Maui Arts & Entertainment

Exclusive Ulupalakua Wine Tasting Sunday

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By Vanessa Wolf

Ulupalakua InspiresIn celebration of 50 years of ownership by the Erdman family, Ulupalakua Ranch will be holding a special event on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Ulupalakua Inspires” promises an afternoon of music, hula, historical displays, information booths, and wine tasting.

A paniolo barbecue will feature Huli Huli beef and lamb while Ulupalakua native and slack-key master Jeff Peterson performs live alongside award-winning bassist Nathan Aweau.

In addition, C. Pardee Erdman, the property’s owner since 1963, will be hosting a talk-story session entitled “Looking Back.”


At the time of the purchase in 1963, Ulupalakua Ranch was comprised of 40,000 acres on Haleakala’s southern slopes. About half of the Erdmans’ original purchase consisted of land leased from the State of Hawai‘i. The ranch returned this acreage to state control between 1967 and 1997.

The land is historically important, in large part due to its association with King David Kalakaua, a frequent visitor. In Kalakaua’s day the property was known as “Rose Ranch” and included a successful sugar plantation and mill. In modern times, the ranch preserves several historic sites, including the remains of the old mill.

Today ‘Ulupalakua Ranch holds 18,000 acres and works in five distinct ecosystems. Along the way the Erdmans have explored agricultural uses of the land including helping to establish the Maui Cattle Company and encouraging small-scale farming ventures such as in strawberries and onions.

Mostly notably, they have planted Maui’s only commercial vineyard, which has been a growing consistently for nearly 40 years.

Parde and Betsy Erdman, next to their home, which now serves as the winery tasting room. Courtesy photo

Parde and Betsy Erdman, next to their home, which now serves as the winery tasting room. Courtesy photo


As part of its half-century celebration, that morning the ranch will open its 23-acre vineyard to an exclusive tour for the first time since the original vines were planted in 1974.

The tour will be led by Winemaker Mauricio Soler and Vineyard Manager Bryan Davis. Guests will taste the grapes right off the vine weeks before harvest and hear about the strengths and challenges of growing grapes on the slopes of Haleakala.

Afterward, there will be a vertical tasting including the winery’s Plantation Red 2010, 2011 and the unreleased 2012 Ulupalakua Vineyards Syrah. There will also be a sneak peak tasting of the unreleased 2012 Estate Chenin-Viognier.

An offering of light appetizers designed to pair with the wines will be prepared by Chef Will Munder from the Ulupalakua Ranch Store.


The Vineyards Experience starts at 10:30 a.m. and tickets are $150 per person.

All guests must be 21 or over and provide valid proof in order to retrieve tickets.

The ranch and winery recommend wearing close-toed, flat shoes and wearing sunscreen while attending the events on Sunday.

Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (

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