If there’s one part of California wine country getting an exceptional amount of buzz this past year, it’s Amador County—and specifically the Shenandoah Valley AVA, best known for its robust zinfandels. Most of the 20-plus wineries in this relatively compact area welcome dogs in their picnic areas if not their tasting rooms, but you’ll want to get settled into the night’s lodging before setting out to sip and swirl.
New on the dog-friendly scene is Rest, a 16-room boutique inn in Plymouth under the same ownership as adjacent Taste, the region’s most acclaimed restaurant. If you can’t get a reservation, mosey down the road to nearby Sutter Creek, where you and your four-legged buddy can tuck in at the Days Inn Sutter Creek or at the Hanford House Inn, which also boasts dog-friendly outdoor seating at its Element Kitchen restaurant. You’ll both enjoy sniffing around historic Main Street, which boasts some 62 buildings creaking with history.
Back in Plymouth, check out Amador Brewing Company, a new hot spot for craft beer lovers and their four-legged companions, or pick up a picnic box, basket or platter lunch to go at Amador Vintage Market, where you can also enjoy munchies accompanied by local beer or wine at the dog-friendly seating area outdoors.
Now, back to that wine tasting…Close to Plymouth, ultra-modern Andis Wines sports an outdoor pouring bar and dog-friendly patio, lawn, bocce court, picnic grounds—and views, views, views. Renwood, home to some of the country’s oldest vineyards, has a lovely patio where your pooch can pant as he watches you sip award-winning vintages.