Dog at Kids Inc. - Photo Scot Schrantz
El Dorado County covers a lot of territory on either side of the Highway 50 corridor leading up to Lake Tahoe, and one of the most popular regions to visit at this time of year is Apple Hill, a region on the north side of the highway between Placerville and Pollock Pines.
More than 50 family-owned ranches welcome visitors in this compact, visitor-friendly area, but Apple Hill isn’t all about apples. It’s a winemaking region, too, with seven wineries and a brewery on the Wine Trail map.
Fenton Harriott Vineyards, situated along the old Pony Express Trail, is especially dog-friendly, while Crystal Basin Cellars, specializing in Rhone-style varietals, welcomes dogs in its picnic area and often attracts 20 or more canines during wine-club events. Boeger Winery is a favorite among those who appreciate laid-back atmosphere and rustic architecture along with big, flavorful reds. Dogs are allowed in the tasting room as well as in the lovely picnic area. Forgot your pick-up bags? Not to worry; there’s a dispenser on the grounds.
Wofford Acres Vineyards counts hard cider among its offerings and has a dog-friendly picnic area overlooking the American River. Some Apple Hill wineries are open daily, some only on weekends or by appointment, so be sure to check before you go.