Wine from Maui, how bad could it be? …let me count the ways.

I recently returned from a long overdue vacation in Maui.  It was my 5th trip to Hawaii and my third time in Maui.  Sand-and-sun are not my thing, but overall it was a great family vacation.  On most of my travels, I bring a few bottles of wine.  On this trip I bought two bottles of wine and one sake.   I always think it is a good idea to travel with bottles of wine or sake, either for personal consumption or to give away as gifts.

On this trip I bought an excellent 2006 Conundrum White Table Wine, a good bottle of 2006 Vision Cellars riesling, and a very good sake.  I highly recommend the 2006 Conundrum.  It’s a multi-varietal white wine from Napa, made in cojunction with Caymus.  It’s inexpensive (~$20), refreshing, and unique.  Conundrum will not improve with age.  I would drink Conundrum within 6 months of purchase.

I almost always bring a bottle of sake when I travel, except of course when I journey to Japan.  Sake travels better than most wines, will not lose its flavor profile if kept cold for several days, and it’s difficult to find good sake on the road.  For my trip to Maui, I brought a very good bottle of Masumi Okuden Kantsukuri, the “Mirror of Truth.”  This post, however, is not about what I bought to Maui, but about a winery in Maui.

OK…here is the set-up.  It’s our last day in Maui, we checked out of the hotel and have some spare time before of flight departs for home.  It’s after lunch and my wife and daughter are taking their post-prandial nap in the car and I’m getting board so I drive.  I drive long and far into the beautiful upland country of Maui. 

The rental car was a suprinsingly good American car, the Pontiac G6.  I haven’t had an American car since my first car in college, the definition of a “beater,” a used 1970 fastback Mustang.  Even though the performance of the G6 was limited by the rental company, I was extremely impressed by this four door, American car.  It was solid and if I needed to buy a vehicle, I would strongly consider the G6.  Iv’e heard American cars are underrated and on this short trip, the Pontiac G4 renewed my faith in American cars.  The best car for wine touring, by the way, has to be the Dodge Magnum V-8 wagon, black, tinted windows, and 21’s.  Again, I digress, I’ll have to write a post on wine cars and travelling with wine.

Alas, back to the story.  I’m diving the G6 on Hwy 31, in upland Maui with the family asleep.  I have a destination in mind, the Tedeschi winery.  It’s a long, beautiful drive to the Tedeschi winery.  The grounds of the tasting room are absoutulety beautiful.  One of the most beaufitul setting for tasting rooms I have been to.   As soon as we arrive, my wife briefly wakes up and she is not suprised to find that we have stopped at a winery in the middle of a tropical paradise.  She knows that if we’re travelling and she falls asleep in the car, 9 times out of 10, she will wake up outside some tasting room.

 As for Tedeschi, their wines are horrible.  They also produce a wine from pineapples and it was even worse.  Tedeschi has about 40 acres of  grape vineyards in Maui they use for their “estate wine.”  They import grape juice from the mainland to produce there other wines.  Their wines are horrible.  Iv’e always wondered what my most and least favorite wines are…now I have found my least favorite.  Condradulations Tedeschi, you’re the worst.  I’m not suprised, how can you expect to grow wine quality grapes in Hawaii.  Pineapple juice is a good, pineapple wine is a bad idea, very bad.  The setting was beautiful and the folks at Tedeschi are kind, but it’s not worth the drive.  There is no tasting fee at Tedeschi, but you could not pay me to try this wine again.

The setting ws beaufiful, and the folks at Tedeschi are kind, but it’s not worth the drive.


Published by Reg

I am a vinophile. I was born and raised in San Francisco. I graduated from Morehouse College in 1986 and received my M.D. from UCSF in 1991. I am a happily married, living and working in San Francisco.

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  1. I am shocked by your comments about the Tedeschi Winery. We loved the wines and ordered some to be sent to our home.
    I guess we all have different tastes. If you are headed to Maui, do go to the winery. It was a highlight of our recent trip.

  2. I am glad you enjoy Tedeschi. That is the great thing about wine, one persons feast, is anothers famine.
    The actual Tedeschi winery is a beautiful setting, but it is difficult to grow wine quality fruit in that terroir: young volcanic soil, heat, humidity, short maturity, too much rain, too much sun. The grapes mature fast. The grapes are not strained.
    What other wines do you like?

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