Are you one of those folks who enjoys taking selfies with your dog wherever you roam? Add some fun to your quest by participating in the Placer Wine Trail Photo Hunt, a contest taking place through December. The deal: Visit a member winery, find the “treasure” (it might be an artwork, an artifact or a physical feature of the property), take a selfie, post it on Instagram and be entered to win a $100 gift card.
The Placer Wine Trail encompasses 20 boutique wineries in the Sierra Foothills appellation covering the Auburn, Granite Bay, Loomis, Meadow Vista, Newcastle and Rocklin areas. Most are family owned, with tasting-room visitors often able to meet the winemakers.
A good place to start is Viña Castellano, a Spanish-flavored winery outside Auburn whose tasting room is open Thursdays-Sundays. Tempranillo is the signature wine here, while the Abuelito Red, a Spanish blend, is a multiple award winner. Dogs are welcome in the tasting room, on the stone-walled patio and on the lawn next to a pond at this exceedingly pet-friendly winery. With advance reservations (available on Groupon or Living Social), enjoy a $40 tasting with a sampling of Spanish meats, cheeses, tapenades, almonds, herbed olives and dark chocolate. Snack foods are available on site for spontaneous picnics. Let the tasting-room manager walk you through a flight of Spanish and Rhone wines while spinning a bit of family history, and stretch out your visit with a game of croquet or bocce ball. (PS: the photo-hunt “treasure” to be found here is a set of bullhorn door handles.)
Photo Credit: @popiewines