Not only does Maui have a winery and vineyards, but it also makes great goat cheese at the Surfing Goat Dairy.
Depending on whether you go to the Maui Winery first or go to the Surfing Goat Dairy first, you are in for a treat at either. Both are located on lower slopes of Haleakalā, in Maui upcountry.
The dairy is owned and operated by German-born Thomas and Eva Kafsack. Looking for change, Thomas sold his software company and Eva left her job of teaching German. While Thomas worked on the how to operate a farm, Eva set out to learn how to make cheese from Europe's best. They realized their dream in 1998 when the Surfing Goat Dairy was established.
They have company store and a tasting area. If you want the tour and access to the tasting, you will need to check in. There is a small fee which can be seen on their website which is provided below.
You can enhance your experience with the Maui goat farm tour. Go through the whole cycle from feeding, hand milking a goat, and learning all about the cheese making process.
The facilities are very nice. But it can get hot. Do wear a hat or head cover as the Upcountry, while cooler, seems closer to the sun. Especially for those who are folic ally challenged. LOL.
Why did they select the name Surfing Goat Dairy? The answer becomes obvious when you visit. The goat pens are surrounded by surfboards. You will also see goats standing on surfboards entertaining them, or, maybe they are practicing for the next time they go to the beach.
The tasting room, or make that, the tasting area (below), is across from where you check in. It can get hot and crowded. We found it better to go early or go late (leave yourself time to tour and taste) but its Hawaii so anytime is great.
You will have the opportunity to sample many of the different varieties served with crackers, olives, pickles, and nuts (also includes a bottle of water).
The obviously make plain goat cheese. But they also make more exotic varieties. Flavors are given names like Udderly Delicious, Purple Rain, Rolling Green, Mango Surpreme, and Ivory Coast to name a few.
Try the Mandalay consisting of apple bananas and curry and Perigord consisting of black truffle shavings from Perigord. The Dairy also produces several soft cheeses, including ones ripened in wax, in olive oil, and ones brined in salt.
As a testament to the quality of the cheese, the Surfing Goat Dairy provides its quality goat cheese to many of the more famous island hotels such as Mama's Fish House, Merriman's, Mala, and Tommy Bahama restaurants to name but a few.
Their herd currently consists of a variety of goats including Saanens, Alpines and La Manchas. Each goat still has their own name and the milking staff know them all.
The dairy's motto is: Da' Feta Mo' Betta. We encourage cheese lovers to visit the dairy. Learn more at the Surfing Goat Dairy website.