Volcano Winery was originally started in 1986 by retired Oahu veterinarian, Lynn “Doc” McKinney. Having made wine and beer as a hobby for years, Doc planned to open a winery on the Big Island after leaving Oahu. He chose Volcano for its unusual climate at 4000 feet above sea level, and planted 20 Symphony grape vines in the lava-covered land. Encouraged by the Symphony vines’ ability to grow in Volcano’s climate, the 20 vines were followed by planting 14 acres of Symphony Grape Vines. In the vast wonderland of the Big Island and its abundance of tropical fruit, he also began experimenting with different fruit and grape blends for wine. Soon exotic fruits like starfruit, lilikoi (passion fruit), and even papaya were blended with grapes and transformed into tropical Hawaiian wine. These fruit -blended wines were so original that they were given their own category by the BATF! Doc also experimented with wine made with honey from local Big Island bees who worked the fields of Macadamia Nut and Ohia Trees.
Finally, in 1993 Volcano Winery opened its doors to the public with a selection of some of the most uniquely produced wine anyone had ever made. A lifelong hobby had become a living dream! Originally, the wines that were offered for sale were two versions of pure grape produced wines from the Symphony Grape, two different honey wines, Macadamia Nut and Lehua Blossom, the Red and Blush wines that are blended with the local fruit called Jaboticaba which grows directly on the bark of the Jaboticaba tree a Guava wine and a passion fruit wine.
Several years passed, and Doc continued to experiment with new wines and winemaking. Volcano Winery had gone from a hobby into a full-time position. Ready to “retire” for real this time, Doc and his family decided to put the winery up for sale.
At the same time, Del Bothof, who loved Hawaii and also enjoyed the taste of wine, was planning his retirement to Hawaii. A friend that knew how much Del loved Hawaii saw an advertisement about the sale of the winery and sent the ad to him as information. Del immediately called Doc and after a short discussion visited Hawaii, contacted Doc, and soon the two were talking like long-lost friends. He was introduced to the McKinney family, and before long the sale of the winery was set into motion. Finally in 1999, with much Aloha, Doc passed the torch to Del, and within a few short months what began as a far-fetched idea had truly materialized into reality.
Today the winery is still a family-owned business. Del’s son, Scott, was the winery’s General Manager for seven years, and a daughter and son-in-law also joined the staff for periods during the last 10 years. Two of the McKinney daughters continued to work as managers at the winery for many years and helped grow the winery into a very successful small business. Alana McKinney, wife of the late founder, still visits the winery and continues to contribute to its success.
In the summer of 2000 there was a fire in the vineyard which destroyed many of the original Symphony vines. The lost vines were replaced with the French American Hybrids; Marchael Foch, Chambourcin and Cayuga White. Also planted was the vinifera varietal, Pinot noir. In 2006 the winery began growing tea plants (Camellia sinensis) to use in their newest wine. Infusion, a Tea wine made using their Macadamia Nut Honey wine and Black Teas.
In 2011, Del and Marie Bothof moved full time to Hawaii and now spend their time doing what they love to do which is running the winery on a day-to-day basis. If you stop by almost any day of the week, you will see them participating in the wine tasting or in Del’s case often stuck in the back room taking care of the books and finances!
The winery has seen many changes since it first started some 25+ years ago, but the commitment to produce unique, award-winning wines made with Aloha will always remain in the heart of Volcano Winery! Along with the signature wines which the winery was built on (Symphony Mele, Volcano Red, Guava Wine, Blush, and Macadamia Nut Honey Wine), the winery continues to grow and when it became obvious that the Pinot Noir grape was suited very well to the special cool climate in Volcano, the winery started producing small amounts (about 300 bottles) of Pinot Noir using frozen grapes from California. Now as their own vines are maturing, the winery will be able to introduce their “Estate Pinot Noir” and “Estate Cayuga White” from vines that were planted 4 to 5 years ago.
Although we will have to sell these small volume produced Estate wines by the glass rather than as a part of our tastings, we hope you will join us for some Aloha and taste the uniqueness of a cayuga White or Pinot Noir wine that was grown, produced, and bottled right here at Volcano Winery!
