Mulholland Highway, the western most extension of Mulholland Drive, boasts alluring vistas in the Santa Monica mountains, curvy roads traversing the hillside, and some secrets hidden along its path. While driving and admiring the views, you may notice a trail of vines straddling a hillside, a dirt parking lot, and a small sign that says Malibu Wines. This is a sign for you to stop. Park the car, wander back and you will find a slice of backcountry pleasure, and part of the magnificent, and little known, Malibu wine country.
Located in between State Route 1 (PCH) and the 101 freeway (the valley), Malibu wines is a rustic gem, primed for a day away. The grounds, like their wines, are designed to pleasure your senses, with sprawling greens spread out like a blanket and Italian olive trees hovering above you. With plenty of places to roam and cop a squat, the area is ideal for a picnic with friends, or the backdrop for a love connection. Quirky old Chevy Trucks, kick back Adirondack chairs and saddle swings beckon you to get your cowboy, or girl, on. Weekends reign with live music flitting about and the Cal Fresh food truck serving up gourmet treats like truffle macaroni and cheese, turkey meatloaf sliders and short ribs, making your day even grander. Evening events under the stars are featured in the form of free classic movie nights, every Thursday evening through the summer. Some upcoming features are Casablanca and The Jerk. Couple of requirements for movie nights though: you’ll need to be over 21 and will need (and want) to purchase one bottle of wine on the premises.
Which leads me to the highlight of this backcountry show, the wine. The labels are Semler and Saddlerock, produced by the Semler family with grapes tended to in the 65 acres surrounding the tasting room. While Merlot and Cabernet reign supreme among their creations, their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah sisters are also quite delightful. Sample their harvest by choosing from three tasting flights, each with five tastes for $9 or $12 depending on the flight you choose. Decipher which is your favorite and you may purchase a bottle right there to savor or take some home for another time or you may just choose to come back and try another flight. Consider joining the wine club which provides a two bottle selection waiting for your approval every few months, and invitations to private events on the family estate.
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