WEST MAUI -- Kapalua Resort just wrapped up its 22nd annual Kapalua
Wine & Food Festival, but it's not too early for clients to be
planning for next year.
This epicurean extravaganza, the longest-running event of its
kind in Hawaii, treated a record crowd of close to 4,000
connoisseurs to wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, seminars and
gala dinners revolving around the theme "Flavor Map of the World --
Charting a Course for Grand Taste."
Hostess for the third straight year was Andrea Immer, dean of
wine studies at the French Culinary Institute in New York and
author of three best-selling wine books. Immer is one of only 10
women in the world to earn the prestigious title of master
Describing the festival as "a full-fledged foodie fantasy,"
Immer oversaw a delectable schedule that featured 150 wineries and
16 of Hawaii's top chefs.
Among the packed events was a hands-on sushi-making
demonstration led by D.K. Kodama of Sansei Seafood Restaurant &
Sushi Bar and master sommelier Chuck Furuya.
There also was a seminar on artisanal (hand-crafted) cheeses;
plus a tasting that highlighted the differences between Old World
(European) and New World (American) methods of winemaking; and a
cooking demonstration by chef Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger in
Wellesley, Mass., who is renowned for his "East meets West" style
The Kapalua Wine & Food Festival began in 1981 as a small
wine symposium and the brainchild of the legendary Robert
"Its target was the food and beverage industry of Hawaii," said
Kim Carpenter, Kapalua Resort's vice president of marketing.
"Robert invited his friends from the wine industry to come over,
enjoy Kapalua and Maui, and feature their wines."
Fifty people came that first year. Today, the festival is "one
of the best-attended wine functions in our industry," said James
Ferguson, western region manager of Banfi Vintners in Tuscany.
What makes it attractive, according to Carpenter, is the
personal interaction that attendees enjoy with prominent
winemakers, as opposed to the usual cadre of sales reps found at
"Sales and marketing representatives usually attend the wine
festivals on the Mainland," Carpenter said.
Even if the winemakers are among those attending the Mainland
events, those festivals often are so crowded attendees do not have
a chance to say hello to them, let alone have meaningful
conversations, she said.
"Our event provides a rare opportunity for participants to
mingle closely with the top winemakers in the world to gain
valuable insights about the art of making and drinking fine wine,"
Kapalua Wine & Food Festival
Place: Kapalua Resort, Maui
Dates: July 8 to 11, 2004
Packages: Kapalua Resort's three properties
(Kapalua Villas, Kapalua Bay Hotel & Ocean Villas, and the
Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua) offer festival plans that include
accommodations and tickets to select events. Depending on the
package selected, other inclusions might be an Andrea Immer book,
daily breakfast and a merchandise credit.
Commissions range from 10% to 15%. Attendees can purchase a
four-day festival pass, including admission to all events and a
welcome reception. Tickets for most events also can be purchased
Contact: (800) KAPALUA; Web: www.kapaluamaui.com.