California Gold Country has it all: rugged scenery, historic towns—and a booming wine industry that offers myriad opportunities for DogTrekkers. September and October, when after-harvest vines blaze orange and gold, are ideal months for venturing into the Apple Hill growing region of El Dorado County. You’ll find lots of fruit for sale at member farms and ranches, but Apple Hill isn’t all about apples; it’s a winemaking region, too, with seven wineries and a brewery on the map.
Lava Cap, offering scenic views of hillside vineyards from its back deck, is a DogTrekker favorite just a short jaunt off of Highway 50, while Boeger Winery is a favorite among those who appreciate laid-back atmosphere and rustic architecture along with big, flavorful reds. Dogs are allowed in the tasting room as well as in the expansive, terraced picnic area.
Fenton Harriott Vineyards, situated along the old Pony Express Trail, is also dog-friendly, so much so that it offers occasional “doggy date nights.” Dogs are allowed in the picnic area but not the tasting room at Crystal Basin Cellars—except during wine club events, which sometimes attract 20 and more visiting canines. Wofford Acres Vineyards counts hard cider among its offerings and has a dog-friendly picnic area overlooking the American River.
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Photo credit: Miss Chien (CC)