California Wine Country

California Wine Country

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Wag your way through wine country

Wine Country dog.
Wine Country dog.

Vacaville is an ideal basecamp for touring wine country with your dog. Nearby Sonoma County and Napa Valley get all the attention, but this region is also home to one of California’s best-kept secrets. The laid-back Suisun Valley is rustic wine country charm at its best, with vineyards dating to the 1880s and standouts like Vezer Family Vineyard and Wooden Valley Winery. Sunshine and landscaped gardens make this one a pup-friendly, picnic-friendly favorite. more »

Vacaville is wine country with an affordable twist

Lagoon Valley Park.
Lagoon Valley Park.

Dreaming of a wine country getaway without the premium lodging prices of Napa Valley and Sonoma County? Here’s an insider’s tip for DogTrekkers: Base yourself in Vacaville. Close to both established and emerging wineries, this Northern California community lives up to its “Small. In a Big Way” tagline.

Vacaville is just 45 miles from Sonoma and 30 miles from Napa—and, it’s about 15 miles from the wineries of Suisun Valley. Grapes have grown here since the 1880s, and newer tasting rooms are thriving throughout the valley. Explore by day, and then put paws to pillows at one of nine affordable, dog-friendly lodging options in vibrant Vacaville. more »

Wine taste at a historic winery

The dog-friendly patio at Bargetto Winery. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.
The dog-friendly patio at Bargetto Winery. Photo by Visit Santa Cruz.

Sip award-winning wines as your leashed pup enjoys the creekside courtyard of Bargetto Winery. Located in Soquel, Bargetto has been producing handcrafted wines in the Santa Cruz Mountains for nearly 90 years. Another local wine favorite with a touch of historical intrigue is Soquel Vineyards. Soquel Vineyards was established in 1987 by members of the same Bargetto family. Want to continue your dog-friendly wine tour? Check out this helpful blogmore »

Can you Suisun? If you haven’t, go soon!

Can you Suisun?
Can you Suisun?

While Napa and Sonoma bask in California wine-country publicity, Solano County’s “Rustic Wine Country,” aka Suisun Valley, deserves a place on your dog-friendly bucket list, too. The “hidden” valley is just off Interstate 80 near the dog-friendly city of Vacaville (40 miles from Sacramento, 33 from Davis, 52 from San Francisco), which you’ve likely zoomed past many times without a thought of getting off the highway and exploring. more »

Fall is prime wine time

Wine time with the pup
Wine time with the pup

Visiting dog-friendly California wineries is a favorite DogTrekker activity. Even during the second year of the pandemic, summer saw crowded tasting rooms, packed patios and sold-out tours and special events.

Find tips and insights on dog-friendly wine areas ripe for visiting:

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Hiding in plain sight: the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail

Santa Clara Valley wine trail
Santa Clara Valley wine trail

The city of Gilroy is part of the historic Santa Clara Valley, one of California’s oldest wine growing regions and home to more than 35 family-owned wineries and tasting rooms, many of them dog-friendly. Even though some of Gilroy’s wineries have been around since the turn of the century, the region is still one of California’s best-kept secrets when it comes to wine tasting! more »

Cruz Your Way to a Wine Heaven

Photo by Santa Cruz County.
Photo by Santa Cruz County.

There are so many wine-tasting choices in Santa Cruz County – more than 70 small-production wineries and tasting rooms in all – that narrowing down a dog-friendly itinerary can be a delightfully difficult exercise. Might as well pick a region, a theme and a “wine trail” to stay on course. There’s the Organic Wine Trail showcasing organic vineyards, for example. more »

Celebrate 10 winery areas in Mendocino County

Maya chillin
Maya chillin' at Navarro Vineyards & Winery. Photo by Dave Kendrick.

Nothing like a change of scenery to cleanse your soul of the pandemic blues (but don’t forget your mask)! If wine tasting is on your agenda, know that Mendocino County is home to 10 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) lumped together under the Mendocino County label. more »

Vacaville for visitors: packed with surprises

Dogs love to stay in Vacaville wine country
Dogs love to stay in Vacaville wine country

Maybe you know Vacaville in Solano County as a place you see exit signs for as you zoom past on Interstate 80. But if you and your four-legged companion have never checked it out, you can’t know what you’re missing! Vacaville is an affordable base camp for DogTrekkers keen on visiting Northern California wine country. And, it's very dog-friendly! more »

Explore Sacramento’s ‘Big Back Yard’ with your pup

Bella visits the capital, image courtesy of Duroncelet
Bella visits the capital, image courtesy of Duroncelet

As the seasons change and the smoke from Northern California wildfires gives way to crystal-blue skies, opportunities for exploring Sacramento and the destinations in its “big back yard” expand. Make the state capital your home base and take off from there. Here is the best of dog-friendly Sacramento and neighboring communities:

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