A Kapahulu Winery That Does It All

Alana Folen
Wednesday - July 07, 2010
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Shannon Ball at work in his winery, Wine the Experience

With the firm belief that wine is for everyone and not reserved for a particular class or culture, Shannon Ball brings together a synthesis of his chemistry background and food and beverage experience to feature a culmination of all things vino at Wine The Experience.

Once setting foot into this Kapahulu winery, your senses are awakened immediately by the aroma of Pinot Noir, Luna Rossa, French Sauvignon Blanc and more.

“All the wines fermenting in the back room give off the scent of a winery right away,” says Ball, who opened his business in October 2004. “Most people are usually surprised when they walk in. This place strikes them as being a nice, yet comfortable atmosphere. It’s a relaxed setting, but we’re all about wine.”

It’s a wine lover’s paradise, for sure. Ball and his staff produce 60 types of wine, sourcing grapes from vineyards across the globe, from the West Coast to South America, Australia and New Zealand. Classic favorites, Ball says, are the New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Pacific Chardonnay and Chilean Pinot Noir, to name a few.

“We do the fermentation here,” he explains. The Punahou graduate went on to pursue his education at Northeastern University, obtaining a degree in biology with a concentration on chemistry.

“We pitch the yeast, inoculate the wine and kick it off. One of our tasting professionals will take each customer through a wine tasting, and we host all kinds of parties and events. Most people will choose their wine of choice after going through the wine tasting and then make an event of wine bottling. They can make their own custom labels for the bottles, too.”

Even in a down economy, Ball admits business has been on a steady incline. He says his main philosophy is simple: Make people happy and give them good wine.

“We wanted to bring something different to people and give them something fun to do. It’s important to us that we have a place where people will feel comfortable learning, experiencing and enjoying wine,” says the Kaimuki resident.

“This place is for everyone - for those who already enjoy wine and also for the first-timers who are just learning and want a place where they can come to ask questions and not feel like people are looking down on them. We want to capture all of that and be that for everybody.”

The entire wine experience ranges from $360 to $450 and includes the tasting and selecting of the desired barrel, which produces about 30 bottles of wine total. A bottling service also is available.

“We’re in the process of working on including sparkling wine and champagne to the menu. We’re also trying to create some local products like honey wine, which would be 100 percent local, and just trying to provide more for our customers - giving them the total wine experience,” Ball says.

Wine The Experience is located at Kilohana Square, 1016 Kapahulu Ave., Suite 1. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, call 738-0738 or visit winetheexperience.com.

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