Maui Food and Dining

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival Set for June

April 20, 2016, 1:05 PM HST
* Updated April 20, 9:50 AM
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The 35th Kapalua Wine & Food Festival is taking place June 9-12, 2016. Tickets are on sale now. Courtesy photo.

The 35th Kapalua Wine & Food Festival is taking place June 9-12, 2016. Tickets are on sale now. Courtesy photo.

The 35th annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival returns June 9 to 12, 2016 for a memorable weekend on the shores of the Kapalua Resort. This annual ‘migration’ brings together oenophiles, gourmands and enthusiasts to celebrate, learn and experience the finest culinary trends and viniculture.

Highlights of the weekend include interactive wine tasting seminars:

  • Globetrotting Winemakers – winemakers who make wine in two or more countries
    Family Tree – Scions of the Vine – second and third generation winemakers
    New Zealand Pinot Noir
    Ten-year Cabernet Retrospective – A comparison of a young vintage and a ten-year aged wine
    Women Winemakers

Featured celebrity chefs Hugh Acheson of Top Chef and the Food Network, and Michele Mazza of the renowned Il Mulino in New York City each prepare four-course tasting menus paired with rare and hard-to-find wines.

Signature evening galas, The Grand Tasting, sponsored by, and Seafood Festival, sponsored by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature, will showcase the culinary delights of Maui’s top restaurants.

Host Master Sommelier, Michael Jordan, will lead the charge for the weekend festivities. “The 35th annual festival is a tribute to international wines and foods and a celebration of this longest-running food and wine festival in the country,” says Jordan. “We have invited top winemakers and Chefs from throughout the globe, and here on Maui, to feature their most revered vintages and dishes and share their love for food and wine.”


To date, major sponsors for the 2016 event include The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui Visitors Bureau, County of Maui,, Alaska Airlines Visa Signature, FIJI water and Troon Golf/Kapalua.


Tickets are on sale now with a limited number of early-bird discounted prices being offered through May 1. For information on lodging packages and travel information or to purchase your tickets online, please visit here.

Schedule of Events (all items subject to change) —

The 35th Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival
June 9-12, 2016



A Master Class Introduction to Deductive Wine Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Invitation only; Industry

Local Industry Wine Trade Show & Gourmet Products Sampling
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 12-3 p.m.
Invitation only; Industry

Welcome Reception
Merriman’s Kapalua – 5-6:30 p.m.
Invitation only & 4-day pass holders

FRIDAY, June 10

Festival Golf Tournament
The Bay Course, Kapalua – 7 a.m.
Not included in 4-day pass; sold separately
Complimentary awards and luncheon follow

Champagne & Scooby Snacks Seminar & Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 12:30–2 p.m.
This seminar brings together an impressive array of Champagnes with tasty treats created by Chef Mark Tarbell. Hosted by Master Sommelier Rob Bigelow. A not-to-be-missed start to the Festival.

Women of the Vines
A Panel Honoring the Amazing Women Wine Seminar & Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:00 pm– 4:30 pm
Our second in a series of panels featuring notable women winemakers. This girl-powered panel tasting will be an annual feature that celebrates the women that craft some of the finest wines in the world. Hosted by Meridith May, Publisher/Editorial Director of SOMM Journal /The Tasting Panel/Clever Root.
Confirmed panelists to date:
Merry Edwards – Merry Edwards Winery
Elizabeth Grant – Douglas La Crema Winery
Heidi Peterson Barrett – La Sirena
Anne Moller-Racke – Donum Estate Winery

The Grand Tasting – Kapalua Style
Sponsored by
Montage Kapalua Bay– 6-9 p.m.
Premium wines are showcased with fabulous gastronomic indulgences from Kapalua Resort restaurants and friends. A walk-around tasting and evening under the stars; all on the oceanfront grounds of Montage Kapalua Bay.  Featuring culinary creations from:
The Plantation House
Pineapple Grill
Merriman’s Kapalua
Sansei Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Banyan Tree at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Taverna Restaurant
Cane & Canoe at Montage Kapalua Bay
Maui Culinary Academy

Family Tree – Scions of Family Wineries
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
This seminar brings together second- and third-generation winemakers and their winemaker parents to share their secrets, stories and wines. Hosted by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan.
Confirmed panelist to date:
Carlo Mondavi – RAEN and Continuum
Tim Mondavi – Continuum
Christopher Hyde – Hyde and Sons
Larry Hyde – Hyde Vineyards
Brandon De Luze –ZD Wines
Robert De Luze –ZD Wines

Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chef Michele Mazza
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Noted Italian Chef Michele Mazza, owner and executive chef of Il Mulino and Trattoria Il Mulino will wow attendees with his traditional, authentic Italian dishes crafted from his roots in Naples. Hosted by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan and paired with exquisite Italian wines.

Globetrotting Winemakers
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:30–5 p.m.
Featuring renowned globetrotting winemakers that make wines in more than two countries. Hosted by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan.
Confirmed panelists to date:
Laely Heron – Spain, France, Sonoma
Other panelists TBD

SUNDAY, June 12
Regional Focus:
Kia Ora! New Zealand Pinot Noir Wine Seminar & Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Join some of the true pioneers and new stars of New Zealand winemaking. This seminar will showcase both established headliners and newest upcoming wineries. Hosted by Master Sommelier Rob Bigelow.
Panelists TBD

Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chef Hugh Acheson
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 1-3 p.m.
Award-winning Chef, restaurateur, TV personality and author showcases his Southern Flavors reinvented for your kitchen Southern cooking. Co-hosted by the always engaging Master Sommelier Rob Bigelow and paired with the Spanish wines. Food & Wine Magazine named him Best New Chef in 2002 and the James Beard Foundation awarded him Best Chef Southeast in 2012. Hugh competed in Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Season 3 and starred as a judge on Top Chef, Seasons 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.

Ten Year Retrospective – Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Seminar & Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:30– 5 p.m.
This seminar features a panel of winemakers famous for producing seriously amazing “elusive” wines from the most exclusive “neighborhoods” in the Napa Valley. Hosted by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan.
Confirmed panelists to date:
Bo Barrett Chateau Montelena
Fred Scherrer Scherrer Vineyards
Ted Edwards Freemark Abbey
David Long David Arthur Vineyards
Marcus Notaro Stag’s Leap

Seafood Festival
Hosted by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – Beach House Lawn – 6-9 p.m.
14 of Maui’s Top Restaurants showcase a seafood specialty and culinary creation in competition for Maui No Ka Oi Magazine’s “Best of the Fest” award. Hawaiian entertainment provided by Nuff Sedd.

The Kapalua Wine & Food Festival was established in 1981 by the nonprofit, Kapalua Wine Society. The Festival was created to educate and foster the appreciation of culinary exploration, fine wine and specifically Hawai‘i culinary products and purveyors as well as showcase Maui’s natural beauty and promotes tourism to the island.

This edu-culinary event is the oldest festival of its kind in the nation and marks its 35th anniversary in 2016. For the past several years, the Festival has been operated under non-profit Kapalua Maui Charities with a portion of proceeds benefitting University of Hawaii/Maui College Culinary program. The Festival’s long-standing relationships and partnerships within the industry help to bring some of the most renowned winemakers and celebrity chefs to participate. It also has a dedicated following of attendees come from both within the state, mainland U.S. and international countries.

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