The Volcano Winery is open 364 days per year and is closed on Christmas Day. Information for this blog was taken from their website www.volcanowinery.com
Wikipedia.com states, “Kona coffee is the market name for a variety of coffee (Coffea arabica) cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai Mountain and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. The Kona weather pattern of bright sunny mornings, humid rainy afternoons and mild nights creates favorable coffee growing conditions. The combination of this relatively low yield crop and intensive hand labor that has allowed this liquid delicacy to develop a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world. Only coffee from the Kona Districts can be legally described as “Kona.”
To further clarify, I will describe Kona for you and you will see why we have the best coffee. If you are hung up on “Coffea arabica”, hold your horses, and we’ll get there. First, we are going to start with the Districts of North and South Kona. North Kona is located on the side of Hualalai Mountain. South Kona stretches from Southern slopes of Hualalai down onto massive Mauna Loa Mountain. Both mountains are active volcanoes on the island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. Hualalai, is an 8,000 foot shield volcano, that last erupted only 200 years ago! And this volcano is tiny compared to Mauna Loa, the biggest volcano on the entire planet! That is right. Mauna Loa stands on its own, all the way from the bottom of the ocean floor to 13,679 feet above sea level! It is the single biggest land mass on earth! Mauna Loa’s most recent eruption was in 1984; more recent than you would’ve guessed, huh?
So, only the coffee grown in North and South Kona can be called “Kona Coffee.” Within both North and South Kona, the prime coffee growing area is only 3 miles wide and 20 miles long. Only here, the elements of extremely fertile soil and perfect weather conditions combine to create the ideal coffee growing climate. Many soil nutrients come directly from the Earth’s Core. The rich volcanic soil gives the coffee trees food and strength to produce flavorful coffee beans. Climate and elevation also play a critical role in growing coffee and bean size. Coffee trees like mid-to high elevations and thrive in areas where the mornings are sunny and the evenings are mild. In areas like this, coffee beans are able to grow bigger allowing them to marinate in more sugary juice. Only here in Kona, on a volcano, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean; location, climate, elevation and soil quality all come together, in a small area known as Kona, to make ideal coffee growing conditions. And you know what that means…Ideal coffee growing conditions = Happy Trees! Happy Trees = Great Coffee!
We do everything we can to make sure our coffee trees are happy and healthy but we cannot stress enough the importance of where our trees are planted. The Downes Grounds farm is located in Holualoa, the heart of the famous Kona Coffee Belt on the Big Island of Hawaii. All coffee that bears the name “Kona Coffee” must be grown in an area that is only three miles wide and twenty miles long. It is here, in this very specific location – in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and on the side of an active volcano – that the perfect coffee-growing conditions are found. The soil in Holualoa is rich and dark, packed with nutrients and microorganisms that have only risen from the Earth’s core to the Earth’s surface within the last few centuries. The relative youth of the Big Island on the Geologic Timescale has created the conditions for the extremely nutritious soil found in Kona as those nutrients have not broken down or been used yet.
Climate is another vital contributing factor to Holualoa’s amazing coffee: warm, sunny mornings with afternoon rain showers and cool crisp nights. Kona experiences all year round provides an environment that is ideal for coffee trees to grow and flourish. While we have a distinct wet and dry season here in Kona, we do not experience much temperature variation throughout the year; temperatures in the day average in the low 80s to high 70s and average in the mid to low 60s at night.
The early spring hand-pruning of each tree ensures that the new growth energy is captured for the total health of the trees and beans. We keep a watchful eye on the growing stages, from the flowering to the bean. In the late spring and summer months our Kona Coffee begins to ripen on the tree to become a rich full bean.
When blushing red, our Kona Coffee is hand-picked, pulped, fermented, and put on drying deck within 16 hours, where they are sun dried in the beautiful Kona sunshine for 7-14 days. The beans are then stored in a humidity controlled environment for aging. Dry milled and graded, we roast weekly and bag the warm beans to ensure ultimate freshness!
