At Husch Vineyards. Photo: Patti Tapscott Kirkland
Many Mendocino County visitors stay glued to the gorgeously sculpted coastline, but to do so is to miss out on star attractions such as the Anderson Valley wine region, an area bisected by Highway 128 and encompassing the Boonville, Philo, Yorkville Highlands and Navarro wine regions.
If your dog is like most, he doesn’t give a woof about the raspberry and leather notes that distinguish a 2009 pinot noir from its 2012 counterpart. What matters to Spike is a comfortable place to curl at your feet while you imbibe. And while there’s no shortage of dog-friendly tasting rooms in this neck of the woods, a few stand out.
Laid-back is the keyword at Navarro Vineyards, just off Highway 128 near Philo. Here water bowl and treats await, and an enclosed exercise area is available for pups not quite ready to settle down. Nearby Toulouse offers just as enthusiastic a welcome, along with a warehouse-like tasting room and shaded picnic tables with sweeping views of valley vineyards. Husch Vineyards, also in Philo and the oldest winery in the Anderson Valley, dating to 1968, makes 22 varieties of vino and welcomes furry visitors in the converted 19th-century pony barn that serves as a tasting room.
Round out your visit to the Anderson Valley with an overnight stay at a dog-friendly property such as Anderson Valley Inn in Philo or the Boonville Hotel in downtown Boonville. The hotel’s well regarded Table 128 restaurant invites canines to curl up at designated outdoor tables during warm weather and watch their people chow down on family-style, prix fixe dinners featuring fresh farm-to-table cuisine.
Another option: Boonville’s Mosswood Market Cafe, where your furry friend can lap from a water bowl as you enjoy tasty homemade soup and a fully loaded panini sandwich. A few doors down is Boonville General Store, serving delights such as wild mushroom calzones, stone-baked pizzas and garden-to-table soups and salads.