Nine celebrated winemakers from Oregon will descend on the Hotel Hana-Maui April 30 for an evening of fine wines and gourmet foods.
"Some of you may remember when I brought Oregon winemakers out here in 1998 with events at Shep Gordon's house and Roy's Kahana," says wine expert Alan Jahns of JMD Beverages. "I've been trying to recreate that Oregon Invasion in Hawaii ever since."
It was a who's-who of Oregon's top winemakers. It was a one-of-a-kind, seminal event in Hawaii, according to Jahns. "Nobody had ever done anything like that before. Well, we're doing it again!"
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Hotel Hana-Maui’s Chef Keoki McKee will create a host of organic and local foods to be paired with top Oregon wines at the event.
"This time around we'll have many of the same names and a few exciting additions. Some alumni like Lynn Penner Ash and Laurent Montalieu - are not just winemakers as in 1998, but now are owners, too. In the spirit of the original invasion - all are either winemakers or principals. This is what made it unique back in 1998 and helped to create the 'wow factor.' "
Josh Bergstrom of Bergstrom Vineyards and Michael Etzel of Beaux Freres are superstars in their field along with Montalieu of Solena, Bill and Debra Hatcher of Rex Hill and A to Z Wineworks, Harry Peterson-Nedry of Chehalem, David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyards and Ken Wright of Ken Wright Cellars.
"Open any wine magazine featuring pinot noir and Josh's picture is featured," says Jahns. "He is, unquestionably, Oregon's hottest new winemaker, getting the highest scores in the Wine Spectator year after year."
Etzel of Beaux Freres is co-owner with (brother-in-law) Robert Parker, the famous wine critic. There are only12 95-point Oregon pinots from Wine Spectator - four are Beaux Freres. Like Bergstrom, he is a passionate believer in bio-dynamic agriculture."
The Oregon Wine Invasion will be a wine hunt around the lush East Maui property. Rather than pairing a specific wine to a specific course, Jahns will uncork an offering of over 40 wines and you do your own pairings.
"Some of these are really hard to get, highly allocated wines," says Jahns. "You'll find everything from a 95-point, $150 a bottle pinot noir down to a pinot gris. They'll also have wines like syrah, pioneering Dijon-clone chardonnay and great rieslings."
Of course, there will be copious amounts of food and wine "more than the long and winding road to Hana will alow for you to drive on afterwards," so those from other parts of the island should plan to hang their hats somewhere at or near the hotel.
"There will be five wine and food stations scattered around the property," says Director of Food and Beverage Keith Mallini. "Guests will receive a 'treasure map' to guide them around. The food at each station will be themed in order to fit the location."
For example, the spa courtyard will feature spa cuisine. "At a Sea Ranch Cottage, foods of the sea and the ranch will come into play, and at the infinity pool, well, the sky's the limit," says Mallini.
Tastes will include miso-grilled Haleakala Ranch lamb. Hana-caught ahi tartare with garden vegetables, sundried tomatoes and Stilton cheese on taro and sweet potato chips, ono-sashimi-wrapped namasu of Hana vegetables, and ulu (breadfruit) and kalua pork croquettes topped with exotic poha berry sauce."
Participants will spend roughly 30 minutes at each station, then they may mosey up to the resort's Plantation Guest House for dessert, more pinot noir and a dose of local Hotel Hana-Maui musicians and dancers.
Cost is $80 per person, plus tax and tip. In addition, the hotel will offer special kamaaina room rates.
For reservations, call Hotel Hana-Maui at 248-8211.