So where are the top dog friendly wineries in California? On a recent trip to Napa I found myself charmed by all of the friendly faces in the tasting rooms – not just staff and visitors, but the pets that seem to feel as at home in a winery than at a dog park. It turns out that many California wineries are pet-friendly, making a wine tasting trip with your furry pal a reality.
Tips for Winery Dogs
Bring your dog along with a few guidelines in mind. Everyone has more fun when people and pets are on the same page!
Be Attentive – Don’t let yourself get caught up in the moment and ignore your pup. Keep an eye on the dog at all times and be aware of the surroundings. A tasting bar can be quiet one minute and three-deep the next. Never leave your dog unattended, even for a few moments.
Leash Up – Always keep your pal on a reliable leash. It may seem like he’ll rest at your feet all day, but something unexpected like a broken glass or spilled wine could be a tempting danger to a dog that finds freedom. Many dog friendly wineries state that in order to bring a dog, it must be on a leash.
No Messes – Just like at home, pick up after your pup. Many wineries consider their common landscaped and garden areas to be a true asset, a beautiful place to share with customers. Remember that others will want to enjoy a walk too, so keep it clean!
Call Ahead – Before you pop in for an unscheduled tasting, call ahead to check up on policies and find out if other dogs call the property home. Many dog friendly wineries have their own dogs, and it’s nice to know who might be waiting to greet you and your pup at the door.
Dog Friendly Wineries to Visit
Mutt Lynch Winery, Windsor
It’s nearly impossible to talk about winery dogs and not mention Mutt Lynch. Not only do they welcome dogs, they make helping pups their mission. The team at Mutt Lynch wants to help rescue organizations “whenever and wherever they can” and they’ve done a great deal to provide support through their Non-Profit Partner Program around the country. Wine to Try: Compassion Without Borders. This beautifully designed bottle is made of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and 25% of proceeds feed into Compassion Without Borders.
Caption: Pup-inspired labels from on of the top dog friendly wineries Mutt Lynch. Courtesy: Mutt Lynch Winery
Regusci Winery, Napa
This family ranch, built before prohibition, is located in the gorgeous Stag’s Leap District. When I asked around about great suggestions for pet-friendly places, Regusci came up with enthusiasm. Regusci is home to winery dogs and guest reviews often include compliments on the friendly welcome from the Regusci dogs, including their new pups Roxy and Rebel! Wine to Try: Matrona Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend. Named after Livia, the founding mother of the Regusci Ranch, this wine is intense and rich as well as meaningful.
Caption: Rebel and Roxy, the new Regusci pups. Credit: Darcy Dellera on behalf of Regusci Winery.
Turnbull Wine Cellars, Oakville
The setting at Turnbull is simple and soothing and that includes the friendly welcome from their winery dog, Marvin. Pets are welcome here and there is a big jar of treats available for your friend to taste as you sip. There is lovely outdoor seating, perfect for a pup that likes to soak up a bit of California sun. Wine to Try: You won’t want to miss Turnbull’s Fortuna Cabernet Sauvignon. This exceptional bottle comes from a legendary Napa vineyard and has awards and scores to match.
Caption: Marvin gives a warm welcome at Turnbull Wine Cellars. Credit: Jill Barth
MUMM Napa, Rutherford
During a recent visit, I noticed several dogs enjoying the tasting patio with their wine-loving owners. This is an excellent place to bring your pooch, with a well-shaded patio and lots of beautiful outdoor space. Individual tables allow you to keep your dog close, rather than crowded at the tasting bar. Wine to Try: Brut Reserve Rosé, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This wine is delicate and beautiful, perfect for sipping with the vineyard view.
Caption: A pup enjoys a shopping break at MUMM Napa. Credit: Jill Barth
Folktale Winery & Vineyards, Carmel
The team at Folktale welcomes pets on leashes but warns, “If your pet is larger than you are, call us so we can mentally prepare!” This playful statement matches the fun and artistic atmosphere of this beautiful setting, home to live music, yoga in the vines, artisan workshops and more. Wine to Try: Le Mistral Joseph’s Blend brings together Monterey Syrah and Grenache. This wine is an original blend by Winemaker Joseph Phelps and comes from sustainably grown grapes.
Caption: A furry pal and a great bottle of rosé at dog friendly Folktale Winery & Vineyards. Courtesy: Folktale Winery & Vineyards.
California his home to hundreds of dog friendly wineries, each with their own unique vibe and style. Plan a wine-tasting trip with your pup and meet the friendly faces and wagging tails at these welcoming wineries.
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