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Head Upcountry for ‘Ulupalakua Cares”

By Staff | Sep 1, 2011

David Kamakahi will perform with Herb Ohta Jr. at “Ulupalakua Cares.”

ULUPALAKUA — Maui’s Winery and Ulupalakua Ranch Store invite the public to come on up to Upcountry Maui for on Sunday, Sept. 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This free community event will feature live music by local musicians, a walking tour of Ulupalakua’s historic trees and an enlightening talk about wind energy on Maui.

There will also be informational exhibits by local conservation groups, free wine tasting and plenty of delicious food available for purchase.

The music lineup begins with Uncle Benny Uyetake playing jazz ukulele on the lanai of the Ulupalakua Ranch Store at 11:30 a.m. At noon, Hana’s own CJ Helekahi will perform on the winery grounds, sharing his lifelong love of Hawaiian music through soulful singing that ranges from tenor to falsetto.

Next up from 2 to 4 p.m. are David Kamakahi and Herb Ohta Jr. — both sons of famous musicians who have become gifted musicians in their own right.

Kamakahi won a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for best contemporary album in 2005 for his solo debut, “Pa’ani,” and is known for his versatility with the ukulele.

Ohta won a Na Hoku Award this year for best instrumental album for “‘Ukulele Nahenahe,” exemplifying his relaxing and melodic style of playing. All live entertainment is produced by Jazz Alley TV and MauiFEST Hawaii.

The music will flow beneath the shady canopies of 150-year-old trees brought to Ulupalakua by historic Rose Ranch owner James Makee. Visitors are invited to learn more about these unique trees in a “Magnificent Tree Tour” led by renowned arborist and professor Ernest H. Rezents at 11 a.m.

Visitors will also get a chance to learn about an exciting new project taking shape on Ulupalakua Ranch land: the Auwahi Wind Farm.

From 1:30 to 2 p.m., Mitch Dmohowski, director of commercial development for Sempra Generation, will give a presentation describing the goals of the project and planned benefits to the local community. Following its completion in 2012, the 21-megawatt wind farm aims to take advantage of the area’s wind-rich environment to generate enough electricity to power some 10,000 Maui homes.

Continuing the theme of sustainability, representatives from key Maui environmental groups will be on hand to discuss their latest efforts. Exhibitors include Ulupalakua Ranch, Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Natural Area Reserves System, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Friends of D.T. Fleming Arboretum, Maui Invasive Species Committee, Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission, Native Hawaiian Plant Society and Friends of Haleakala National Park.

The ranch has a long history of protecting and conserving open spaces. Currently, more than 50 species of endangered or rare native trees are being restored on ranch land.

“Working together with dedicated volunteers and partner organizations, we are able to take steps every year that help ensure the future health of the environment,” said Ulupalakua Ranch president Sumner Erdman. “‘Ulupalakua Cares’ gives us an opportunity to share this important work with the community.”

The event will also feature some ‘ono new lunch specials from Ulupalakua Ranch Store Deli & Grill, and Maui’s Winery will offer free wine tasting in the historic King’s Cottage Tasting Room. For this “Sunday Drive” event only, visitors may sample the 2009 Plantation Red Maui County Syrah, a limited estate wine made from Syrah and Carnelian grapes handpicked on the slopes of Haleakala. Only 300 cases are produced.

For more information on the event, call 878-6058. To learn more about Ulupalakua, visit www.mauiwine.com or www.ulupalakuaranch.com.