Points of Interest
Our bottling room (separated from the winery lab by a thick wall) was once most likely part of the estate’s original dairy, but now it is the naturally temperature-controlled home for our state-of-the-art Italian bottling line.
Sometimes called the monkey-puzzle tree, the Bunya Bunya is a native of Queensland, Australia. Our Bunya Bunya trees are about 75 feet tall but can grow to be about 150 feet in height. Wood from these trees is used in making furniture, flooring, and paper. But don’t get too close. Extremely sharp branches can fall from the tree. Every year, its massive cones fall from the top of the tree and are heavy enough to make divots in the ground.
This giant Camphor tree is believed to be the largest in Hawaii. At 80 feet tall and with a crown 150 feet in diameter, it’s unusually large — much larger than Camphor trees normally grow. There are at least five Camphor trees in this general area. A native of China and Japan, the Camphor tree is very aromatic. Its wood repels insects and is used for making linen storage chests. Oils from the trees are used in making perfumes and medicines.
Hawaii’s King Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapi’olani were frequent visitors to this area that was then known as Rose Ranch. Upon seeing their ship entering Makena Bay, Captain James Makee would fire this cannon as a message that a meeting party would soon be welcoming the visiting royalty or “ali’i.” The cannon ball is actually still inside the cannon, rusted in.
The once main entrance of Rose Ranch where honored guests were welcomed to the magnificent estate. To this day Catherine McKee’s circular planters that adorned the entrance are cared for and rooted with seasonal plants and flowers.
Our fermentation room and cellar building were engineered with an open-air concept. Without radical changes in temperature on Maui or even in Ulupalakua, we are able to use an open-air concept for our cellar and make use of the natural airflow and cool temperatures in Upcountry. This eco-friendly cellar design thus minimizes our carbon footprint as well. In the cellar there are over 55,000 gallons of stainless steel tank space available for fermentation and storage of the wine, and interestingly, one of the original mixers from the dairy is still used in some our winemaking processes.
This is one of the stone cisterns where water was collected in plantation days. Fountains on the estate that were built in the days of Captain James Makee ran on a gravity flow from a stone cistern situated just above the plantation.
Native to New Caledonia and the Isle of Pines, Captain James Cook discovered these tall narrow trees on the Isle of Pines. The Cook pine or “Araucaria columnaris” can be distinguished from the Norfolk Island pine by its columnar appearance. There are two Cook pine trees in this area. One is over 150 feet tall, and the other is 162 feet tall. These trees were planted here in the days of Rose Ranch for forestation and to prevent erosion. The wood from the Cook pine is what is used for our large winery sign, the smaller building signs and the bar fronts.
This sculpture by world-renowned local artist Reems Mitchell tells the story of a ship’s doctor. When Mitchell lived in the old sugar mill, this sculpture stood in front of his door. Originally, a dead bird was carved in Dr. Featherfingers hands, but Mitchell later replaced it with a wine glass. He would fill the wine glass with lights to welcome people for his parties. The sculpture now fittingly rests on the King’s Cottage tasting room porch.
This large, wide-spreading fig tree is one of many species of ficus trees on the islands of Hawaii. It’s noted for its striking buttress roots. Although it bears fruit, the green figs are not edible. Visiting families often sit on the impressive roots of the Ficus to snap a family photo to remind them of the wonders of Maui.
Captain James Makee built water features throughout the grounds of what was then known as Rose Ranch. This is the last remaining fountain on the estate. The fountain ran on a gravity flow from a cistern located just above the estate.
This stunning circle of trees is the very spot where hula dancers would perform for Hawaii’s last king, “the Merrie Monarch,” King Kalakaua. Here Hawaiian culture and traditions were revived with the art of hula and its captivating dancing, and chants. Planted in the 1870s, these cypress trees symbolize the magic of this ancient art and embody the famous hospitality of Rose Ranch. Hula schools or “halau” from around the world have come here to dance on the same spot that celebrated hula during King Kalakaua’s time. In 2012, two of the trees were badly damaged in a storm. In preservation, Maui sculptor Tim Garcia brilliantly reformed the trunks to artistically tell the story of this celebrated Hula Circle and its cultural and historical significance.
