Minutes from the white-sand beaches of Malibu, an entirely different landscape awaits: rolling hillsides, lush vineyards, and the captivating backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains.
In the heart of it all is Malibu Wines Tasting Room, a sun-flecked outdoor venue highlighting an ever-changing selection of Southern California wines. The charming, rustic space is defined by vintage vehicles, picnic tables accented with bottles of Semler and Saddlerock wines, and expansive chalkboards displaying rotating red and white flights. And it’s all easily accessible to Malibu Beach Inn guests through a new partnership with the company.
Visitors and locals alike gather for live LA bands on the weekends, toting picnics from home as well as decorations for bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, and spirited family outings. An on-site boutique offers a selection of accessories and light snacks, and there are monthly events from movie nights to comedy shows to Yoga and Mimosas every other Sunday morning (a favorite among LA locals).
But the main attraction, of course, is the wine.
“Cabernet was our first staple item,” says Roniet Berci, Director of Marketing and PR, as she notes the splendid way in which red grapes thrive in Malibu Hills. “You can’t go wrong with it. We always have a Semler Cab, Malbec, Syrah, so you can always find a bold red.”
You can likewise always find a Saddlerock Sav Blanc, a Chardonnay, and a Brut behind the bars at Malibu Wines, as well as the immensely popular Sparkling Rosé. Then there are the less common varietals, which are swapped out more regularly, such as Gewürztraminer and Viognier that are a must-try for wine enthusiasts.
The safari takes you through 1,000 acres of Saddlerock Ranch in a custom-built, open-air vehicle, with plenty of stops along the way to take in the stunning scenery and enjoy both red and white flights. “As you go,” says Berci, “you learn about the history of the ranch, you learn about the vineyards, and you have animal encounters with our exotic animals.”
Zebras, camels, alpacas, bison, and even a giraffe call the ranch home – many after retiring from successful careers in Hollywood. (Stanley the Giraffe, a former film star who is now too tall for the green screen, is the most well known of the group and even has his own impressive social media following. Berci jokes, “He retired in Malibu, like most of the stars do.”)
The animals are the centerpiece of the picturesque hikes, too, which take visitors on 2.5-mile walks around the perimeter of the vineyard and private estate. Depending on the hike, there are also opportunities for harvesting fresh produce from the organic vegetable garden (like kale, fava beans, and avocados that you can take home), visiting the Chumash archaeological site, taking in unforgettable sunset vistas, and spending extended time with Stanley. After the hike, your flights await at Malibu Wines Tasting Room.
In any case, the Malibu Wines experiences are about fellowship and enjoying the simple things in life, like a spectacular view of the mountains or the first sip of a wine made right here in Malibu.
Says Berci, “We’re experiential in the sense of constantly bringing people together for unique outings.”
Malibu Beach Inn guests can discover all that Malibu Wines has to offer with the Malibu Wines Excursion package. The offer features an oceanfront guestroom, transportation to and from the Tasting Room, a picnic table reservation and gourmet boxed lunch, and a bottle of Saddlerock Sparkling Brut – which you can enjoy among the vineyards or on Carbon Beach.
Reservations are required in advance for Malibu Wine Safaris, Malibu Wine Hikes, and farm-to-table dinners at Saddlerock Gardens.