Volcano Winery

  • Established in 1986
  • Made on a fault line in Volcano, Hawai’i
  • Big Island’s first winery and the southernmost winery in the U.S.

What’s up, Doc?

Lynn “Doc” Mckinney founded Volcano Winery after making the 200-mile move from Oahu to Big Island. Bringing his hobby into a retirement project, Doc transitioned from veterinarian to vintner. Situated 4,000 feet above sea level, Volcano proved to be an ideal climate for the 20 Symphony grape vines Doc initially planted. Inspired by the vines growth, he planted 14 acres full of grape vines! Doc crafted wines from his Symphony grapes, as well as created one-of-a-kind exotic fruit wines with starfruit, lilikoi, and papaya! He also experimented with blending in local Macadamia Nut and Lehua Blossom honeys.

Volcano Winery opened its doors to the public in 1993. Within six years, Doc’s retirement project had truly taken off. Now more like a full-time job, Doc and his family sold the winery to Del Bothof and Doc entered his second phase of retirement.

As Del Bothof lived in Summit, New Jersey and was busy running a media company, his son Scott learned about the winery’s operations from Doc and was the general manager for seven years. In 2011, Del and Marie Bothof moved to Big Island and now spend their days tending to the winery.

Vineyard Changes

A 2002 fire in the Volcano vineyard wiped out much of Doc’s Symphony vines. The Bolthof family replanted the grounds with Pinot noir grapes and three French-American hybrids: Cayuga White, Chambourcin, and Marhcael Foch. The idea of tea-infused wines prompted the planting of tea plants (Camellia sinensis) in 2006, which produce black, green, and white teas.

Hawaiian Guava-Grape from Volcano Winery

The Hawaiian Guava-Grape is a 12% ABV white wine produced from white grapes and yellow Big Island guava. It is semi-sweet fruit-forward wine with a nutty finish.

Infusion melds 100% Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Honey from South Kona with Volcano Winery Estate Black Tea. This semi-dry honey wine is bottled at 12% ABV.

The Macadamia Nut Honey Wine is a sweet honey dessert wine with a nutty finish. Consume this 12% ABV drink chilled or warmed like cider.

The Pinot Noir, 12% ABV, is fermented and blended in Volcano using California-grown grapes. They say it tastes of plum, black currant, and smoky oak.

Mele means “song” in Hawaiian. The Symphony Mele is a semi-sweet white wine with notes of peach, apricot, and lychee. It is 12% ABV and made from 100% Symphony grapes, the varietal Doc first planted back in 1986!

Symphony Dry is another 12% ABV white wine made from Symphony grapes. Made from the same grape as the Mele, this dry version has the same notes of peach, apricot, and lychee.

Volcano Blush is a non-traditional blush wine. This 12% ABV light pink wine is a blend of 70% Symphony grapes and 30% Big Island jaboticaba berries. Native to Brazil, these berries grow on trees in many tropical areas. This semi-sweet blended wine has a subtly fruitiness and ends with a hint of spice.

Pele’s Delight, the Volcano Red, is a 12% ABV wine composed of 70% Burgundy red blend grapes, 15% Symphony grapes, and 15% jaboticaba berries. They say it boasts flavors of ripe black cherry and cranberry while the peppery finish alludes to Pele’s smoldering heart.

“Pele is not just the goddess of lava. Lava is Pele,”

Kuʻualoha Hoʻomanawanui, Professor of Literature at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, who recommends this documentary to learn more about Pele


Koa Crescent Wine Stand $50
Koa Crescent Wine Stand $50

Volcano Winery wines are sold throughout the Hawaiian islands but there are currently no mainland retailers. However, they do ship to many states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and Wyoming.

Their online store features more than just their wines. You’ll also find estate-grown teas, wine accessories, apparel, and other Made in Hawai’i souvenirs and treats.

Address:PO Box 843 35 Pii Mauna Drive, Volcano, HI 96785
Phone: (808) 967-7772
Tastings: Every day 10am – 5:30pm, cost ranges $5 – $20, no reservations required