You Can Now Go on a Wine-and-Pizza Safari in LA’s Own Backyard

An African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s also a once-in-a-lifetime expenditure.

For something a little closer to home, we recommend a Malibu Wine and Pizza Safari, a program that kicks off this Friday at Saddlerock Ranch. Don’t let the name fool you — this is very much loosely modeled after an authentic safari.

Ron Semler purchased Saddlerock Ranch in 1978 to raise horses and grow avocado trees (previously, it had been a ranch). In ‘96, he began harvesting wine and more recently, anointed part of the property as a sanctuary for exotic animals, many of them retired Hollywood stars.

And starting April 5th, guests can purchase tickets to explore the 1,000-acre property in a drop-top cruiser with stadium seating — just like one does on the savannah — while sipping on Saddlerock and Semler label vintages of wine. The tour includes two separate tastings of eight wines, as well as stops to see (and feed) zebra, camel, alpaca, bison and Saddlerock Ranch’s local celebrity, Stanley the Giraffe

After the safari, you’ll recount your experience with fellow guests over a pizza-and-salad dinner provided by Two Doughs Pizza Co. We recommend the Three Little Piggies with fennel-sausage, bacon and sopressata, but if you’re feeling fairly pro-fauna after your Safari, the Vegan Veg is packed with flavor in a number of satisfying ways.

Tickets are $180 per person, and include two wine tastings of eight local wines, a tour of the Chumash Cave paintings, dinner of wood-fired pizzas and salads, and a meet-and-greet with Stanley and the other “exotics.” The safari runs for about two hours, and tickets can be purchased here.