German physician and botanist Dr. William Hillebrand brought the Kauri pine to Hawaii in the 1850s. Originally from the Queenlands, Australia rainforests, the Kauri pine was brought here during the whaling era because of its long, straight trunk that was ideal for building sailboat masts. However, by the time a harvestable crop was available, ships were being made of metal. Its wood is also used in furniture making and interior finishing. Kauri pines can live to be 2,000 years old. Ours is relatively young at only 150 years old.
This charming tasting room was once the guesthouse of the last reigning king of Hawaii, King Kalakaua. Also known as “the Merrie Monarch,” King Kalakaua and his wife Queen Kapi’olani became frequent visitors to the ranch as they enjoyed the famously lavish celebrations and periods of relaxation they could find at what was then Rose Ranch. The 18-foot-long bar in the tasting room was made from a single mango tree grown here on the ranch.
Throughout the winery grounds you’ll see the beautiful and fragrant, Lokelani Rose, the official flower of Maui. Each Hawaiian island has its own designated flower, and the now very rare Lokelani is the official lei flower of the Valley Isle. Although Lokelani Roses are now more difficult to find and authenticate, they are currently propagating throughout the winery grounds as they did in the days of Rose Ranch. This “rose of heaven,” as its name means, grows on a unique, tall shrub that used to be pruned in a spiral fashion upward with the flowers growing out over the top like a fountain.
The Old Jail was once the main business office of the historic Captain James Makee, the former whaling captain who in the mid-1800s built a grand plantation estate called Rose Ranch where MauiWine is today. Makee spared no expense in constructing this extraordinary lava rock building with English imported tiles and walls 2-feet thick. In its stateliness this building was very different than other structures on the estate. Over the last 150 years, this building has served various functions including having a basement jailhouse during the plantation era. Now this historic office is used at MauiWine for special tastings and intimate food and wine events.
After the last sugar crop was processed at Ulupalakua Mill in 1883, the area transitioned into a working cattle ranch and the pastureland surrounding MauiWine still holds that function to this day under the leadership of Ulupalakua Ranch and the Erdman Family. The ruins of the old sugar mill can still be seen beneath a heavy tangle of vines on the “makai” or ocean side of the road.
The main parking lot of MauiWine is lined on one side with the trunks of fallen eucalyptus trees that destroyed the original white picket fence during Hurricane Iselle in 2014.
The Pavilion was once the main residence of the historic Rose Ranch estate. When it tragically burned down in the 1970s, all that remained was the lava rock chimney and stone flooring. The Pavilion was rebuilt around that chimney on the original stone flooring. A pavilion is often defined as “a free-standing structure whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure. Large or small, there is usually a connection with relaxation and pleasure in its intended use.” Likewise, this historic Pavilion has offered its occupants a place to relax and celebrate for centuries.
This mystical stone statue with two faces, one carved on the front and one on the back, has been venerated and honored for centuries and is sometimes referred to as “Lono Ki’i.” Lono was the god of rain, agriculture, and peace in Hawaiian mythology. In honoring this sacred statue, people often leave gifts and offerings beside it. This revered statue symbolizes the vital importance of rain for the people of Ulupalakua and all of Upcountry Maui. Legend has it that when water is poured on the rain goddess, it is said to cry out of one eye.
Over the years this store has sold a variety of different goods. Originally it served as the ranch grocery, then it was turned into a cowboy supply store, and later a mercantile store for a time known as the “Levi’s Store.” Today, this historic building, which originally had hitching rails in front for patrons to tie their horses to, is now a great place to have an authentic ranch-style culinary experience, made with elk, lamb, and beef, all raised either here on the ranch or in Maui.
The hand-carved “pointing finger” sign by famous local artist and sculptor Reems Mitchell has been guiding visitors into the tasting room for over 35 years and is a favorite spot for taking photos. The eccentric world-renowned sculptor, who lived and worked at Ulupalakua Ranch as an artist, created the many characters inhabiting on the Ranch Store and winery lanai’s.
The elegant Upper Pavilion and lawn are used as a private event space. Catering, event management, and transportation may be available for small events upon request.
This is another historic building that is still in use today at MauiWine. Originally a dairy where butter was made, this lava rock building is now the winery’s lab. The lab’s two-feet-deep walls help with temperature control.