Nowhere does traffic quite like Los Angeles, so whizzing up to Santa Barbara wine country for a wine-tasting day ‘tripple’ can be a pretty tall order, but what many fail to notice is that there’s a far more imminent wine adventure waiting just 20 minutes along Malibu’s coastal highway in the Santa Monica Mountains… and we recommend hiring a driver for the day so one can sample with more abandon!
First stop out of LA is Rosenthal’s walk-in tasting room, happily ensconced in a bijou beachside shack complete with rustic patio and their selection of Surfrider and Malibu Estate wines (from Cabs to Viogniers) which should really get the blood pumping. After continuing along the PCH, turn right onto Mulholland Highway and up into the picture-perfect mountains to the Malibu Family Wines tasting room. A much more ambitious affair, there’s even more fun to be had with their picnic area, bar, live music from midday at the weekends, real live zebras running about the place (!), and a natty tasting room which pours their Semler and Saddlerock varietals (from Sauv Blanc to Merlot). Rolling back via the Decker Canyon Road, you’ll pass by the perfect prandial stop-offs in the form of Nikita (for delightful seaside sips) and Mr Chow (don’t miss the Drunken Fish!). Chin Chin!
Rosenthal / 18741 Pacific Coast Hwy / Malibu / +1 310 456 1392 / rosenthalestatewines.com
Malibu Family Wines / 31740 Mulholland Hwy / Malibu / +1 818 865 0605 / malibuwines.com / tasting room by appt only
Nikita / 22716 Pacific Coast Hwy / Malibu / +1 310 456 3274 / nikitarestaurants.com
Mr Chow / 3835 Cross Creek Rd / Malibu / +1 310 456 7600 / mrchow.com