Lead me to Lodi

By: DogTrekker Staff
Viaggio Winery tasting patio
Photo by Viaggio Winery.

Lodi is a San Joaquin County town and wine region 35 miles south of Sacramento. It is an up-and-coming visitor destination that boasts some 90 wineries, many with dog-friendly grounds and tasting rooms that are sure to impress.

While the Lodi region historically has been a producer of affordable bulk wines (Robert Mondavi got his start here, and the giant Woodbridge operation is based here, too), boutique producers of old-vine zins also proliferate, and bright chardonnays, as well as varietals from Spain and Portugal, are making a mark in the wine world. So is the hospitality extended to visitors.

Take, for example, Viaggio Estate & Winery, an elaborate, Tuscan-style complex, popular for weddings and special events, that welcomes DogTrekkers at umbrella tables on a landscaped patio as well as in a handsome tasting room.

The nearby Lange Twins Family Winery and Vineyards is another dog-friendly and architecturally impressive venue. Its Press Room, with wood-slab bars and ultra-modern fixtures, is sleek and inviting. Be sure to ask about the sustainable winegrowing standards to which this family-owned operation strictly adheres.

The atmosphere throughout the Lodi region is laid-back and welcoming, with Harney Lane, Jessie’s Grove and Michael-David (best known for its 7 Deadly Zins) among dozens of other wineries happy to welcome you and your pup for an autumn repast on the picnic grounds or at the tasting bar.

After a big day of winetasting and touring, you may want to spend the night. If you have a small dog (under 25 pounds), you’re in luck at the affordably priced Holiday Inn Express (which boasts very large rooms), the vintage El Rancho Motel and the stunning Wine & Roses Hotel, one of the region’s most popular wedding and meeting venues. Otherwise, try the Microhotel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, EconoLodge or Motel 6, which welcome dogs of all makes and models.

Don’t miss treating yourself to breakfast, lunch or dinner at Wine & Roses’ Towne House Restaurant, where your pup is welcome at outdoor tables on the shaded and beautifully landscaped patio. Another great choice: Dancing Fox Winery, Bakery and Eatery, whimsically decorated like an old-world pub and serving a wide variety of house-baked breads, wood-fired pizzas and European-style meals. Dogs are welcome at your table on the lovely patio.


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