Rose Botanica had the pleasure of attending one of the most popular LA summer attractions, the Malibu Wine Safari. After a 20 minute drive up the breathtaking PCH to northern Malibu, we arrived at the 1,000 acre Saddlerock Ranch and vineyard, privately owned by the Semler Family.
After boarding an impressive, custom-built, open-air Safari vehicle, we began our journey through the most majestic estate, amidst happily frolicking horses, ponies, donkeys, zebras, cows, and buffalo. I am happy to note that all of the animals we encountered had ample field to enjoy and honestly looked like they were living their best lives. Our first stop was to feed horses and zebras with iceberg lettuce and chopped carrots that looked fresher and more vibrant than I’ve ever experienced, and I shop at Whole Foods. Tisk. This was a fun experience; I most enjoyed seeing the zebras' unique patterns up close. They are such bizarre creatures! Black and white wavy patterns that look so perfect yet abstract... a real work of art, in my opinion.
Next stop was our first vino tasting of the day. We sampled Saddlerock & Semler white varietals beginning with Sparkling White Brut, Sauvignon Blanc, a white blend, and a Moscato. My favorite was the Sparkling White Brut; honey-crisp apple, grapefruit, and ginger notes that left me asking for much more than a taste.
Next, we ventured to see the local caves on the property, still covered with pictographs painted by the Chumash Indians, which date back to the Portola Expedition of 1769. The pictographs were surprisingly clear, for being so old and exposed. We identified dozens of images of men on horses which evoked an acute awareness and connection to our American history, imagining the Chumash Indians standing exactly where we were hundreds of years ago.
Our next stop was the highlight of the trip - an encounter with the biggest celebrity in LA, Stanley the Giraffe. Quite literally... at 17 feet tall, he is the biggest! He's actually appeared in popular movies, like The Hangover. Stanley, being the chivalrous male that he is, greeted us upon our arrival and looked so very happy to see us bearing gifts of tasty vegetables.
Our last stop was catered lunch with the red varietal tasting in a lovely light-filled house, amid lovelier Semler signed artwork. Is there anything this family can't do? Altruistic business owners, winemakers, exotic animal caretakers, and artists.
It was a lovely afternoon that didn’t stop there. By the suggestion of our lively tour-guides, we hopped a shuttle to the Malibu Tasting Room, where we enjoyed a full glass of my first love, the Sparkling White Brut, and live music.
Luckily, my best gal pal and I came prepared for a day in the LA heat with facial wipes, which we used all over our bodies and faces to freshen up, sunscreen, and facial spritz. After this refreshing routine, we were ready to continue an adventurous day, which later involved a trip to the Hollywood Bowl in true summer theme, to see Bon Iver. Hands down one of the most interesting and eye-opening concerts I've seen!
It was a fun summer day complete with Malibu sunshine, Malibu wines, and Malibu’s most exotic animals. Not sure what could be better!
by Rose Botanica Founder, Chelsea Poling