Get ready for the wildest wine tasting in town at Zoo Uncorked (formerly Grapes with the Apes) on Sept. 7 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Raise your glass for conservation and enjoy wine tastings from local and national wineries and vineyards in the beautiful setting of the Zoo. Dance to live music, meet exotic animals and, new this year, stroll through The Art of Conservation, an exhibition and sale of handcrafted goods from independent area artists.
FONZ Members enjoy special pricing and early ticket access beginning July 27. Not a member? Join today!
- Event Info
- Featured Artists
- Parking and Transportation
- Participating Vintners
- Restaurants and Food Trucks
Throughout the evening, you’ll enjoy unlimited wine tastings, live music and entertainment, a wildlife art exhibition and sale, a fun outdoor evening at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and that warm fuzzy feeling of helping save animals. Mark your calendars for Sept. 7, as we toast to saving species.
The Zoo's Small Mammal House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank and Great Cats exhibits will also be open late for event attendees.
In addition to general event attractions, Zoo Uncorked features exclusive experiences for VIP ticket holders, including VIP express check-in, premier food tastings and special animal encounters.
- Zoo Uncorked is an adults-only event. Guests must be at least 21 years old and present a valid photo ID at entry. No babies, children or strollers are allowed.
- Guests without a valid photo ID will not be permitted to enter the event.
- Smoking is not permitted at the Zoo.
- Zoo Uncorked will be held rain or shine.
Join FONZ to take advantage of early ticket sales and discounts beginning July 27. Non-member tickets go on sale August 3.
General Admission Tickets
FONZ members: $55 | Non-members: $70
- Wine tastings from renowned wineries and vineyards
- A commemorative wine glass
- The opportunity to purchase bottles of wine to take home and enjoy later
- Food from popular DC food trucks will also be available for purchase
VIP Crush Pad Tickets
FONZ members: $115 (up to 6 VIP tickets per membership)
VIP Crush Pad tickets are available for members only and include all of the perks of general admission, plus:
- Exclusive access to a VIP-only area inside the Zoo
- Delicious tastings from area restaurants and exclusive wine tastings
- Special animal encounters
- A "Zoo Uncorked" takeaway gift
Sober Driver Tickets
General Admission: $30 | VIP: $95
Please note: All guests must have a ticket and be 21 or older to attend. Zoo Uncorked tickets are only valid if purchased via the website of the Zoo/Friends of the National Zoo or via Groupon. Tickets purchased anywhere else may not be accepted at the event. Guests of all ages must show ID at time of entry. Guests with infants and/or small children will not be permitted to enter under any circumstances.
Robert Caldwell works from his studio in Midlothian, Virginia, where he creates original realistic oil paintings and tightly rendered graphite pencil drawings. Eye-popping detail and strong compositions are a result of meticulous brush control and patience, which have collectors seeking out his work. His work has been selected several times for Birds in Art, a prestigious international art exhibit held annually at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. He regularly exhibits in many other shows around the country and is represented by Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Matthew Hillier’s wildlife and marine paintings offer the viewer a unique vantage point. His paintings show more than the physical characteristics of a species—they reveal the artist’s passion for his subjects.
Born in England, Hillier was brought up on the West Sussex coast. After a successful career in wildlife illustration, and having exhibitions in Europe and the U.S., he moved to the states in 2000. He has traveled widely—including on many African safaris—in search of subjects to paint. For many years he worked with major publishers, and he currently exhibits his paintings in galleries in Naples, Florida, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Annapolis and Easton, Maryland. His work can also be seen in several art museums.
Hillier is a member of the Society of Animal Artists and the American Society of Marine Artists. He lives with his wife, the artist Julia Rogers, and their son Patrick on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Paul Rhymer comes from a family of artists and has drawn and painted his whole life. After receiving an associate of arts degree from a local college in 1984, he accepted a job at the Smithsonian Institution in taxidermy and model making. Rhymer retired from the Smithsonian in 2010. Because of the amount of three-dimensional work he created in his museum job, his personal artwork gradually began to transform from painting and drawing to sculpture. Being an avid birder, waterfowl hunter and taxidermist gives Rhymer constant anatomy and behavioral learning experiences that inspire his sculpture.
