Last year I was lucky enough to spend my birthday with my two best friends for the first time ever, so we wanted to do something really special. I love animals. I would seriously be the happiest girl alive if I could live in a zoo. So when I stumbled across the Malibu Wine Safari I thought, “What could be better than getting to spend the day with animals while drinking wine with my best friends?” So we went! I’m so glad we did because we had the BEST time. It was definitely a birthday for the books.
The Malibu Wine Safari is located at Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard in, you guessed it… Malibu California! Part of Los Angeles County but about 30 minutes from the city itself. Ok, lets be real about an hour when you account for traffic. The ranch is home to beautiful picturesque views, exotic animals, cave paintings, and more. Don’t be fooled, this is no ordinary wine tasting tour.
The tour starts out by hoping aboard one of the many open air safari vehicles decked out in various wild colorful patterns with a very knowledgable tour guide. The safari vehicle took us through the rolling hills with scenic views of the ranch. On the route we saw stunning wedding venues, vineyards, oaks groves, art installations and more. We made a couple stops at designated tasting areas along the way full of rustic charm, vintage cars, and amazing views. We got to taste 6 wines: 3 whites and 3 reds. The white wines we tasted consisted of Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and Moscato. The red wines we got to try consisted of a Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Syrah. We loved all the wines we tried but our favorite was the Sangiovese, a red Italian variety of wine. Some of the wine was made from grapes they grew on the ranch but they also had wines they made from grapes imported from elsewhere.
Ok, enough about the wine, the wine safari wouldn’t be much of a safari without a meet and greet with the animals. Aside from making wine stops we also made plenty of stops to meet the various animals at the ranch. This was the best part of the tour, the wine was great but the animals were even better. Our tour guides packed a bunch of snacks, like carrots and lettuce, which they allowed us to feed to the animals. We got to meet bison, zebras, llamas, alpacas, camels, yaks, donkeys, water buffalos and of course the ranch’s star resident Stanley the giraffe. All the animals had wonderfully creative names but my favorites were Barrack Ollama and Kendrick Llama. Whoever thought up those names deserves some serious recognition. They actually named a few of their wines after the animals on the property.
After the tour we took a cute little vintage tram down to the Malibu Wines and Beer Garden. The wristbands we wore on our safari allowed us to get 10% off on our drink purchases. There were two bars on the premise (wine and beer only) as well as a few food trucks and live music. The space was loaded with covered tables and picnic areas with big trees and strings lights. It was a super cute space to spend some time with my favorite people, outdoors, drinking fabulous wine.
After reading through this post I’m sure you’re dying to go on this glorious wine safari. There are four different tours to choose from: The Explorer Tour, Giraffe tour, Vintner tour, and Private Costume Tours.
The Explorer Tour is the least expensive tour offered. For $65 you to enjoy a classic tour of the 1,000 acre ranch via their special open air safari vehicles, visit some of their exotic animals (not including Stanley the girrafe), tastes 6 wines and enjoy some complimentary snacks. This tour lasts about 90 minutes.
The Giraffe Tour is $30 dollars more than the explorer tour at $95. You get everything you would get with the explorer tour plus the added bonus of meeting and feeding Stanley the giraffe! This tour lasts approximately 105 minutes.
The Vintners Tour is a bit different than the first two. For $115 You still get to tour the 1,000 acre ranch and meet all the exotic animals on site (minus Stanley) but you also receive a tour of the Chumash cave paintings, indulge in a fancy cheese and charcuterie board, and taste 8 wines (two more than the previous tours). This tour lasts approximately 120 minutes.
The Custom Private Tours start at $1,300. These tours are meant for special occasions such as bachelorette parties, bridal showers, large birthdays, work events, etc. The base price gets you a completely private truck for your group that accommodates up to 20 people. You get a 90 minute tour in which you visit the exotic animals (except Stanley), tastes 6 wines and enjoy some complimentary snacks. Add ons are available but will increase the length of the tour as well as the price. Add ons available include: a visit to Stanley the giraffe, cheese and charcuterie board, upgrade to mimosas pair with 4 different juices (this would replace the wine tastings), and a personal photographer to capture every moment.
My friends and I went on the giraffe tour! The 30 extra dollars was totally worth it to meet and feed Stanley the giraffe. Stanley is a retired movie giraffe, you might recognize him from The Hangover Part III. This wine tasting safari was a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and spend a fun day outdoors with my best friends. For everything we got to experience and the amount of wine we got to drink I though $95 was a total steal! I considered this experience to be totally affordable. I would love to go back! Would love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below!