Maui Food and Dining

Kapalua Food and Wine Festival This Weekend

June 4, 2013, 1:00 PM HST
* Updated June 3, 12:05 PM
Listen to this Article
4 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

By Vanessa Wolf

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Have you cleared your calendar yet?

Hop to it, because the three-day bender known as the Kapalua Food and Wine festival starts on Friday.

If – alas – you have to work on Friday, do not fret. There are still copious opportunities to have your liver crying for mercy on Saturday and Sunday.

Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, you can attend the In Pursuit of Balance Wine Seminar.


In Pusuit of Balance (IPOB) is an organization co-founded by Rajat Parr of Michael Mina and Sandhi Wines and Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards. IPOB seeks to promote dialogue around the meaning and relevance of balance in California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Not what we were expecting, but hey.


This seminar will focus on the wines of Four IPOB members – Pax Mahle (Wind Gap), Jamie Kutch (Kutch), Gavin Chanin (Chanin) and Rajat Parr (Sandhi) – as they consider the fundamental question of what is balance in wine and why it is relevant.

The discussion points will focus on balance, non-manipulation in the cellar, and the promotion of the fundamental varietal characteristics which make Pinot Noir and Chardonnay great.

The featured wines under scrutiny will include 2011 Chanin Pinot Noir “Los Alamos;” 2010 Wind Gap Pinot Noir, Gap’s Crown Vineyard; 2011 Kutch Pinot Noir “McDougall Ranch;” 2011 Sandhi Pinot Noir “Santa Rita Hills.”


Your head freshly full of wine terms and hard facts about balance, you can head to a cooking demonstration with Celebrity Chef Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in San Francisco.

From 1 to 3 p.m. enjoy her fusion of American regional flavors and French influence in a fun and interactive format.

The menu includes three courses featuring avocado risotto and summer truffles, Zabuton beef tataki with Big Island hearts of palm on petite lettuces and field greens, and just-based shortcake.

But will there be wine?

Well, OF COURSE there will: don’t be silly. (Although the specifics are still listed as TBD.)

Starting to lose track of what day it is?


That means it’s time to totter on down to the Heroes of Pinot & Chardonnay Wine Tasting from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

This event features wines Geoff Labitzke of Kistler, Michael Brown of Kosta Browne, Gary Pisoni of Pisoni and Fred Scherrer of Scherrer Winery along with several special vintages of their choosing.

That evening, straighten your skirt and stagger over to one of several Festival Winemaker Dinners at Participating Resort Restaurants.

These include Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar paired with Sarah & Sparky Marquis of Mollydooker Winery and The Plantation House alongside Chad Melville of Melville Winery.

The Pineapple Grill is paring with Celebrity Chefs Gary Danko and Nancy Oakes and the wines of Rajat Parr/Sandi Wines and Pax Mahle/Wind Gap.

Merriman’s Kapalua will be offering a dinner with Mia Klein of Selene Wines.

Lastly, The Banyan at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua will be featuring Chef Mourad Lahlou of Aziza Restaurant San Francisco and Kistler Wines.

Sleep all that off head back to the Ritz-Carlton at 11 a.m. for the Que Sera Syrah Sera Wine Tasting.

The event features winemakers Matt Trevisan of Linne Calodo, Sparky Marquis or Mollydooker, James Ontiveros of Autonom, and Sergio Carlei of Carlei.

Among the eight wines poured will be the 2009 Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz, 2010 Linne Calodo Nemesis, Autonom – 2007 Autonom Syrah, and Carlei – 2007 Carlei Estate Shiraz “Sud.”


Steady there, cowboy!

From 1 to 3 p.m. take in a cooking demonstration with celebrity chef Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco.

Danko’s food epitomizes sophisticated contemporary cuisine and his award-winning restaurant in San Francisco has garnered six five-star ratings from Mobile Travel Guide, making it one of the nation’s elite restaurants. This is a rare opportunity to see this chef and partake in his food up close and personal.

But wait!

There’s more!

From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. enjoy the Pritchard Hill Gang Wine Seminar, hosted by Michael Jordan, MS and Steve Heimoff of Wine Enthusiast

The event features the 2011 David Arthur Elevation 1147, 2010 Continuum, along with wines from Ovid, Chapellet, and BRAND Napa Valley.

If your liver can take it, wrap it all up at the Seafood Festival from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Hosted by Maui No Ka Oi Magazine, the grand finale has Maui’s top chefs showcasing the bounty of the Pacific.

Guests will enjoy premium vintage wines, beer and spirits while they mingle with winemakers, chefs and industry notables at the oceanfront Beach House Lawn.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the individual events, click here.

We welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you hear of any new restaurants opening or reopening, total menu overhauls, or simply know of a hidden treasure you want to share. Have a restaurant you want reviewed (or re-reviewed)? Drop us a line – Vanessa(

Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information
E-Mail Newsletters Receive daily or weekly updates via e-mail. Subscribe Now
News Alerts Breaking news alerts on your mobile device. Get the App


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments