Storrs Winery - Photo Credit: @ltkphotography
If you appreciate all things organic, mark your calendar for Saturdays and Sundays in September, when the Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains showcases certified organic vineyards and practices. Of eight member wineries, four have tasting rooms (three of them dog-friendly) with regular weekend hours, while the others are appointment-only.
If traveling from north to south, start at Cooper-Garrod Winery on a hillside above Saratoga, a half-hour south of San Jose, and enjoy sipping with your pup on the dog-friendly picnic area or patio. Next up: Silver Mountain Vineyards, 2,100 feet up on Skyland Ridge with panoramic views overlooking Monterey Bay (there’s also a Silver Mountain tasting room in Westside Santa Cruz). Alfaro Family Vineyards is another great dog-friendly place for paws to pause; it’s at the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation and just minutes from Nicholson Vineyards. Both welcome leashed dogs in their outdoor spaces and are also part of the Corralitos Wine Trail.
DogTrekker.com has mapped out a road-trip itinerary that can guide you to more dog-welcoming wineries and tasting rooms in Santa Cruz County. That’s too many for one trip, of course, but you can purchase a Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Passport to visit participating wineries fee-free all year. Four times annually, on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November, all the wineries in the region come together to celebrate their heritage with wine, food, music and more. Check it out here.