My Adventure at the Malibu Wines Vineyard and Lunch Safari Tour.
By Maren Swanson • April 26th, 2016
I’m always trying to come up with new things to do in Los Angeles, especially as a couple. My new husband and I have our go-to activities like the Getty, picnicking near the Griffith Observatory, happy hour and mini excursions, like Solvang or San Diego but recently, we were gifted (for our wedding) a unique excursion: a Malibu Wine Safari!
We were lucky enough to receive a gift certificate to the Vineyard and Lunch Tour (the most expensive option and offered on weekdays only), but Malibu Wines also offers a variety of other options, including a mimosa or vinter tour or family tour. Do be warned though, if you choose the lunch tour, gratuity will be added to your bill, whether you are a group of 8 or not. We wish that had been more clearly stated on their website.
Once you book your Vineyard and Lunch Tour with Malibu Wines, they will email you to pick your lunch options. Basically, you choose a sandwich and salad and dessert will be included as well.
We arrived and parked our car in their lot on a Monday afternoon and then checked in. Minutes later, we were escorted to a large “safari” truck and jumped aboard for our tour with two guides. Maybe it was because of the higher ticket price, but we were the only people on our tour that day.
FYI, for whichever excursion you choose, I would recommend sunscreen, sunglasses and some type of hair tie or hat (especially if you have longer hair!). Once they start driving, the wind will be blowing in your face and it’s all part of the excitement. One guide drives while the other narrates your tour.
Off the main road, we were taken on to the private property of Ron and Lisa Semlar.
The grounds of the their property are beautiful and immediately we felt like we were in a mini version of Jurassic Park. For our first stop, we were able to get off the truck and see the ancient cave paintings. Next, we got to feed carrots to the llamas and the zebras. Be warned, the zebras bite sometimes so be careful. Nearby you can also see water buffalo hanging out and the vine covered mountains in the background. I could get used to living there…
Stop number two was our big celebrity sighting of Stanley the giraffe. It’s pretty impossible not to fall in love with this guy. He’s adorable
. We walked up to the top part of his “house” and feed him bananas. His long purple-black tongue licked my hand while he was aiming for the banana and we were all in hysterics. According to one of our guides, most giraffes that reach too tall of a height are forced to retire from movie acting because they won’t fit into the frame. Stanley was supposedly in Hangover 3
Our final stop was at Le Chateau and I was so excited because I had actually considered that very location for our potential wedding venue, but due to a stormy weather we had cancelled our appointment and booked another spot right after. Boy was I bummed we had because the view from Le Chateau is stunning. You can see the Malibu/Agoura mountains and beyond. White roses, orange poppies and butterflies bounced in the subtle wind of the cliff and to top it off, that’s the spot where we got to have our lunch! Set amidst that perfect backdrop, our tour guides served us lunch from a local deli, including delicious cannolis, and left us to our devices with six bottles of wine
They suggested we taste left to right, lightest to full-bodied, with wine grapes sourced from the Semlar’s property and beyond, with the Saddle Rock label. We started with a Pinot Grigio and then moved on to their New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc. All in all, we were able to sample a Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The sandwiches were plump with meat and very fresh and served with a Caesar salad. We sipped, sat back, relaxed and enjoyed one of the most beautiful lunch views we’ve ever experienced. Worth it. A few bystanders stopped by to scope the place out for their wedding and after they left, we headed up to the gorgeous wood arch and re-lived our I DO’s…how romantic could it get?!
Our Malibu Wine Safari Vineyard Lunch was absolutely fantastic. We took pictures, enjoyed the great wine from their property and have some super fun tour guides. If you can’t spring for the lunch tour, I’d at least give one of the other tours a shot – we could tell our Safari neighbors were also having a blast! And if you don’t want the fun to end, head over to the Malibu Wine Tasting Room down the street for 10% off purchases if you show them your safari bracelet. We headed over after ours and tasted some of their Rosé wine and basked in the sun…not a bad day.
Malibu Wine Safari