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“Quirky...off-the-beaten path, Koteka's is a gem!”
Review of Koteka Winery

Koteka Winery
Ranked #6 of 11 things to do in Muri
Attraction details
Irvine, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Quirky...off-the-beaten path, Koteka's is a gem!”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Warning: Koteka Winery is not for the faint of heart!

If you're expecting a fancy wine tasting bar/vineyard, you will hate this place. Koteka's "tasting room" is basically a converted garage space at his house with random recycled tubs and bottles filled with his own concoctions of wine and liquors. You tastings are poured into tiny plastic shot cups where you're seated on fold out chairs while wasps that live in one of the cabinets flies in and out of the open window. When we asked why the wasps are there, Koteka's answer was "they were here first, so we built around them".

My description so far doesn't sound very appealing but it's such a great place for those who like the eccentricities of traveling and local culture. Koteka is a native Cook Islander who just happens to be an amateur wine and liquor maker. He uses natural ingredients from the land to produce such delicacies as coconut liquor and banana wine. As you can see by my name, I'd like to think that I have a seasoned palate for spirits and this is by no means anything close to being the best I've ever had. In fact, some of the ones that we tried were almost undrinkable. Some, on the other hand, were decent. The allure of this place isn't the alcohol but the man himself welcoming people into his "home".

The bottles also make a great souvenir to take back home and share a piece of the Cook Islands with those who weren't so lucky to be there. He isn't open all the time and the place isn't easy to find. The only way you'll see it is by walking/scootering along the main road on the Southern end of the island and looking for his chalkboard sign. You'll need to follow the dirt road at the sign past several houses and farms and there will be another chalkboard sign outside of his house. If the sign is not up, he's not open. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank ThirstyTravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The Banana wine guy made my Cook Island experience even better!”
Reviewed June 13, 2012

We were mopeding around the island when we happened upon the chalkboard reading "Banana Wine Tasting." We were intrigued so we headed up the road and met the Banana wine man. It was not much past 10:30am and he was already 2 sheets to the wind. He gave us a tour of his home and showed us the process and ingredients he had just picked that morning all while giving us shot after shot of his delicious product. After every 7th or 8th shot, he would ask us if we were driving to which we would respond, "yes," and he would respond with well I guess just one more than. 4-6 later, the process would repeat until we got into the heavy hitters... the banana vodka and whiskey. Its even more epic than the wine! I highly encourage everyone who visits Raratonga to visit this man and take home as many of his bottles as you can afford. Have him label the whiskey or vodka as wine and you can take home even more!

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank Andy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Waikato, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Host”
Reviewed April 8, 2012

We called in late in the arvo and were welcomed like long lost friends. We enjoyed many tastings, the favorite "Banana Vodka"!!! Wow, would never have thought drinking Vodka straight could taste that incredible. The Host told us many things about Rarotonga, getting that local knowledge was just an added bonus. This should be on your to do list if you enjoy tasting paradise in a glass.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank I-Spy-U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rarotonga
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Go Local!!”
Reviewed April 4, 2012

New Zealand and Australian based wines have had their days...hats off to Koteka Winery for their great locally made wines!! Awezuuum!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Lydianne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Must do...”
Reviewed April 1, 2012

We went for a walk with my partner and saw the sign wine tasting so even if it was 2pm we decided to go for a taste of this local wine...When we arrived that was a sign horn 3 times but as we were by feet we just said "hi, anyone there" and the owner arrived and welcomed us very nicely and took us to his mini factory where is doing all his wine and liquor and made us taste lots of them...As he said "more you taste it more you like it" and it was true!!
It is a small place where very interesting to see how local people were doing their wine and liquor and to be able to taste as much as you want, and come back as much as you want!!!
The owner is very friendly and explained all about his little winery...we bought a bottle of banana wine and enjoyed it sitting at Muri Beach...
It is not a big winery like in NZ, France, OZ or other but I reckon it worth to go for a taste...little tip if the door it's close no one home so come back later as he's often here...

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Cindaie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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