Why take your dog on a wine-tasting excursion? Dogs like a change of scenery as much as their people do, and they’re welcome at almost every facility in winery-rich Sonoma County.
Three major north-county appellations are represented by Wine Road, an association of wineries and lodgings in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. Fido’s tail will be wagging no matter which one you choose to nip into on your next wine-tasting weekend.
Suggestions for a yappy day:
• In the Alexander Valley, two dog-friendly places to check out are Stryker Sonoma in Geyserville and Alexander Valley Vineyards just outside Healdsburg. Dogs aren’t allowed in the tasting rooms, but Fido will prefer the serene picnic areas anyway.
• In the Dry Creek Valley northwest of Healdsburg, Lambert Bridge is a DogTrekker favorite for its monthly “yappy hours” and anytime access to the tasting room.
• In the Russian River Valley south of Healdsburg, DeLoach welcomes dogs on the grounds and in the tasting room, and will even provide a picnic. The buildings at Rodney Strong are off limits to canines, but DogTrekkers and their furry pals are welcome to wander the expansive grounds and enjoy the lovely picnic area.
The town of Sonoma also boasts some great places to visit with your pup. At Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, just off the historic plaza, well behaved dogs are allowed in the spacious picnic area and also at the free, Friday night music events held on the grounds in summer.
Just a few blocks east of the plaza, organically farmed Bartholemew Park Winery sits at the center of a 400-acre preserve (known locally as "Bart Park") with a 3-mile trail winding through oak-covered hills and redwood groves and opening onto vistas of valley and vineyards. The winery's intriguing history (it once was an annex of Sonoma's "Home for the Feeble Minded") is recounted in a museum whose exhibits include images from Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge and artifacts from previous owners who shared the place with 200 Angora cats.
Known throughout Sonoma County for its pawsitive attitude toward pups is Healdsburg landmark Mutt Lynch, whose motto is “Bark Less, Wag More.” The winery hosts many events benefiting animal rescue groups, along with yappy hours, dog-friendly tasting parties and other events at which well behaved canine visitors are welcome.
Photo Credit: Jon Clegg (CC)