Farm-to-table dinners, local wineries, and an exciting take on conservation and sustainability
We’ve partnered with 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 – the terraces of Mahale Mountains, for example, or the Amazonian stilt house within Rainforest of the Americas, or the Cambodian 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.
Crocodilians are a group of reptiles that include the American alligators, Indian gharials, tomistomas, and dwarf caimans featured at the Los Angeles Zoo. These reptiles have remained relatively unchanged since prehistoric times, and when you visit them, you are gazing on species that look much as they did when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Many of these magnificent animals are under threat from human activity. Indian gharials are critically endangered, and the tomistoma, formerly known as false gharials, are vulnerable. On June 27, join Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians Ian Recchio for a presentation about this ancient family of reptiles and what the Zoo is doing to ensure their future.
You might not associate crocodilians with California because the only modern members of this family live in Florida, but fossils of crocodilians are well represented in rocks from California’s late Eocene period—around 45 million years ago. The rocky benchland that is home to Riverbench Vineyard may well have once been habitat that supported ancient crocodilians. Sandstone filled with fossils and remnants of ancient sea life, along with large rocks and river cobble, can be found all over the property.
Riverbench Vineyard vines are planted on the Santa Maria Bench. “Bench” or “benchland” is a long, somewhat narrow strip of relatively level or gently inclined land that is bounded by steeper slopes above and below it. The Santa Maria Bench is made up of alluvial soils that were deposited by flowing water thousands of years ago. The sediment contains particles of clay, silt, sand, and gravel. These soils provide excellent drainage and are extremely fertile and shallow, which allows for a great growing medium.
The Santa Maria Valley is a known for its diverse microclimates and ideal conditions for growing Burgundian varieties. This distinct wine region is characterized by the valleys in our Pacific coastline which run east to west instead of the more common north to south. Such a geographic peculiarity channels the cool ocean breezes inward, resulting in a mild and moderate climate where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive.
Riverbench is committed to sustainable practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically feasible. The winery produces a superior product, while striving to protect the environment, conserve natural resources, maintain the long-term viability of the vineyard, and support the economic and social well-being of its employees. It has been a Sustainability in Practice (SIP)-certified vineyard since 2008.
The Sustainable Wine+Dinner series is for guests ages 21 and older. Seating is limited. No refunds or exchanges.
GLAZA members receive their discount code via email. If you’re a member and haven’t received yours, please call 323/644-4747.