Winemaker Weekend at Hotel Hana Maui: A First

Winemaker Weekend at Hotel Hana Maui: A First

This weekend (beginning November 22nd), the bucolic retreat known as the Hotel Hana Maui will host a pair of back-to-back events celebrating the arrival of Dr. Jerry Seps of Storybook Mountain Winery from Napa, California. One of the most storied Zinfandel producers in California's history, Dr. Seps will escort a selection of his bottled grapes to the venerable resort on Maui's north shore, where they will be sampled, swirled and appreciated by those wise enough to make the trip. In addition, the hotel's chef de cuisine, Konrad Arroyo, has worked closely with Dr. Seps to create two menus (for the two different dining experiences that will take place) to complement the wines brought by the vintners.

At 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Hotel Hana Maui's first "Winemaker Dinner" to be hosted by incumbent food & beverage director Keith Mallini, will begin in the Ka'uiki dining room. The dinner will not only spotlight Seps' Estate Zinfandels, yet showcase the bounty of Hana's locally-grown, foraged, ranched and fished ingredients. In addition, the good doctor will reveal a few additional wines outside of the Zinfandel varietal, which are not always available to the public.

The menu begins with "Togarashi Spiced Ono Tatki and Green Papaya Salad", which is paired with the Seps Estate Viognier. Following, a "Mango Barbequed Quail with Roasted Eggplant and Surfing Goat Cheese Timbale" is enhanced with Seps Cabernet Rosé, a delightfully crisp yet robust wine. Chef Arroyo shows his Philippino chops with a "Kona Bouillabaisse" that features Kona farm-raised Kampachi and Kona Cold Lobster, along with saffron and Kula grown Fennel. Dr. Seps opted to pair the Storybook Mountain Zinfandel, "Mayacamas" with this bold seafood dish. Just when you thought you were in the clear, Arroyo will plate the much hailed "Haleakala Ranch Pan-Roasted Lamb Loin with Ginger-Carrot Puree and Pea Sprout Salad", to be paired with Storybook Mountain's "Antaeus". Finally, Seps will reveal his Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with a portion of Maui Cattle Company's Grass Fed Filet Mignon, wrapped in bacon, and served over pumpkin risotto and heirloom spinach.

If that menu doesn't have you reaching for the phone to make reservations (flights, sea cottages, dinner: all of it), you're officially dead inside. Really.

Hold on, we're not done.

The morning after, the Seps family will host a midday brunch at the uber-swanky Plantation Guest House, which is a treat in itself to dine at. Overlooking the rolling green hillside that extends to the sea, the brunch will yet again give you a chance to sample your favorites (or try and remember them, this time) from the night before.

The Hotel Hana Maui has arranged for spectacular event specials that include room, dinner and brunch for two; In a Bay Cottage the cost is $596 per couple, in a Sea Ranch Cottage with outdoor hot tub, the cost is $797 per couple. Tickets to the dinner, only, are $116, and include wines. The brunch is $35 per person. Rooms, separate from the package, for this weekend only, start at $295 per night.

Log on to www.HotelHanaMaui.com or call the resort directly to book the dinner and stay package: (808) 270-3285.

Seps will reveal his Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with a portion of Maui Cattle Company's Grass Fed Filet Mignon, wrapped in bacon, and served over pumpkin risotto and heirloom spinach.