Pet an opossum? Kick back with a kangaroo? Get wisdom from an owl? Lounge around with a lemur? Learn to soar with a hawk or eagle?
And great wine tasting, too?
Yes! You can do all this and more as part of the 7th annual Wine Safari, a two-day opportunity to meet and learn more about the animals of the world and how we’re all connected, while the adults sample some great Paso Robles wines.
So if you’re hankering for a weekend adventure without packing a suitcase, and a single event that will please everyone in the family, then head to scenic western Paso Robles along Highway 46 West.
“The Wine Safari is a fun, family outing that everyone can enjoy,” said Lanie Angeles, COO of Conservation Ambassadors.
In its 7th year, Wine Safari is the largest charity event hosted by the Paso Robles 46 West Wineries association. Proceeds benefit local nonprofit Conservation Ambassadors, which provides lifetime homes for displaced, abused, abandoned, or permanently injured wild and exotic animals.
“Through our popular Zoo to You and You to Zoo programs, we provide educational programs for all ages focused on conservation,” Angeles added.
Meet the Animals
It’s easy to get involved.
First, take a look at the list of participating wineries, below. Then, purchase tickets online at https://46westwinesafari2018.brownpapertickets.com . A few tickets will be available at the wineries, but they typically sell out quickly.
Next, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, March 3rd and 4th, simply stop by any (or all!) of the 16 participating wineries in the Paso Robles 46 West Wineries association.
“Each winery will have an animal and human handler from Conservation Ambassadors,” said Angeles. Say hello to the animals, and learn from the Zoo to You staff more about their habitat, conservation, and what you can do to become involved.
“This year, part of the fun of the event is not knowing which animals will be at which winery,” said Angeles. “We encourage everyone to visit as many wineries as they can and enjoy the discovery.”
The wine tasting includes three wines at all 16 participating wineries, all part of the $30 ticket which is good for both days. We want everyone to stay safe, so please have a designated driver if you choose to enjoy wine with the animals.
“This event really helps benefit the animals in our care,” said Angeles, “and the support we get from 46 West Wineries is huge.”
Participating Wineries Get in on the Fun
The wineries are equally excited about the event and several are offering even more fun.
Adrienn Crowe, Wine Club Manager at Dark Star Cellars, said it’s their second year participating in the event. “We love it because we love the animals, and it’s a great event for everyone in the family, even those who don’t drink wine,” she said. “I’ll be bringing my 19-month-old daughter, who’s excited to see the animals.”
Dark Star will have coloring pages for the kids, and families are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the afternoon at the winery.
“On Saturday, we’ll also have live music from 2:00 to 5:00, with singer and songwriter Natalie Gelman, so it’ll be a full day of fun,” said Crowe.
Dark Star has about 20 wines on their tasting list, including Italian, Spanish, Bordeaux, and Rhone varietals. “Wine Safari ticket holders can choose any three of the wines for the tasting, so it’s a great opportunity to try different wines.”
Natalie Montgomery, Assistant Wine Club Manager at Midnight Cellars, shared the fun of not knowing which special animal will visit the winery until the morning of the event.
“One year, we had a beautiful owl, which was perfect for the night theme of our winery,” said Montgomery. “Last year, we had the crowd-pleasing hedgehogs.”
“We love this event because most of the proceeds go to Zoo to You, and they do such great work,” she said. “For many years, I’ve known the family that created Conservation Ambassadors, and they are the nicest people.”
Montgomery looks forward to Wine Safari as a kickoff to the busy season at the area’s wineries, and she and others in the industry say the event attracts new people to the area and to the 46 West family of wineries.
“It gets bigger every year, and it’s a great opportunity to drink wine and do good in the community for the wonderful animals that Conservation Ambassadors cares for,” she said.
“The spirit of the event is all about community and supporting Zoo to You, which has been doing great work for many, many years,” said Ryan Lopez, General Manager at Peachy Canyon Winery. Last year, cockatoos visited Peachy Canyon during Wine Safari.
“One of the frequent questions when people go wine tasting is what to do with the kids,” he explained. “While most wineries welcome kids and have areas to sit outside or play lawn games, the Wine Safari is truly designed to be a family friendly event.”
Most of the wineries in the 46 West are family owned and family run. “This is a great way to share the feeling of that. Bring your kids, play lawn games, enjoy some wine, pack a picnic, and enjoy the afternoon,” he said.
“We’re eager to see which animal will be visiting us so we can create the tasting list that blends well,” he said. “We’ll also be doing library tastings over the weekend, so visitors can taste a wide range of Peachy Canyon wines.”
Plan to Attend
“Conservation Ambassadors is a great organization, and all the Paso Robles 46 West Wineries are thrilled that the Wine Safari helps support the important work they do,” said Lopez from Peachy Canyon Winery. “Plus, having a younger crowd visit the wineries and seeing them loving the animals and having fun makes this great weekend event even better.”
For more information on Conservation Ambassadors, visit https://www.conservationambassadors.org
- AronHill Vineyards
- Castoro Cellars
- Croad Vineyards
- Dark Star Cellars
- Doce Robles Winery & Vineyard
- Donati Family Vineyard
- Donatoni Winery
- Four Lanterns Winery
- Grey Wolf & Barton Family Wines
- Hunt Cellars
- Midnight Cellars
- Peachy Canyon Winery
- Sextant Winery
- Shale Oak Winery
- Tooth & Nail Winery
- Treana Tasting Cellar
Great Flavors Safari Map to Wine & Animals (Event) – 2018
More animal stories related to Central Coast wineries right this way:
Wine and Animals – 46 West Wine Safari, February 12, 2017) & 2017 Wine Safari Event Video
Quiz Time: Animal Magnetism (wonderful winery animals of the Central Coast))