Rhymer’s work has been exhibited in the National Sculpture Society, the Society of Animal Artists and Birds in Art. His wildlife sculpture is exhibited at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, National Museum of Natural History, Denver Zoo, Woodson Art Museum, Hiraim Blauvelt Museum and various public buildings, parks and private collections thought the U.S. He is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Animal Artists and the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art.
Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay on the eastern shore of Maryland has had a strong influence on Julia Rogers since childhood. Over the years, she has worked in several mediums and gradually developed a distinctive style seen today in her oil paintings. She paints a wide variety of subjects and believes it is important to expand, try new things and push into different areas. Rogers paints en plein air, figurative work and portraiture, and documents her extensive travel in her art. Rogers is inspired by wildlife—seeing animals in their environment and witnessing their natural behavior in person changed the way she paints.
Cathy Sheeter has nurtured a love of animals and conservation since she was a young child growing up in rural Oregon. Now, as an internationally awarded fine artist, avid photographer and active birder, Sheeter tries to spend extensive time in the field studying the animals that she creates, drawing her inspiration from the natural world.
Sheeter's primary choice of fine-art medium is scratchboard, which involves the use of abrasive tools to scratch away a top layer of black ink to reveal a layer of white clay hidden beneath. She is the President and a Master Scratchboard Artist in the International Society of Scratchboard Artists, and a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists. She is presently also the artist-in-residence at the acclaimed Hiram Blauvelt Wildlife Art Museum in Oradell, New Jersey. Sheeter exhibits her work in about 10 to 15 national and international shows a year and teaches workshops around the U.S.
Kelly Singleton creates paintings that reflect her love for wildlife and the places it inhabits. Her paintings are the result of many hours spent observing and photographing wildlife, followed by many more hours behind the easel, breathing life into her subjects.
Born and raised in Maryland, Singleton has held a lifelong passion for art and nature. She received her formal education from the Maryland Institute College of Art where she graduated with a bachelor's of fine arts in illustration.
Singleton makes frequent trips into the local and national parks of the western United States to observe and photograph wildlife. These trips fuel inspiration for new work. She feels that the ability to have these experiences in nature is the best part of being a wildlife painter. She hopes that her excitement for the natural world shines through in her art, and that it also conveys the importance of preserving nature.
Guests are encouraged to drink responsibly and utilize public transportation. Both Metro Bus and Metro Rail have stops within walking distance of the Zoo's Connecticut Avenue entrance.
Metro Bus and Metro Rail
To visit the Zoo by Metro Rail, take the Red Line to the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan stop or to the Cleveland Park stop. The Zoo's main entrance on Connecticut Avenue is equidistant from both Metro stops, which are a short walk from the Zoo.
The L1 and L2 buses stop in front of the Zoo's main entrance.
$11 FONZ Members
Members must show their membership card to receive the discounted parking rate.
- Calvert Woodley Wine & Spirits
- Constellation Brands
- DCanter - A Wine Boutique
- Francis Ford Coppola Winery
- JP Chenet
- Kingdom Wine Company
- Lanterna Distributors
- Olney Winery
- The Urban Winery
- Vino50 Selections
- Wine Connoisseur Magazine
VIP Crush Pad
- NZ Wine Navigator
- Proud Pour
VIP Crush Pad:
The following restaurants will be providing tastings in the VIP Crush Pad:
- Asia Nine Bar & Lounge
- Blackfinn Ameripub
- Duke's Counter
- Lebanese Taverna
- Mastro's Steakhouse
- Ruth's Chris Steak House
- Texas de Brazil
- Urbana Dining & Drinks
- The Wine Kitchen
Fare from food trucks will be available for purchase inside the general event area. Check back for a list of 2017 participants. Credit cards are accepted at most, but not all, food trucks. ATMs are located at the Visitor's Center and Mane Grill.
- Arepa Zone
- Halal Kitchen
- Holy Crepes
- Red Hook Lobster Pound