If your dog is like most, she doesn’t give a sniff about how “approachable” the wine you’re sipping might be. She cares about how approachable the winery’s visitor facility is to canine guests. And in Mendocino County and elsewhere on the North Coast, you can pull up to any of scores of tasting rooms and be assured of a warm welcome.
Your best bet: Choose a micro-region to explore. The Anderson Valley, for example, is just 16 miles long, yet its winegrowers association counts more than 60 members. Highway 128 between Boonville and Navarro (part of the Highway 128 Wine Trail) at opposite ends of the valley offers about two dozen tasting-room choices, almost all of them dog-friendly. Balo Vineyards in Philo, the valley’s midpoint, goes a step farther than most by welcoming dogs everywhere on the property and offering an enclosed dog recreation area, besides. Another DogTrekker favorite is Navarro Vineyards, which also has a fenced dog-play area. At nearby Toulouse, well behaved dogs can romp unclipped around a warehouse-like tasting room and join you in a spacious picnic area with sweeping vineyard views.
Round out your visit to the Anderson Valley with a stop at dog-friendly Foursight Wines tasting room in Boonville, where you can sample various vintages on the patio with your four-legged friends by your side. Book an overnight stay at a dog-friendly property such as Anderson Valley Inn in Philo (across from dog-friendly Scharffenberger Cellars) or the Boonville Hotel in downtown Boonville. The hotel’s well regarded Table 128 restaurant invites canines to curl up at designated outdoor tables during warm weather and watch their people chow down on family-style, prix fixe dinners featuring fresh farm-to-table cuisine.
Among more casual options: Boonville’s Mosswood Market Cafe, where your furry friend can lap from a water bowl as you enjoy tasty homemade soup and a fully loaded panini sandwich. A few doors down is Boonville General Store, serving delights such as wild mushroom calzones, stone-baked pizzas and garden-to-table soups and salads.
Photo Credit: @goldens_flutie_ferris