This weekend was a big one for couples – a lot of people out and about celebrating Valentine’s Day and the long weekend. Which is why my boyfriend and I weren’t the only ones with the bright idea to bring a picnic out to Malibu Wines, an LA-based vineyard with a gorgeous outdoor picnic area and tasting room.
Los Angeles is not known for local wines, but there are a few vineyards nestled into the Santa Monica Mountains. It shouldn’t be that shocking given our proximity to other fantastic wine regions along the California coast, but it did come as a surprise to me that the wines were actually pretty good.
There are two labels at Malibu Wines – the lower priced Saddlerock Wines and then the slightly more upscale Semler Wines. While Saddlerock sources their grapes from all over the region, all the Semler wines are estate grown, here underneath what I can only assume is the “Saddlerock.”
Flights of four wines run $12-14, and you can buy bottles as cheap as $25 (even cheaper with a wine membership) to enjoy on the grounds. They don’t serve food – which is perfect if you’re on a budget, because they allow and encourage you to bring a picnic. On the weekends, there’s live music, and the crowd is always having a good time. Maybe because most of them are drunk (seriously, this is no joke).
Of the eight wines we tasted, my favorite was the Semler Syrah (no surprise there), but we got a bottle of the not-too-oaky Saddlerock Chardonnay ($25) to enjoy with our picnic on the grass. They also had a Rose made from Pinot Noir grapes that was nicely dry, but not very complex. Still – a good picnic wine that a lot of other couples and groups seemed to be enjoying.
The only downside? After a day of drinking wine on the grass, the bathroom line was a 45 minute ordeal. Luckily (or unluckily) some people were drunk enough to sing and dance in line while we waited. So, that was…interesting.
Anyway, if you happen to be in the LA area, and want an absolutely beautiful way to spend an afternoon…
Hope you all had a weekend as full of wine, cheese and love as I did!!