The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival celebrates 30 years on Maui with their annual celebration of great wines of the world and cuisine of Maui. That means I wasn’t even 21 at the first one! Starting in 1981, the wine world was a different place. The wine industry has come a long way in 30 years, with tremendous growth seen in the United States with 712 wineries in ’85, compared to more than 4,000 now. The event has been long known for its kick off tasting party that features hundreds of wines called the Grand Tasting, which will have a new twist this year. Also new is a 3 hour intro wine course on Thursday. Friday also features the festival golf tournament at the Bay Course and the cab tasting seminar. On Saturday more wine tasting seminars, and festival wine dinners. On Sunday more seminars, Farm Fresh with celebrity Chef Peter Merriman, and the Finale, the Maui Seafood Festival with live entertainment from local band An Den.
The passion for wine and wine knowledge is no longer reserved for the elite. Wine grown around the world are more approachable than ever. The signature wine event in Kapalua continues to transform itself, this year in two specific events. The addition of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Introductory class on Thursday, targeting local food and beverage professionals. Here attendees, under the guidance of Master Sommeliers, will take a tour of the wine growing regions of the world. There will be lively discussions of wine by these Masters of wine, some of which are experts on certain regions. All of the proceeds of this course will go to the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation.
The Friday kick off event, The Grande Tasting has a new taste too, incorporating the significance of our local island bounty. This party has its roots in the who’s who social place to be on the island while featuring over 200 bottles of wine from around the world. Now the Friday night party follows the farm to table trend by partnering with the Maui County Farm Bureau and pairing our talented island’s chefs with our equally skilled farmers.
Under the splendor of the Ritz Carlton’s Aloha Garden Pavilion you will explore an insane combination of chefs, farmers, and wine. The wine stations that total over 200 hundred selections include Tour of California selected by Festival Host Fred Dame, Southern Hemisphere selected by Master Sommelier Andrew McNamara, Pacific Northwest Wines, European Wines selected by Master Sommelier Jay Fletcher, and Sparkling Wines selected by Larry Stone.
The Maui Restaurant Chefs and Maui Farms that will be creating the culinary route of your wine adventure will be as follows:
- Cilantro Mexican Grill and Pacific Produce – Mahi-Mahi ceviche tostada with citrus, watercress and jicama salad and Mother Clucker Flautas with hibiscus jalapeno jelly on a bed of Kula greens, roasted corn and pomegranate vinaigrette
- Flatbread Company and Hana Herbs and Flowers – Pohole fern flatbread and salad
- The Plantation House Restaurant and Escobedo Farm – Chef’s Meze Table with Bab Ghanjouj (eggplant-tahini), Melitzanosalata (eggplant-walnut), Eggplant-Sausage Caponata, Hummus, Mediterranean Olives, Peppers, Marinated Cheese and Pita, Flatbread and Crostini
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House and J Shishido Farm – Broccoli Beef with house cured bersola, sautéed broccoli with a cilantro vinaigrette and Wild Mushroom Fricassee with house cured pancetta, parmigiano reggiano, red wine demi glaze and whole leaf parsley
- The Banyan Tree and Syl’s Produce – Seafood Sausage with pumpernickel and béarnaise sauce and Smoked Ono on a Maui-Style tortilla with crème fraiche
- Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman and Olowalu Nui Farm – Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Olowalu Nui Farm Tomato, Pineapple and Beet Gazpacho
- Desserts by Chef Ashley – The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and Kula Country Farms
THURSDAY, June 9
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation Introductory Class
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Local Industry Trade Show
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Welcome Reception (By invitation only)
FRIDAY, June 10
7:00 am – Shotgun Start – Festival Golf Tournament, The Bay Course, Kapalua
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Three Decades of Reserve Cab
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – The Grand Tasting – Maui Grown
SATURDAY, June 11
11:00 am – 12:30 pm – Pinots Meet Cheese
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – A Drive Up Hwy 101
Time & location varies – Festival Winemakers Dinners
Wine and dine with Festival Winemakers. For more information on these awe-inspiring dinners and priceless opportunities, please visit the Festival website at kapalua.com.
SUNDAY, June 12
11:00 am – 12:30 pm – You say Shiraz, I say Syrah
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Farm Fresh with Chef Peter Merriman
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Maui Seafood Festival
Purchase tickets online at kapalua.com or call 808-665-9160