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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Onward and Upcountry, Maui - Page 2

Written by Lisa Richardson
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When an ad in the Maui’s Menu Winter 2014 touting “organic ocean vodka” caught our eye, we booked a tour online.  Ocean Vodka is a success for so many reasons, beginning with son Shay’s clever plan for creating organic vodka from ten acres of Upcountry sugar cane and mineral-rich water derived from 3000’ ocean depths. The intimate family business thrives on solar power and is a model of sustainability.   Guests enjoy a tasting at the end of the tour, complimentary logo shotglasses, and drink recipes.  You are encouraged to snip herbs from the garden to create a favorite drink back at your island destination.


At home in southern California, following Ocean Vodka’s recipe for Pineapple Rose, we muddled basil and rosemary, added pineapple juice, lemon juice, agave nectar and vodka to a shaker, and shook vigorously with ice.  Strained into a glass garnished with a rosemary sprig, we imbibed and pronounced the concoction “mellow yellow” with its subtle herb compliment and tropical flavors.

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We didn’t make it to the Ali’I Kula Lavender Farm this time.  Here, you feel on top of the world. Breathe in, explore on your own or take a tour, enjoy a sensuous taste (lavender-infused dessert!) or body treat.  Weeks or months later, just a dot of the lavender oil transports me.  Pleasure, too, is finding these Made in Maui products as part of a spa treatment locally.

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Kula Botanical Garden and Tedeschi Vineyards, the Pineapple Winery in Ulupalakua Ranch, appear worthy of another visit.   Thompson Ranch Riding Stables offer hikes and rides here.  The 49th Annual Paniolo Parade is slated for July 5! 


Not really certain why, I paused at a real estate office in Kapalua and inquired about information the agent may possibly have about Upcountry.  Baldev Singh poked through nearby bookshelves and presented a worn paperback, Four Wheels Five Corners, by Paul Wood.  Written in 1996, the “facts of life in Upcountry Maui” is an entertaining read. You get the sense of the place, the quirky nature and characters from a series of revised essays written originally for a column in the Haleakala Times.  His stories impart the author’s soul satisfaction and reverence for the land he calls God’s “piko-” the belly button or “center of the universe.”   I was moved.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 01 July 2014

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