Enjoying Hawaiian Wines and Spirits
When one think about American wine country, Hawaii is not usually the first place that comes to mind. Although Hawaii has been famous for sugar, pineapples, macadamia nuts and fruits, few know farmers also grow grapes here. Consequently, travelers can sample authentic Hawaiian wines and spirits while vacationing on the islands.
Varieties of Hawaiian Wines and Spirits
This winery on the Big Island of Hawaii has rich volcanic soil for growing grape vines. Their wines include an innovative blend of Hawaii-grown grapes, mixed with tropical fruits such as guava and jaboticaba berries. They offer grape, fruit, tea-infused and honey wines, such as the heated Macadamia Honey Nut wine. So there is sure to be a favorite for every palate.
The Volcano Winery offers different wine tasting packages starting at $5 for the standard package. For $8, they can try for the premium wine tasting experience, which offers eight of their finest selections. The Volcano Winery is open for tastings every day of the year except Christmas.
This kama’aina winery has been a successful working vineyard dating back to the 1970’s. They started by producing their famous pineapple wines. Over the decades, Maui Wine at Ulupalakua Ranch has been producing red and white wines as well as fruit wines. As the island’s only winery, this company is famous for its sparkling pineapple wines and raspberry dessert wines.
Those visiting the winery will be struck by the stunning landscape of the historic Rose Ranch. Here, 100 year old trees line the driveway in a prominent canopy. Maui Wine offers wine tastings and walking tours, beginning at 10:30 am, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm.
The word “mana” means energy and spirit in Hawaiian. As such, the company hopes to pass on the energy of Hawaii through their products by sourcing only local fruits for their wines. This company crafts mango, passion fruit, guava, pineapple, white and red grape and honey wines. It also offers mead, rhubarb and blackberry wine from its sister winery in Oregon. Island Mana has a tasting room in Waikiki, across from the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
The Koloa Rum Company
Visitors who enjoy savoring other spirits can visit several of the state’s distilleries to sample Hawaiian rum. The Koloa Rum Company offers a tasting room for its award-winning products and is only distillery on Kauai. It distills spiced, golden and silver rums as well as offers a variety of rum food products, desserts and sweets.
On Maui, there is the Haleakala Distillery. It offers golden, dark, silver and pineapple rums as well as its popular rum cakes.
Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery
Vacationers will appreciate how this distillery crafts their product with purified water from the ocean. For authentic Maui-made spirits, be sure to check the labeling on the back of the bottles. Such products from Maui will say Distilled and Bottled on Maui. Any bottle lacking this, means the product is not officially from Maui. If you wish to support local distilleries and wineries, make sure that the product shows it’s from Hawaii.
By: Vacheh Joakim