Wine in the Wilderness FAQs

June 1, 2017


Here are the frequently asked questions for Utica Zoo’s Wine in the Wilderness on Saturday, June 3rd from 6 to 9pm at the Utica Zoo.

Where can I get tickets? Save $5 when buying tickets in advance at the following locations:,, Utica Zoo Gift Shop. Retail locations accept cash or check only: Bremer’s Wine & Liquor, City Liquors, Clinton Wine & Spirits, Ilion Wine & Spirits, Lichtman’s Wine & Liquor, Seneca Wine & Liquor, Valley Wine & Liquor, Village Liquors, and Yorkville Liquors.  Tickets will also be sold at the door at regular price.

How much are tickets?

  • Wine Enthusiast Tickets: $75 in advance. Limited to the first 300 sold. Must purchase at the Utica Zoo Gift Shop or online.
  • General Admission: $35 in advance or $40 at the door.
  • Utica Zoo Members: $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Member advance sale tickets must be purchased in the Utica Zoo Gift Shop or online by entering your email as the promotional code first.
  • Designated Driver: $20 in advance and at door. Please note that designated drivers do not get a wine glass and will not be served alcohol at the event.

What’s included with my ticket? Free, complimentary wine glass to the first 2,000 attendees (designated drivers do not get a wine glass), admission to the Utica Zoo, live entertainment by Simple Props, and light snacks. If you are looking for a full meal, we will also have the following food trucks: Holy Smoques BBQ Fusion, and Grapevine Gyros. Bring cash if you would like to purchase a full bottle of wine from one of the wineries.

What’s the Wine Enthusiast ticket all about? Is it like VIP? Yes, Wine Enthusiast tickets give you the VIP experience. Only 300 will be sold. Includes early entry at 4pm (all other tickets enter at 6pm), wine-tasting education, live music by Rachele DePalma. Included food menu: arugula, goat cheese and olive on cucumber; pear and goat cheese in phyllo with red wine reduction; caramelized three-onion bruchetta; crab and avocado crostini; prosciutto wrapped asparagus; endive filled with curried chicken salad and grilled corn; assorted cheese, strawberries, garlic pizza bites, and Pairwell wine sticks.

Does Wine in the Wilderness sell out? Nope! Utica Zoo uses roughly 40 acres of land, so there is plenty of room for your family and friends.

I heard you made a custom wine. What is it? Red Panda Rosé by Prospect Falls Winery. See image below. $2 from every bottle sold will be donated back to the Utica Zoo.

Red Panda Rosé by Prospect Falls Winery. Made for Utica Zoo Wine in the Wilderness 2017.

What’s the layout like this year? See the map below and save it to your phone!

Wine in the Wilderness Map 2017

Where can I park? Free parking at the Utica Zoo. Additional free parking at MVCC Payne Hall Lot or the Parkway Rec Center. Free shuttle buses will take you to and from the zoo from 5:30 to 9:30pm.

Can I get dropped off or picked up at the front of the zoo? Absolutely.

Are there free cab rides home this year? Yes. Get a free cab ride home by calling 1-800-LAW-1010 while at the event. Brought to you by Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

What do I need to get in? All attendees must show photo ID at the door and be 21 or older to enter. Must also have ticket scanned at entrance. If you do not have a photo ID or ticket, you will not be allowed in.

What wineries will be there? Ashley Lynn Winery, Crooked Lake Winery, Idol Ridge Winery, Lakeland Winery, Mohawk Valley Winery, Montezuma Winery, Pazdar Winery, Prospect Falls Winery, Stone Age Winery, Thousand Islands Winery, Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Venditti Vineyards, Villa Verona Vineyard, and Yellow Barn Winery.

Vendors? Holy Smoques BBQ Fusion, Gyros from the Grapevine, Grassy Cow Dairy, Tibbitt’s Maple, Mr. Nutty, Mustard Seed, Huckleberry Hill Soap Co., and Oneida County Tourism.

Louis from the Grapevine serves up gyros at Utica Zoo’s Wine in the Wilderness.

Wine slushies? Yes, wine slushies from Ashley Lynn Winery will be on sale.

Ashley Lynn Winery selling wine slushies at Utica Zoo’s Wine in the Wilderness.

Beer samples? Yes, Saranac and Woodland Brewery will be pouring beer samples.

Saranac Brewery sampling beers at Utica Zoo’s Wine in the Wilderness.

Can I take home wine? Only sealed wine bottles are allowed to leave the zoo grounds. Don’t forget to take your free wine glass with you too!

Is smoking allowed at the event? Yes, smoking is allowed at Wine in the Wilderness. Please use the designated sand buckets to dispose of your cigarette butts.

Can I bring my kids? Wine in the Wilderness is a 21 and over event only. No one under 21 is allowed on zoo grounds during this time. Don’t forget your photo ID and ticket to get in.

What does the money go towards? All proceeds from Wine in the Wilderness go to the Utica Zoo.

Social Media: Share your photos and videos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging @uticazoo or using the hashtag #uticazoo.

Free Face Painting by BB Designs in the Children’s Zoo:

Free face painting by BB Designs at Wine in the Wilderness 2017.

Thank You Sponsors: This year’s event is sponsored by the following companies: Business Machines and Equipment, Mohawk Valley Winery, Bank of Utica, Townsquare Media, and PJ Green.

Zoo Hours: Utica Zoo will be open from 10am to 1pm on June 3rd. We are closing early to prepare for the event.

If you have further questions, contact us at (315) 738-0472.