Saddlerock Ranch and Malibu Wines

Saddlerock Ranch: The Malibu Wine Hike and Safari

Saddlerock Ranch and Malibu Wines

            Nestled in the hills of Malibu, just off of the canyon roads that will lead you west to the shoreline, is a beautiful property known as Saddlerock Ranch. The residence is home to a vineyard known as Malibu Wines. Built in the 70’s by Ron Semler, a man who made his family fortune in military communication, the sprawling vineyard and farmland is open to the public for dinners, hikes, and even an exotic animal safaris.

Malibu Wines Zebra

            Recently, I had the privilege of visiting the property for a wine-tasting hike, with my girlfriend who had previously worked for the ranch in their animal care program— maintaining and training all of the animals who call the ranch home; giraffes, water buffalo, llamas, yaks, and zebras line the roads that wind through the breathtaking canyons.

Malibu Wines Giraffe

            For $35 per person, we were paired with a charming guide named Kurt, who took us on a 2-mile hike through the beautiful family-owned landscape. Kurt was full of facts and history about the property, and navigated us past the animals and through areas that included mountain peaks, avocado orchards, gardens and farmlands, the vineyards, oak groves, man made lakes, and even a rocky overhang that sported the oldest Chumash rock paintings in the entire Santa Monica Mountain Range. Kurt was also nice enough to take us past Stanley the Giraffe’s pen— an experience that is typically reserved for the Safari Tours, but since my girlfriend was an old friend of Stanley’s, he made an exception for us.

The Scenic Beauty of Malibu Wines

            Finally, we ended our hike with a wine tasting on a beautiful overlook. The tasting area had outdoor games, stunning views, and an old school bus that had been gutted out and repurposed as a place to purchase cheese and honey to accompany the wine tastings. We tried three wines, all with a generous half-glass pour before returning to the front office and wrapping up the experience.

Malibu Wines Birds

            I highly recommend the Malibu Wine hike or Safari Tour to anyone interested in seeing the Malibu countryside from a unique perspective. A modest price tag of $35 per person makes the trip worth every penny, and with the hike option, you can spend a half day there and still have your evening reserved for dining at one of the amazing beachside restaurants that the Malibu coastline has to offer.

SaddleRock Ranch Malibu

            Lastly, while we were there, my girlfriend got a behind the scenes look at some of the upcoming experiences the company is developing, including the possibility of a “falconry” option in which guests would get an up close look at a few birds of prey, and even get a demonstration of how one might hunt with these animals while out on the Malibu trails. This was in the very early testing stages, however, but it was exciting to see the new offerings that Saddlerock Ranch might include in the near future.

Click here for the official Saddlerock Ranch and Malibu Wines website for more information.

-By T0m at Glitterati Tours of Beverly Hills