Maui Food and Dining

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival Offers New Pass

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Events at the 2018 Kapalua Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting event. Courtesy photo.

The 38th Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival returns June 6 to 9, 2019 for a magical weekend on the shores of the Kapalua Resort. This annual ‘migration’ brings together oenophiles, gourmands and enthusiasts of the good life to celebrate, learn and experience the finest culinary trends and viniculture.

Highlights of the weekend include these interactive wine tasting seminars:

– Regional focused seminars – Sta. Rita Hills, Petaluma Gap
– Varietal focused seminars – Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical, Grenache
– Historical focus – Wide World of Sports – Sports stars that became winemakers

Featured Celebrity Chef Mark Tarbell of Food Network and Iron Chef fame and the culinary team from famed New Orleans Restaurant Brennan’s will dazzle taste buds with their interactive cooking demonstrations paired with rare and hard-to-find wines.

Signature evening galas, The Grand Tasting White Party, sponsored by Hawai‘, and Maui Mardi Gras Seafood Festival, will showcase the culinary delights of Maui’s top restaurants. Host Master Sommelier, Michael Jordan will lead the charge for the weekend festivities.


“The 38th annual festival is a tribute to international wines and foods and a celebration of this longest running food and wine festival in the country,” says Jordan. “We have invited top winemakers and chefs from throughout the globe, and here on Maui, to feature their most revered vintages and dishes and share their love for food and wine.”


To date, sponsors for the 2019 event include The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Montage Kapalua Bay, Troon Golf/Kapalua, Maui Visitors Bureau, County of Maui,, FIJI, Bacardi and Patron.

New this year, Early Entrance ticket for one-hour prior to start of regular admission at evening galas. For information on accommodations packages and travel information or to purchase your tickets online please visit the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival website.

Wine seminar at the 2018 Kapalua Wine & Food Festival. Courtesy photo.

Preliminary Schedule of Events (all items subject to change) —


The 38th Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival June 6-9, 2019


A Master Class Introduction to Deductive Wine Tasting
Sponsored by SOMM Journal
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 10:30am – 12:00pm
Invitation only; for Hospitality Industry Professionals
Hosted by Rob Bigelow, Master Sommelier & Michael Jordan, Master Sommelier

Local Industry Wine Trade Show & Gourmet Products Sampling
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Invitation only, Hospitality Industry Professionals

Welcome Reception
Merriman’s Restaurant
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Invitation only & 4-day pass holders

FRIDAY, June 7

Regional Focus:
Sta. Rita Hills AVA Wine Seminar & Tasting
Merriman’s Kapalua – 12:30pm –2:00pm
Sta. Rita Hills is part of the larger Santa Ynez Valley AVA. The wine region is exposed to fog and coastal breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean. When combined with the rocky nature of the area, the Santa Rita Hills area is well-suited for the growing of Pinot Noir grapes, which tend to do well in cool climates with rocky soil. The region is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah varietal wines.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
• Greg Brewer – Brewer Clifton
• Richard Sanford – Alma Rosa Winery
• Tyler Thomas – Dierberg Vineyard
• Rick Longoria – Longoria Winery

Educational Focus:
Taste Like a Master Wine Seminar & Tasting The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:00pm – 4:30pm
An introduction to tasting like a Master Sommelier! Our three host Master Sommeliers – Michael Jordan, Rob Bigelow and Patrick Okubo – take you through the deductive tasting grid and all the intricacies of using your senses that will have you well on your way to tasting like a Master!

The Grand Tasting – Kapalua Style
Sponsored by
Montage Kapalua Bay – 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Exclusive Early VIP Entry – 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Premium wines are showcased with fabulous gastronomic indulgences from Kapalua Resort restaurants and friends. A walk-around tasting and evening under the stars; all on the oceanfront grounds of Montage Kapalua Bay. Also featuring Petrossian Caviar station. NEW THIS YEAR – EXCLUSIVE EARLY ENTRY PASS:  Be the first to sample and taste the evening’s selections with a one hour exclusive early entry to the Grand Tasting. Entrance starts at 5:30pm for an additional fee. Early admission tickets are limited.


Regional Focus:
Petaluma Gap AVA Wine Seminar & Tasting
Hosted by SOMM Journal
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 11:00am – 12:30pm
The SOMM Journal hosts a journey through the Petaluma Gap AVA. The Petaluma Gap is the premier gateway to the Sonoma Coast and northern Marin County wine region with a 150-year tradition of growing grapes. Designated as the country’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA), the Petaluma Gap is producing premium grapes that make the new AVA one of California’s best areas to grow primarily Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah grapes.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
• Teresa Heredia – Gary Farrell Wines
• Julien Teichmann – Keller Estate
• Ryan Prichard – Three Sticks Winery
• Rickey Trombetta – Trombetta Family Wines

Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chef Mark Tarbell
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Iron Chef Mark Tarbell of the famed Tarbell’s Restaurant in Phoenix takes his classical training in French cuisine and marries it with the freshest island favorites. All are eloquently paired with Southern Rhone influenced wines and other stellar selections by winemaker Laely Heron and Master Sommelier Michael Jordan.

Varietal Focus:
Grenache with Panache Wine Seminar & Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Grenache loves to be blended with other red grapes and is grown in many countries Including Spain, France, US, Australia, and S. Africa. We will discover the different styles and expressions of the grape from both new world and old world!
• Laely Heron – Heron Wines
• Mikael Sigouin – Kaena
• Anne-Charlotte Bachas – Château de la Font du Loup
• Mike Sullivan – Benovia Winery

SUNDAY, June 9

Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chefs from Brennan’s Restaurant of New Orleans
“Champagne Sunday Brunch at Brennan’s”
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
Sample the flavors of New Orleans from one of their most well loved restaurants, Brennan’s. Chef Slade Rushing and General Manager and Restaurant Ambassador Christian Pendelton showcase favorites from the Crescent City. Paired with a variety of champagnes and other specials selections.

Varietal Focus:
California Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Wine Seminar & Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Tasting verticals of Cabernets from different regions in California with a panel of winemakers from Napa, Sonoma and Santa Barbara.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
• Fred Scherrer – Scherrer Vineyards
• Ted Edwards – Freemark Abbey
• Richie Allen – Rombauer
• Tyler Thomas – Star Lane Winery

Historical Focus:
Wide World of Sports Wine Seminar & Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Renowned for their sports prowess, these Sports Stars have now turned their sights on making world-class wines. This fun and engaging panel shares stories from both fields of ‘dreams’ – the playing field and the vineyard.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
• Rich Rich Aurilia – Red Stitch
• Charles Woodson – Charles Woodson Wines
• Vince Ferragamo – Tenuta di Ferragamo

Seafood Festival
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – Beach House Lawn – 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Exclusive Early VIP Entry – 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Celebrate the “Maui Mardi Gras” with Maui’s Top Restaurants showcasing a seafood specialty and culinary creation in competition for Maui No Ka Oi Magazine’s “Best of the Fest” award. Enjoy the evening with live island style entertainment.  NEW THIS YEAR – EXCLUSIVE EARLY ENTRY PASS
Be the first to sample and taste the evening’s selections with a one hour exclusive early entry to the Seafood Festival. Entrance starts at 5:30pm for an additional fee. Early admission tickets are limited.

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