Friday, December 24, 2010
If the San Juan Islands can have a winery, why not Maui? Tedeschi Winery is about 20 years old, and is located close to Kihei as the crow flies but to drive to it one must go Upcountry and then way past the squiggly road up to Haleakala (10,500' dormant volcano).
They have a vineyard a mile northwest that was full of Ruby Cabernet (a Cabernet sauvignon hybrid), but with 365 days a year of warm, humid weather even the disease-resistant hybrids cannot long survive here. And to simulate winter they strip the leaves off the vines, but because of the warm weather the vines merely start up the growth cycle again.
So the winemakers make vinifera wines in California, and then ship them in bulk [on ships! a 3-week (and possibly hot?) voyage] to Maui for "finishing." I humbly submit that is not the preferred way to make vinifera wine (and I'm sure the winemakers know that). However, the winery has spent decades perfecting pineapple wine. They have a dry white still version, a sweeter pineapple-passionfruit version ("Maui Splash"), and a bubbly version. Wow! They were fun to try, though a metallic aftertaste holds my score for them to the low 80s, max. If you find yourself on Maui, you should go to the winery. It's cool, up there in the clouds at 2000'. Gorgeous. Green, with black stone field walls, like Ireland.
That's Noni in the photo. The tasting room has a wonderful bar made from Mango wood.
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