Story by Diane Haynes Woodburn
Wendy Rice Peterson is a fourth-generation Maui rancher . . . and the most productive realtor for Island Sotheby’s International Realty in 2016. If anyone knows Upcountry real estate, it’s Wendy.
And anyone who knows Wendy will agree that trying to get her to sit in one place for more than five minutes is like trying to lasso a firefly; her energy defies gravity. So when I asked for this interview, it didn’t surprise me that her answer was to invite me on the “Wendy tour.”
“When folks tell me they want acreage Upcountry,” says Wendy, “the best thing I can do is take them on a tour. I love showing the land and learning what makes people smile — you never know what will grab their imagination and ignite their excitement. That’s what I love about real estate.”
We meet at the entrance to a large property with frontage on Kula Highway at about 3,300-foot elevation. Wendy greets me with her signature smile, picture perfect in jeans and a checkered shirt. We climb into her oversized SUV and begin our motorized trundle into verdant ranchland. “Large parcels such as this are significant,” Wendy says. “They don’t come on the market very often. We have three ranches on the slopes of Haleakalā that comprise 60,000 acres. Most parcels have been family owned for decades — some for more than a century. This piece, 310 acres, is part of Haleakala Ranch, but is not contiguous with the major ranchland. In the old days, that wasn’t an issue, because ranchers would move their cattle down the road to change pastures, but today that’s just not possible. So the ranch decided to offer this parcel for sale.”