Sip and savor with your pup: Fall winery-trekking

By: Roger Coryell
Dog looking at wine

It’s fall! Besides cooler weather, ‘tis the season for wine-tasting experiences with your pup by your side. So why not celebrate the winding down of harvest and crush seasons by trying something new? Explore an unfamiliar wine region or two, snag a picnic table or a fire-pit seat, talk wine, be social (you and your pup) and be informed.

We feel that to be able to meet a winemaker and not be rushed or scheduled or hit with large tasting fees or have to sit in traffic to get to or away from a winery, is important. Here are our DogTrekking suggestions for affordable, impromptu wine country getaways.

Sacto wine country
Sacramento wine country.

Capital sipping experiences 

Sacramento is not only the star on the map of California, it’s a fabulous base camp for exploring wineries in and within a short distance of town (check out our list of great dog-friendly places to stay). Get started at Revolution Winery & Kitchen, a Midtown craft winery whose large, dog-friendly patio with umbrella-shaded tables is shared with next-door Temple Coffee Roasters. Wines are made on-site with regionally grown grapes, while the restaurant’s menu is largely vegan. Read more…

Vacaville is your affordable basecamp for California wine country

Woof it up in Vacaville 

So…what do you and your pup know about dog-friendly Vacaville and its slice of Solano County? Maybe not much if all you’ve done is zoom past the exits on Interstate 80. Time for some eye-opening (and tail-wagging) discoveries.  The highlights range from wineries and farms in Suisun Valley Rustic Wine Country, to affordable lodging, vast tracts of public lands and even a railway museum with excursion trains that welcome four-legged passengers. And don’t miss a stop at Lagoon Valley Park’s 30,000 square foot dog parkRead more…

Pup at Testa Vineyards. Photo by Mendocino Winegrowers.

Mend your mind and thrill your dog in Mendocino County

Mendocino County isn’t just about that beautifully sculpted coast. The inland regions are also gorgeous in a green and hilly kind of way. The county is one of the largest wine producers in the state. Its 12 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs, or wine-growing regions) each have a distinct personality, terroir and topography, along with unique characteristics in the wines they produce. You’ll find plenty to sample and sights to see along the county’s Highway 101 or 128 “wine roads.” Read more…

Santa Clara Wineries wine trail.

Santa Clara County’s pet-friendly wine trail

Every California winery association, it seems, has developed a wine road or trail to guide visitors to tasting discoveries they might otherwise have not known existed. Santa Clara County is no exception. Its Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail is an association representing over 30 wineries between San Jose and Gilroy. Some of them are among the oldest wine producers in the state, and many are dog-friendly. Here is’s list of affordable places to stay in GilroyRead more…

Temecula Valley. Photo by Leigh Castelli.

Temecula: A high-desert wine oasis

Think Southern California, and beach towns, mountains and desert landscapes come to mind. But wine country? Yep, that’s what you get in Temecula, a charming town about 60 miles north of San Diego. Temecula Valley Southern California wine country enjoys welcoming weather year-round, often characterized as a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers, and cool winters with relatively low rainfall. It’s a casual community with an old-west flair and a very relaxed attitude when it comes to dogs. And it’s coming on strong when it comes to wine, with more than 40 wineries and twice as many growers in the Temecula Valley Southern California Wine RegionRead more…


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