Whispering Oaks Vineyard - Photo Credit: @winedogs_hq
The remote part of California east of Redding and Red Bluff, in the shadow of Mount Lassen, is one of the fastest growing but least known wine regions in the state. But there’ much to get to know, from producers with Redding and Oroville tasting rooms to dog-friendly boutique wineries way out in the country whose wines will surprise and delight.
Start in the Manton Valley American Viticultural Area, one of the newest AVAs in California, designated in 2014. It’s in a volcanic-soil region overlapping Shasta and Tehama counties. Go on a weekend, as most tasting rooms aren’t open during the week. Alger Vineyard and Winery, just outside the dot-on-the-map community of Manton, specializes in estate grown wines made from certified organic grapes, and its $5 tasting fee includes a logo glass to take home. Leashed dogs are welcome in the patio picnic area or by the pond. Also in the area are Indian Peak Vineyards (open daily) and Mt. Tehama Winery (by appointment).
In downtown Redding, you can taste more regionally produced wines at dog-friendly Mosely Family Cellars, where you and your pooch will be warmly welcomed in the tasting room. And don’t stop there: Oroville and surrounds are home to several dog-friendly wine-tasting establishments, including the ones at Long Creek Winery and Ranch (dogs allowed everywhere on the rural property) and Grey Fox Vineyards, open noon to 5 p.m. on weekends. In the tiny burg of Durham, south of Paradise and seven miles from Chico, Gale Vineyards welcomes dogs in its tasting room, patio and picnic area.
While in Butte County, check out the Del Oro Farm Trail and turn your visit into a food-and-wine extravaganza. Passport Weekend is Oct. 12-13; a ticket includes free tastings at 34 food and wine venues.