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Hawaii’s Hidden Gem: Wine

Are There Vineyards in Hawaii?

To state the obvious, Hawaii possesses world-class dining and is a food-centric community. A more hidden facet of Hawaii’s culinary scene is the production of fruit and traditional wines minted in its diverse climates. Hawaii wine is unique for its incorporation of eclectic fruits and vines grown in volcanic soil.

Wineries on the Big Island

A Hawaii wine tour would lead you to Volcano Winery on the Big Island where they produce a wide array of wines and blends utilizing only locally sourced ingredients. The land where this winery is situated possesses an unusual climate for vinification at 4,000 feet above sea level with rich, volcanic soil. Opened in 1993, the flagship wines incorporated Hawaii’s exotic fruits, macadamia nut, and honey. Some of the original wines available for tasting include Guava Wine, Volcano Red, and Macadamia Nut Honey Wine. Hawaii fruit wines, while eclectic, offer the most symbolic representation and flavor of their roots and viticulture.

hawaii vineyard

Wineries on Maui

Maui Wine is also situated in a region of volcanic soil. Located on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, the first grapes were planted here in 1974. The 23-acre vineyard offers tours and tastings of some of the best wine produced in Hawaii. They also incorporate some of Hawaii’s exotic fruits into their varieties, with pineapple wine being among their most popular.

While Hawaii may not have numerous wineries and vineyards, its offerings are most certainly suited to those who appreciate small-batch, locally sourced wine. The fruit blends add a unique touch to how this food-centric community pairs its food and wine. Rarely will you find a locally sourced wine more emblematic of its origins than Hawaiian fruit blends.

Wine and Fine Dining in Hawaii

The passion for wine is further embedded in the dining of Hawaii. It is here that the community’s unique tastes and enthusiasm for the domestic island flavors are expressed. Among the best locations for witnessing this enthusiasm is in Oahu. Pai Honolulu hosts events to help educate and showcase the talents of chef Kevin Lee and sommelier Matt Nelson. Located on the ground floor of the Harbor Court residential tower, this small, intimate restaurant offers artistic plates and a tasting menu where you can receive recommendations from the lead sommelier.

wineries in hawaii

A sampling of Hawaii’s cuisine and award-winning wine will almost always lead visitors to Merriman’s Waimea. Named one of the top 100 restaurants of 2019 by Wine Enthusiast, everything at Merriman’s is inspired by the “locavore” ethos. Chef Peter Merriman expresses his vision for the growth of Hawaiian agriculture and island-inspired, multicultural dishes at his restaurant. His flagship restaurant houses some of the best local and imported wines you will find in Hawaii.

I would love to hear about what you think of wines in Hawaii or wine in general. Please give me a call at (808) 938-3910 and perhaps have a toast. Cheers and aloha.

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