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First Annual Upcountry Lighting of the Tree

First Annual Upcountry Lighting of the Tree

MauiWine is hosting the first “Annual Upcountry Lighting of the Tree” ceremony Sunday, December 7th, 2014. The event will take place between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with the actual tree lighting shortly after sunset at approximately 6:15 p.m.

This tree lighting ceremony is in honor of Ulupalakua’s 150 years of commitment to our island’s land and the never-ending forestation efforts, including the replanting that followed tropical storm Iselle’s destruction earlier this year.

A 30-foot Norfolk pine that was planted on the ranch in 1986 is being brought to the winery grounds for the celebration. It will be decorated with thousands of colored Christmas lights, ornamented with a 3-foot star topper and lit ceremoniously for the first time at this special inaugural event.

Christmas Caroling by Maui Choral Arts will set the tone, and activities for keiki will include letters to Santa, ornament decoration, and other holiday crafts/activities. The Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill will be in the pavilion offering warm holiday beverages and traditional treats & eats. Bring along your chairs, your warm coats, grab some hot chocolate and stay to watch The Polar Express playing on a large outdoor projection screen immediately after the lighting.

There will be a sparkling wine toast on the King’s Cottage porch for the lighting ceremony. This is a wonderful chance to do some holiday gift shopping. The tasting room carries a wide variety of locally made products and wine related logo items. Special discounted pricing available that evening. MauiWine asks that everyone bring canned or non-perishable items to support The Maui Food Bank this holiday season. There will be empty present boxes under the tree to fill.

Join us for this inaugural Upcountry holiday event, and don’t forget to bring your cameras for family photo opportunities. Come watch the sunset from Ulupalakua and as the cool Upcountry night sets in, bundle up with family and friends for the official 2014 Christmas tree lighting. This is a wonderful and relaxed opportunity to celebrate this holiday season with friends and family. For more information contact: Joe Hegele, joseph@mauiwine.com or call 808.878.1266.


In 1856 the construction of what is now the winery grounds began. When completed, it was called “the most beautiful estate in the Kingdom of Hawaii.” Many people, including King Kalakaua (1836-1891), visited and attended parties here. The grounds were glorified in large part because of the many trees brought in and planted by the original owner of the ranch, Captain James Makee.

In 1865 Makee began a planting program of firs and eucalypts all over the ranch to control the wind and soil erosion. Ultimately the tree number reached some 150,000. The exceptional trees we see today in Ulupalakua are a result of Makee’s initial efforts and Ulupalakua Ranch’s continual commitment to the forestation and preservation of our islands wide-open spaces.

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