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Sustainable Wine Dinner
Sustainable Wine Dinner

Event Snapshot

Sustainable Wine + Dinner Series
March 16, April 27, May 11

Sustainable Wine + Dinner II
Chilling Out
Thursday, March 16
Sanford Winery (Lompoc)

6 – 9 p.m.

$130 for members / $150 for nonmembers

Farm-to-table dinners, local wineries, and an exciting take on conservation and sustainability

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we’re launching a series of evenings that put a spotlight on the Zoo’s commitment to conservation and sustainability in engaging new ways.

We’ve partnered with four local, environmentally friendly wineries whose wines serve as the inspiration for custom five-course, farm-to-table dinner menus created by our own executive chef, Brad Robertson.

Each unforgettable evening is set in a different location within the zoo – Reggie’s Bistro, the terraces of Mahale Mountains, the Amazonian stilt house of Rainforest of the Americas, and the Cambodia viewing area of Elephants of Asia.

Along with the spectacular views, enjoy looking at sustainability from different angles – from agriculture to food and wine production to wildlife conservation. Each evening focuses on a different topic and features conversations with a curator or keeper, up-close animal encounters, and wine introductions from winery representatives.

Sustainable Wine + Dinner II

Lecture: Chilling Out

Featuring Sanford Winery (Lompoc)

“Chilling Out” is the theme for the Thursday, March 16 Sustainable Wine Dinner, 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, L.A. Zoo’s Curator of Reptiles, will provide fascinating details about how cold-blooded animals thrive in a range of temperatures. Steve Fennell, Winemaker and General Manager of Sanford Winery, will introduce each wine selection and discuss Sanford’s cool climate wines along with their sustainable initiatives at the dinner.


Thursday, March 16

Grilled Laughing Bird Shrimp with Mint and Horseradish Chimichurri
Pea and Ricotta Pesto Crostini
Smoked Salmon Rillettes with Egg Yolk Bottarga and Chives
2016 Rose of Pinot Noir

California Albacore Crudo, Radish, Watercress, Coconut, Chili, Burnt Orange Vinaigrette
2015 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay & 2014 La Rinconada Chardonnay

Herb Roasted Pork Belly, Butterscotch-Miso Lacquer, Local Polenta, Favas, Wilted Brussels
2013 La Rinconada Pinot Noir & 2013 Sanford and Benedict Pinot Noir

Brown Sugar Braised Beef Short Rib, Kabocha Squash, Bok Choy, Pho Broth
2014 Dominio del Falcon Pinot Noir & 2014 Vista al Rio Pinot Noir

Pixie Tangerines, Cordo Olive Oil Cake, Raspberry Meringues, White Chocolate Cremiux
2013 Brut Cuvee


Sustainable Wine + Dinner III

Malibu Wines (Malibu)

Thursday, April 27
6-9 p.m.

Happy Trails

The Santa Monica Mountains, home to Malibu Wines’ Saddlerock Ranch, is also an important wildlife habitat, which guests to the winery can explore through various hiking excursions. 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. Enjoy wines of this biodiverse region while learning about the importance of protected migration paths for its native wildlife.

Sustainable Wine + Dinner IV

Palumbo Wines (Temecula)

Thursday, May 11
6-9 p.m.

Birds of a Feather

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 about sustainable farming practices and the importance of animals such as raptors—with an appearance by some of our fine, feathered residents.

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