🙂
      Aloha!

  3. February 17, 2015 / 9:45 AM

    What a fun afternoon! The goat dairy on your next visit sounds like a hoot. 🙂

    • February 17, 2015 / 10:30 AM

      It definitely seems like an interesting experience 😉 If we end up going, I’ll let you know my thoughts… I think my little brother would LOVE it since his nickname is “goat”…

  4. February 18, 2015 / 6:54 AM

    This is fascinating! I had no idea that Mau’i produced wine, and from pineapples! And Lavender fields by the ocean! Can it be any more relaxing?! 🙂

    • February 18, 2015 / 11:03 AM

      I only wish the Lavender fields would have been more in bloom, but what can ya do?! 🙂 When you pay the entry fee they give you a small lavender flower, so we kept it in the Jeep as we wandered the grounds, needless to say our Jeep smelled incredible for the next few days. You’ll have to stop by the winery if you’re in the area. I don’t know if I’d drive ALL the way up there just for a tasting and a tour, but it was fun to pack a few things into the afternoon to make it worth our trip.

  5. February 18, 2015 / 11:48 PM

    That was a great post. So informative. I did not take the time to go up there when we were in town a couple of weeks ago, but maybe next I will have to check these places out!

    • February 19, 2015 / 10:04 AM

      Thank you. The lavender oil is worth the drive alone since it’s helping me sleep through the night. 🙂 It’s somewhat of a drive from west Maui so if you can make an afternoon out of it I think it would be worth your time. Aloha my friend!

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