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Can you name a better combination besides drinking wine and petting animals?
There isn’t much better! As I am still new to the California region, I have a whopping total of ~one~ friend from college who lives semi-close to me. Knowing that her birthday was coming up, I decided to take a day off of work and look into a Monday afternoon wine tasting experience. Through word of mouth from a co-worker, I heard about the Malibu Wine Safaris and was immediately interested.
After doing some more research and officially claiming my day off of work, my friend Shikira and I decided to purchase two tickets for the explorer tour (aka the cheapo tour). We set off on our Malibu Wine Safaris tour on Monday, January 29th, 2018. My beautiful readers, if you’re looking for a unique twist on your typical wine tasting, and happen to be in the SoCal area…you have got to try this for yourselves!
Malibu Wine Safaris — Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY!
Well, not exactly lions and tigers and bears…but there are bison and llamas and zebras!
Malibu Wine Safaris are super fun vineyard tours unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. They take place in a quiet spot in the twists and bends of Malibu’s mountains, on a ranch known as Saddlerock Ranch. It’s a 1000+ acre property filled with 90 or so acres of grape vines used to make both red and white wines.
Malibu Wine Safaris offer a variety of wine and tasting tours on the property. The cheapest one available is the explorer tour at $65, and it’s worth every penny! Although you don’t get to meet and greet Stanley the giraffe, you get to see him across the property…which tbh is still pretty awesome. They also offer other tours including giraffe tours, a mimosa tour, and even a bougie [$180 per person] tour with a catered lunch. Since I went on the Explorer tour that’s what I’m going to be reviewing in this post. If you want to check out the other options, check out the Malibu Wine Safaris website.
To get straight to the point, we got there 5 minutes late. While the tour confirmation recommended being there at 11 AM to account for traffic, we arrived around 11:35 (woops). In our defense, my friend and I wanted to make sure we got some breakfast before slugging down a few samples of wine—ain’t nobody got time for drinkin’ and driving ladies.
Lucky for you non-punctual people, if you’re late you get driven to catch up with the tour. While you do miss some of the cool info about the property, you’re not completely SOL if something unexpected comes up. It is however only a 90-minute tour, so it’s pretty important to be semi-punctual.
The tour started off with a bang as we immediately got to start feeding the animals. I gave lots of llamas’ carrots, and even got to give a zebra a piece of lettuce!! A+ photo ops folks. After some feeding and some sanitizing (naturally), we got on to the heart of the tour—the wine tasting.
The Explorer tour has a total of six wines to taste—three whites and three reds. I personally prefer the white wine, so I was pleased when we started off tasting the sauvignon blanc. The red wines came second, and they gave us crackers and spreads to try along with them. They accommodate various diets including vegan, gluten-free, etc. Just be sure to speak up if this applies to you.
All the drinks and spreads were great, and it was fun to explore a little out of my wine comfort zone. One of the best parts is that when you finish each sample, you get to go back and get more wine of your choice! That is…until the bottles are empty.
The ranch itself is super quirky and unique, with the owner being a collector of art pieces and vintage items…many of which you get to experience first hand on the tour. If you’re scoping out properties for weddings, they have two different spots for ceremonies and receptions. I would definitely check it out if you’re looking for a spot to totally W O W your guests.
*Related Post: Check out red-eye flight tips here*
The tour was fantastic and the staff was super friendly. They do however collect the glasses at the end (unless it’s your birthday!!!) which is a total bummer.
After the tour, you have the option to go check out the wine tasting room, where they plenty of seating and plenty of various wines for you to sample if you so choose. If you’re a little sloshed from the tour, they have a shuttle from the safari lot to the tasting room which is just a ½ mile or so down the road.
The tasting room is an inviting and cozy spot to unwind after work or a cool spot to have a good time with friends. I even think they have live music on weekends??? Sounds like my kinda party. I ended up purchasing a bottle of pinot grigio to bring home to my boyfriend and share the wino wealth.
Malibu Wine Safaris – The SoCal Wine Tour You Need to Experience for Yourself!
Guys, if you’re ever in the LA region, you’ve got to give this a shot. You won’t experience anything else like it!
I had such an amazing day catching up with Shikira, celebrating her birthday, and tasting the various wines of Saddlerock Ranch. Feeding a zebra and drinking some rosé on a warm Monday afternoon was everything I could have hoped for. Money well spent.
I would suggest bringing sunscreen and sunglasses, as the sun can get intense depending on what time of day/year you go. Likewise, they don’t provide water either, so feel free to pack a water bottle and bring yourself some beverages [as long as they’re not alcoholic].
Another pro tip is that the safari truck is pretty high, so when you get on/off you have a higher chance of exposing your ladybits to the Malibu Wine Safaris squad, so either wear pants, a long enough dress, or at least consider putting on some underwear.
Overall, I had such an amazing day at Malibu Wine Safari’s and I’ll definitely be returning soon!
Since I’ve got you all thinking about wine, here’s my question of the day–What’s your wine of choice? Red or white? Share your comments below!