Get ready for a truly remarkable evening - or three! As part of its 50th Anniversary "ZooLAbration" the Los Angeles Zoo launches the Sustainable Wine+Dinner Series to celebrate a continued commitment to conservation, with three evenings, with others to come. The series spotlights sustainability – from agriculture to food and wine production to wildlife conservation and each evening focuses on a different topic and features conversations with a curator. There will be up-close animal encounters, and wine introductions by representatives from a local winery or vineyard that shares the Zoo’s commitment to sustainable living. Guests enjoy a seasonally inspired, five-course, farm-to-table dinner created by the Zoo’s executive chef, Brad Robertson, where each course is paired with wines from the evening's featured winery.
Thursday , March 16 "Chilling Out" Sta. Rita Hills Sanford Winery and Vineyards
Held in the Cambodia viewing area of the L.A. Zoo's magnificent Elephants of Asia habitat and featuring Sta. Rita Hills' Sanford Winery & Vineyards. For over 40 years now, this iconic vineyard has set the standard for quality in the region and is also home to the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the county. Located 10 miles inland, Sanford benefits from its central position within the east-west traversing Santa Ynez Valley, which provides a unique pathway to the Pacific Ocean that allows cool, moist air to be drawn inland and creates perfect conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Like many amphibians, wine grape varieties can display different qualities depending upon the climate in which they’re grown, adapting to and flourishing in both warm and cool climates. During the reception, Ian Recchio, the L.A. Zoo's Curator of Reptiles, provides fascinating details about how cold-blooded animals thrive in a range of temperatures. At the dinner, Steve Fennell, Winemaker and General Manager of Sanford Winery introduces each wine selection and discusses Sanford's cool-climate wines along with its other sustainable initiatives.
The Thursday, April 27 "Happy Trails," Malibu Wines Saddle Rock Ranch
Set on the terraces of the L.A. Zoo's Mahale Mountains and features Los Angeles' own Malibu Family Wines. The Santa Monica Mountains, home to Malibu Wines’ Saddlerock Ranch, is also an important wildlife habitat. Griffith Park’s celebrity mountain lion, P-22, originated in the Santa Monica Mountains, and his story has brought much attention to the issues of habitat fragmentation and wildlife corridors. Guests at the evening enjoy wines of this biodiverse region while learning about the importance of protected migration paths for its native wildlife from conservation biologist and wildlife ecologist Anthony J. Giordano, founder and director of S.P.E.C.I.E.S., The Society for the Conservation of Endangered Carnivores.
Thursday, May 11 "Birds of a Feather," Temecula's Palumbo Family Vineyards
Held inside the Amazonian stilt house of the L.A. Zoo's Rainforest of the Americas, features Temecula's Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery. One of the Palumbo Family Vineyards’ many commitments to sustainability is its use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. This strategy involves creating conditions that promote beneficial microbes, insects, and other organisms to reduce the need for conventional chemical pest and weed control. An important part of IPM is the presence of raptors such as owls and hawks that naturally control rodents. This special dinner experience includes a presentation by a representative of the winery and a talk by Mike Maxcy, the L.A. Zoo's Curator of Birds, about sustainable farming practices and the importance of animals such as raptors—with an appearance by some the Zoo's feathered residents.
Additional Sustainable Wine Dinner dates will be announced. Programs and dinner locations subject to change.
Tickets to each evening in the series are $150 per person/$130 per GLAZA member. Seating is limited to 50 guests per dinner, the intimate evenings are open to guests ages 21 and older and reservations are required.