We are sure that you will enjoy your Downes Grounds 100% Pure Kona Coffee as we put our hearts into growing the best.
Information for this blog was taken from the Downes Grounds website.
When you arrive at our Hawaii Golf Condo, every guest will be treated to a ½ pound sample of Downes Grounds world famous Kona Coffee!
We hope you enjoy your stay with us.
Kona Brewing Company was started by father and son team Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa. The pair had a dream to create fresh, local island brews made with spirit, passion and quality. Their love of Hawaii, and a desire to protect the pristine environment here, brought them to the Big Island to fulfill their vision. Kona Brewing continues to be headquartered right where it began, in Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island
Kona Brewing Company introduced Pacific Golden Ale (now called Big Wave Golden Ale) and Fire Rock Pale Ale to Hawaii in bottles and kegs on February 14, 1995. Longboard Island Lager was added three years later. Approximately 10 other styles of beer are brewed on a regular basis and served at Kona Brewing Company’s pubs with a select few being served at some finer restaurants and markets. These range in color from very blonde to black; in flavor from tangy to hoppy to roasty… and everything in between. Today the three flagship beers are widely distributed throughout Hawaii, making Kona the top selling craft beer in the islands. Longboard Island Lager, Big Wave Golden Ale, Fire Rock Pale Ale and our three Aloha Series beers Koko Brown, Pipeline Porter and Wailua Wheat are distributed in 36 states throughout the United States and 9 countries abroad
Kona Brewing Company’s Kailua-Kona Pub on Hawaii’s Big Island opened in November 1998. An enormous mahogany log that washed ashore in Kailua Bay was used to adorn the masterpiece Koa wood bar. The featured ohia wood posts used on the lanai came from South Kona. The rusty corrugated tin that provides a shade roof over the outdoor lanai came from an old Holualoa okolehao (liquor distilled from ti root) distillery. These are just a few of the local materials used to create this showcase restaurant. The pub is known for great hand spun pizzas, local organic salads and fresh beers on draft that you can’t find anywhere else. Every Sunday evening local musicians provide live entertainment.
In December 2003, Kona Brewing Company opened its second restaurant location at Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai in East Oahu. The restaurant is set on the docks of Koko Marina. The outdoor seating has unparalleled views of Koko Marina and the lush green Ko’olau Mountain Range that form Hawaii Kai’s backdrop. The chefs serve up luscious appetizers, fresh fish and meat entrées and incredible pizzas with a pint of fresh beer from one of the 24 taps at the bar. Local musicians provide entertainment ranging from traditional and contemporary Hawaiian to blues to jazz every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.
The Kona Brewing Company Air Pub opened in 2008 to offer Liquid Aloha and great food to travelers flying into or out of Honolulu’s International Airport. Located on the second floor of the main concourse near the Garden View Foodcourt, the Air Pub features five Kona beers on draught and a condensed version of the menu served at our other two pubs; travelers can choose from a variety of Island-inspired fare, including appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas and salads. Traveling through the Honolulu airport? Stop by the Kona Air Pub and enjoy a cold pint of Liquid Aloha – whether it’s your first taste when you arrive or your last taste as you head home.
Kona Brewing Company recognizes that the future of the Earth depends upon how businesses and individuals treat the Earth. To show its commitment to sustainability, Kona Brewing Company utilizes the services of a Sustainability Coordinator within its company. Most of the Kailua-Kona brewery’s spent grain is given to a cattle rancher, and the remaining amount is used as an ingredient in the pubs’ pizza dough and breads.
Kona Brewing Company champions recycling, is careful with its waste and supports groups that strive to protect the environment. Throughout its facilities, much of the building material has been recycled. Its disposable cups that are used at festivals and events are biodegradable, and its to-go containers are compostable. The brewery uses heat exchangers to reclaim thermal energy for water heating in the brewing process. The pub uses a heat reclamation system on its air conditioner for water heating in the kitchen. A whiskey barrel collects more than 90 gallons of condensation per day from air conditioning systems, and the water is used for landscaping irrigation. The list goes on and on.
Information for this post was taken from the Kona Brewing Company website. For more information, click here