No, Fido, Silicon Valley is not just about Google, Facebook and other tech giants. It’s also home to a dog-friendly wine region that’s hiding in plain sight. Just follow Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail signage to craft your own itinerary among 34 family-owned wineries and tasting rooms within 28 miles of each other. Be sure to check ahead, as some are closed to the public during the pandemic.
Thirty miles south of San Jose, the city of Gilroy, aka “Garlic Capital of the World,” with seven dog-friendly lodgings, makes a great base camp.
Plan your dog-friendly getaway at VisitGilroy.com, then start checking out dog-friendly wineries, craft breweries and outdoor adventures. To get your bearings during pandemic restrictions, start out at Aver Family Vineyards, specializing in Rhone wines and featuring a spacious, dog-friendly picnic area where Covid safety precautions are closely followed.
For pure dog love in big servings, be sure to stop by Kirigin Cellars, founded in 1916 and one of the oldest wineries in California. In normal years, Kirigin hosts competitive dog events including rally, obedience and lure coursing on the grounds. If your pup likes to retrieve, don’t forget to bring a tennis ball or other toy for fetch play on the lawn. You’ll need a reservation for a tasting, time is limited to an hour, and for now, the winery is open only the first and third weekends of the month from noon to 5 p.m.
And now: To the hills! Put paws to path on Mount Madonna County Park, whose 3,688 acres are dominated by the redwood forests so characteristic of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Fourteen miles of trails lead through varied terrain, while a mile-long, self-guided nature trail winds around the ruins of cattle baron Henry Miller’s former summer home.