Mendocino County’s 47 wineries produce many reds, of course, but crisp viogniers and other whites are also specialties of the region. If visiting in winter, when inclement weather is a possibility, you might want to do a little homework in advance to select establishments that welcome dogs in their tasting rooms as well as in their outdoor picnic areas.
That’s hardly a difficult assignment. Heading north along Highway 101, about 90 miles from San Francisco, you’ll reach the beginning of Inland Mendocino Wine Trail. The quaint and quiet historic town of Hopland is your starting point and as you continue to Ukiah and then to the Redwood and Potter Valleys, you will discover small family-owned tasting rooms where pets are considered part of the family. Albertina Wine Cellars and Terra Savia Winery & Olive Mill in Hopland, and Barra Winery and Silversmith Vineyards in Redwood Valley are good places to put on your map.
The Highway 128 Wine Trail, meanwhile, stretches a very scenic 55 miles from Cloverdale in the south to the coast, where it meets Highway 1. Along the way, you’ll travel through the Yorkville Highlands and Anderson Valley wine regions.
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.