California Wine Country

California Wine Country

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All Wine, No Whine At These Lake County Wineries

Langtry Estate & Vineyards - Photo Credit: @embeckwith
Langtry Estate & Vineyards - Photo Credit: @embeckwith

While water activities are of course a big attraction in Lake County, more than 30 wineries, most with dog-friendly picnic areas and tasting rooms, welcome visitors in what is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country. While the region is best known for its sauvignon blancs, petit sirahs and big reds are gaining well deserved cachet. The Lake County wine-growing region blanketing the eastern portion of the county is divided into seven AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), or appellations, each with its own sense of place. more »

Dog-Friendly Adventures on Lakes and Land

The Lodge at Blue Lakes <br/> Photo Credit: @nima_and_jasper
The Lodge at Blue Lakes
Photo Credit: @nima_and_jasper

Clear Lake, that big puddle of blue in the middle of Lake County, is a popular vacation destination for families, but it’s hardly the only body of water in the vicinity. Blue Lakes (Upper and Lower), just five miles away, are a pair of clear, spring-fed bodies of water ideal for swimming and fishing. Only human-powered craft or those with or electric motors are allowed (speed limit is 5 mph), but you can rent an electric “yacht” or pontoon boat from the Lodge at Blue Lakes and pile the family (dogs included) on board for a great day of cruising about. more »

Lake County Hideaway

Bed & Barrell at Stonehouse Cellars
Bed & Barrell at Stonehouse Cellars

“Agritourism”—an agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch—is as old as winemaking in California, yet there aren’t many places where visitors with dogs can spend the night on the premises. Bed & Barrel at Stonehouse Cellars, a winery/tasting room/B&B in Clearlake Oaks, Lake County, is an exception. more »

Mendocino County ‘Hole in One’

Lord Sandwich and friends at Smith Story Wine Cellars <br/> Photo Credit: sandwichthedoodle
Lord Sandwich and friends at Smith Story Wine Cellars
Photo Credit: sandwichthedoodle

Talk about having it all beneath one roof…The Madrones, an Italian-style enclave in the Mendocino County town of Philo, is a multifaceted destination with three tasting rooms, five pet-friendly “guest quarters,” a wellness spa and a dog-friendly restaurant, Stone & Embers, specializing in wood-fired cuisine. Visitors with four-legged companions in tow will get a special welcome at the Smith Story Wine Cellars tasting room, where the resident goldendoodle, Lord Sandwich, reigns supreme. more »

Collect Stamps at Yountville Tasting Rooms

Collect Stamps at Yountville Tasting Rooms

If you’re up for a special-occasion getaway centered on food and wine and can’t leave your four-legged other behind, consider the oh-so-chic Napa Valley town of Yountville. This culinary mecca is chock-a-block with strollable tasting rooms and restaurants (most with dog-friendly outdoor seating). Some 19 tasting rooms clustered within a mile of each other participate in the Yountville Wine Walk, which awards prizes based on the number of establishments visited. more »

It’s a Dog’s Life in Santa Cruz Wine Country

It’s a Dog’s Life in Santa Cruz Wine Country

Oh, the carefree life of a winery dog. It ranks high on our list of reincarnation fantasies. Yet in Santa Cruz County, which is home to over a dozen dog-friendly wineries, you needn't wait until the next go-round to enjoy a breezy life of leisure. more »

Gold Country Treasure Hunt

Vineyard Supervisor at Popie Wines <br/> Photo Credit: @popiewines
Vineyard Supervisor at Popie Wines
Photo Credit: @popiewines

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. more »

Wine Time! Paws Up For These Mendo Wineries

Brulee at Navarro Vineyards. Photo Credit: @brulee_usa
Brulee at Navarro Vineyards. Photo Credit: @brulee_usa

OK, nobody can visit four dozen dog-friendly wineries on one trip! Nevertheless, that’s how many await along the Highway 128 and Highway 101 corridors. Pick a region and let serendipity be your guide as you spend a leisurely day wine-tasting with your pup. more »

Tri-Valley: Trails to Treats

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The Bay Area’s Tri-Valley region, just 45 minutes east of San Francisco, is a sunny paradise for hiking dogs and their people, rewarding both with lots of wide open spaces and scenic vistas.

The four cities that make up the Tri-Valley region, PleasantonDanvilleDublin and Livermore, each have something special to offer DogTrekkers. more »

Lots to See and Do in Downtown Napa

Jack & Humphrey enjoy a sunny day at St. Clair Brown Winery
Jack & Humphrey enjoy a sunny day at St. Clair Brown Winery

Potential visitors to Napa Valley tend to think first of vine-covered hills dotted with wineries, wineries and more wineries. They’re all here, of course. But it would be a shame to bypass the city of Napa itself. A renaissance over the past two decades has transformed what once was the utilitarian center of wine country into a visitor destination packed with pizzazz. Downtown Napa is walkable, dog-friendly and filled with surprises for two- and four-legged visitors alike. more »

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