Last week my roommate and I went to the Malibu Wine Safari for an early birthday celebration! I’d heard so many good things about it and had been dying to go ever since I moved to LA. Here are some pictures and thoughts about my experience!
First, we got on a big safari truck with about 15 other people and two tour guides. If you decide to go, know that it really is like a safari truck… not a very comfortable ride. Not that I thought it would be a luxury car, but there weren’t cup holders or any place to set your things, so just keep that in mind! It was hard to juggle my purse, camera, and wine glass.
The landscape of the area is beautiful and really unique. It’s kind of like a zoo meets a vineyard in the mountains. Our first stop was feeding animals like lamas, donkeys and zebras. At each stop, they definitely encourage picture taking to document the experience!
After feeding the animals we drove up to a gorgeous overlook of the Santa Monica Mountains where we had our first tasting of white wines. We had a Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, and a Rosé. All of the wines we tasted were from the Saddlerock Vineyards. In the location of the Wine Safaris, they don’t have a lot of land with vines growing on them because the soil isn’t the most ideal for grape growing in this region. Most of the grapes for the wine are grown elsewhere in California. Out of the whites, the Sauvignon Blanc was my favorite. They allowed us to revisit our favorite wines and have a little extra if we wanted, which was nice.
Our next stop was to meet the famous Giraffe, Stanley! You can buy tickets that are the basic wine tasting package, but my roommate is also obsessed with giraffes so missing this part of the tour was not an option. They gave us plenty of lettuce to feed him and we got our picture with him!
One downside to the whole experience was the time given at each stop. Even for the tastings we only stayed for about 15-20 minutes which I felt like wasn’t enough time to fully enjoy it. It’s such a cool and beautiful area to explore, walk around and enjoy the wine, but at each stop we felt rushed which was kind of a bummer.
After Stanley, we went to one more stop in a different setting on the other side of the property. This area was so pretty, it had tons of cute airstreams lining the yard and more mountain and vineyard views. This is where they typically hold events such as weddings and parties, so anyone can rent it out. Here we tried three different red wines. I liked the red wine tasting more than the whites. We had a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Zinfandel, and a Merlot. All were delicious but the Zin was my favorite!
We ended up getting a little more time at this last stop which also included crackers and dip. In the ticket info they say snacks are included, but there wasn’t really much to the ‘snack’ offering which was a little disappointing.
Overall, we had a great time! The tastings were nice and timed out well with the other activities. The tour wasn’t really about the wine, like it would be if you were tasting at a winery, but the tour guides were able to answer any questions about it if people were interested. The setting was beautiful and the tour guides made the experience a lot of fun as well. I do think that there are some minor improvements that could be made to enhance the experience, such as more time and more food options (especially for the price of the tickets!). I would recommend it for anyone that likes wine, animals, and wants to do something unique and fun with a group of friends.