Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Maui Upcountry, Part 1

In late September, I headed off to my beloved Maui. I expected this year's trip to be special in two ways. First, a friend from my HP days had relocated to Maui where she was born and raised. She is a photographer too and for years, we have been sharing ideas and experiences behind the camera and in front of the digital darkroom. But that was all long distance via email and phone calls. Now, we planned to get together in person and go on a photo safari — and our agreed-upon destination was MauiWine, a winery on Maui (hence the name). My friends are blog-shy so I'll just refer to them as C & M.

The other special treat was that my friends from Lana‘i had moved back to Maui where I had met them originally back in 1984 when I lived on Maui. We'll visit with them later.

You will note that for the first time in many, many issues of LAHP, there is actually a photo of me — thanks to C. It tends to be somewhat unusual that the photographer gets in a picture — and that has certainly been my experience. The sign announces MauiWine but I knew it as Tedeshi Winery, located upcountry in Ulupalakua. The land has a long history as farm land, sugar cane, cattle and now wine. Originally, they produced wine from pineapples as they experimented with different grapes to determine which were suitable for upcountry Maui's climate. That original pineapple wine is still produced and available as Maui Blanc together with a number of other varietals that have proven successful.


The tasting room is known as the King's Cottage since it was the guest house of King Kalakaua. He and Queen Kapi‘olani enjoyed the relaxation they found on the Rose Ranch (as it was then called) as well as the lavish celebrations that were provided here.

In front of the King's Cottage tasting room stood a circle of cypress trees planted in the 1870s that formerly provided a dance circle for hula performances — originally for King Kalakaua and later for any guests of the ranch.

In 2012, two of the trees were damaged in a storm. At that time it became apparent that the trees now formed a hazard because of their age and deteriorated condition. Rather than just cutting them down, they commissioned Maui sculptor Tim Garcia to create a series of brilliantly designed and executed carvings from the old trunks.

Each sculpture revealed a different vision. My guess is that the first one represents "infinity". To me, the second one could be "Kalakaua", his arm raised in a powerful welcoming gesture. There are eight more for you to see when you visit. Whether or not my guesses are close I do enjoy the sculptures. Perhaps the artist will set me straight.

There is no mistaking this item of art — a wind vane in the shape of a bottle of wine being poured into wine glasses facing the compass points. They should sell these in the tasting room. Who knows, maybe they do.

In the tasting room is a book for recording the names of guests. Next to it is this beautiful pineapple lamp — I love it. Maybe they should sell those too.

Behind the tasting room stands an enormous ornamental fig tree with huge buttress roots. I am told that many guests will use this spot for their "we were here" shots to send back home to friends and family.

Slightly up the hill and to the side stands the Pavilion. It was originally the main residence of the Rose Ranch estate. Unfortunately it burned to the ground in the 1970s leaving only the lava rock chimney and stone flooring. The house was rebuilt on the original footprint and is now used as a meeting area.

Up the hill was a flock of goats chowing down on the vegetation growing there.

This building is known as the Old Jail. It was the main business office of Captain James Makee who established the Rose Ranch plantation where MauiWine now sits. The building is now used for special tastings and intimate food and wine events.

In a quiet garden area stands the Rain Goddess, a mythical stone sculpture with two stone faces — one we can see in this photo and a second one behind the head that we cannot see. The statue has been venerated for centuries and is sometimes called Lono Ki‘i. In the Hawaiian pantheon, Lono was the god of rain, agriculture and peace. You can see a gift of a lei that was left on the neck of the statue and a second around its waist.

Interesting, legend has it that if water is poured on the rain goddess, she will supposedly cry out of one eye.

Because King Kalakaua and Queen Kapi‘olani were frequent guests at the Rose Ranch, this cannon was fired when the royal ship entered Makena Bay to let the royal couple know that they had been spotted and that a welcoming party would soon be there to pick them up.

On the lanai of the tasting room stands a bit of whimsy — a carving of a man enjoying his wine and perhaps a bit tipsy as a result. Love it.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com