MauiWine began in 1974, fueled by the vision and passion for agriculture of C. Pardee Erdman, owner of ʻUlupalakua Ranch. As a lover of wine and proponent of agriculture, Erdman established a vineyard on our tropical island and the slopes of a dormant volcano.
While waiting for the grapes to mature, sparkling wine was 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. The now-famous Maui Blanc was introduced in 1977. It became an instant hit with both locals and visitors who loved its fruity flavor and clear value as a unique Maui gift.
Initially in the vineyard, the Carnelian grape was chosen for its hardy diversity, as it has been able to produce a sparkling white, a rosé, and red wine. The use of this one grape allowed the creation of a variety of wines, including award-winning sparkling wines. The Maui Brut, Blanc de Noir, released in 1984, for example, received national recognition when it was served at the inauguration of President Reagan. Today, MauiWine, is the only winery in Hawaii that produces sparkling wines.
In 1990, Paula Hegele was hired to assist. In 1992, she was named General Manager of the winery and in 1995, President. She brings the energy, vision, and inspiration to the company which drives it into the future. Under her leadership, we have continued to refine our products and expand distribution around the globe. We continue to develop the guest experience through tours, tastings, and events, while keeping a focus on agriculture, hospitality, and community connections.
Today, we farm 23 acres of south-facing Maui countryside, at an elevation of 1,700-1,850 feet, cultivating 6 grape varietals: Syrah, Malbec, Grenache, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and Gewurztraminer. Our cellar, winemaking facilities, and tasting rooms are housed in historical buildings, refitted from the former Rose Ranch estate.
We believe that wines are grown, not made. We remain true to the distinct combination of volcanic soil and climate conditions found in our island vineyard. Meticulous care, innovation, experimentation, and personal passion come together to create great wines with flavors that are unmistakably Maui. The pineapple wines we craft showcase the unparalleled taste of the Maui Gold variety. The wines we make embody the distinct climate and growing conditions that make this place beautiful and challenging.
Visiting our winery is a cultural experience. A window to the ʻUlupalakua Ranch way of life and a glimpse of Maui's past. As you arrive at MauiWine, you’ll walk the path past the lawn where King Kalākaua re-embraced the tradition of hula. You can meander under the same trees that would have greeted honored guests 150 years ago. Come visit, take in the crisp mountain air, feel our warm sense of hospitality and aloha.
For the past 25 years, Paula has led MauiWine and defined the mission of the company. She has set the standard of excellence that encompasses the winery, vineyards, and tasting room operations. Her indomitable spirit and enthusiasm set the stage for our work environment as well the guest experience here in ‘Ulupalakua. Paula believes in the inherent value of farming, for what it does for the community and visitors alike. With a great team at her side, MauiWine moves forward with the rich traditions of ‘Ulupalakua at its core.
Ten years ago Ian discovered a passion for agriculture while working in the Oregon turf industry. Determined to cultivate his newfound interest in farming, he earned a degree in Agricultural Sciences from Oregon State University. In 2012, he joined the MauiWine team in production where he developed a passion for working with machines. Today, Ian thrives at the intersection of manufacturing and agriculture and splits his time between directing vineyard operations and winery production operations. When Ian’s not at home on his Upcountry farm he’s on the tennis court or hiking with his family in the backcountry.
Henry grew up on Ulupalakua Ranch, working his summers in the vineyard where he began absorbing the winemaking process from the ground up. Henry left Maui to attend college in Oregon, where he earned a bachelors degree in management, minoring in wine studies. While getting his education, Henry worked for some of the most well established wineries in the Willamette Valley. Shortly after graduating, the pull of the island called him back to Maui where he could apply his experiences and take his place amidst the incomparable landscape and heritage of his childhood home.
Keone is a native of Upcountry Maui where he has experienced the wine-making process from the ground up. At MauiWine, he has worked in the vineyard, production, and now the cellar. As cellar master, he handles much of the process from crush to bottling. Keone is easygoing by nature but lets nothing slide when it comes to his cellar. We see his work ethic and attention to detail pay off in each wine, and his leadership skills extend to after work hours when he coaches local youth basketball.
Bill was raised in a small eastern Washington town where his family has been farming for more than 100 years. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and attended the USCG Engineering School in Yorktown, Virginia. Here, and subsequently over 20 years as a lead maintenance manager at a medical company in Santa Barbara, California, Bill built the wide array of skills and experience that keep our winery running like a well-oiled machine. Since 2006, Bill has cared for our equipment and served as a “MacGyver” jack of all trades throughout the wine production process.