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Dog-Friendly Vineyards: Where to Sample Wine with Your Best Friend

September 1, 2011 2:35 PM

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www.muttlynchwinery.com

It’s a story as old as time – you want to go wine tasting, but you’re not sure if your drinking buddy can come along. (Because if you kill that bottle of Fume Blanc with your dog, you’re not really drinking alone. Right? Right.) Or maybe you’re just on a long weekend in wine country and don’t want to leave your pup at home. Fresh air, beautiful scenery, rolling hills… everyone deserves a break from hectic city life – regardless of species – so we’ve compiled a list of the most dog-friendly vineyards around the Bay Area. So grab the leash, a large glass, the inevitable bag for scooping and get ready to explore!


Kunde Family Estate
9825 Sonoma Highway 12
Kenwood, CA
707-833-5501
Kunde Family Estate

Located on Sonoma Highway (12) between Sonoma and Santa Rosa, Kunde offers a number of activities for pets and owners alike that span beyond a mere tasting or pour. Jeff Kunde and his dog Riley often lead oenophiles and their pups on a 4-hour, 3-mile hiking tour through the estate’s 1850 acres that extend into the Mayacamas Mountain range. Hikers will learn about the vineyard’s eco-friendly and sustainable growing practices, eat a nice lunch, marvel at the scenery and (of course) sample the goods. There’s even a Paw Bar for the four-legged set. A portion of the hike’s cost is donated to the Sonoma County Humane Society and Canine Companions.
The next hikes are scheduled for March 12th and May 7th and cost $50 per person. As space is limited, be sure to pre-register and/or contact the hospitality department at (707) 282-1534.


Mutt Lynch Winery
602 Limerick Lane
Healdsburg, CA
707-942-6180
Mutt Lynch Winery

It’s not easy to get a wine review published in Dog Fancy, but Healdsburg’s Mutt Lynch has made quite an impression. The winery’s motto – Bark Less, Wag More – is more than just a marketing gimmick. Dedicated to being the most dog-friendly winery in the country, a portion of every sale is donated to local animal rescue organizations. The winery routinely sponsors charity events, including its Dog Days of Summer Open House in which pups and their people are invited to the winery for tastings and other festivities. Mutt Lynch has even won the coveted “Most Dog Friendly Winery” Beast of the Bay Award two years in a row. Plus the winery is home to a very handsome and well rested greyhound named Patch, who retired to wine country after luminous racing career in New Zealand.
Mutt Lynch is also happy to open its doors for yappy hours, puppy showers, Bark Mitzvahs and birthday parties for your little buddy – just make sure to call first as they are open by appointment only.


Topel Winery
125 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA
707-433-4116
Topel Winery

Another fantastic Healdsburg destination, Topel Winery, is making a name for itself with dog lovers. Its annual “Shoot Your Dog” contest allows owners to submit photographs of their pooches posing with wines for its Topel Wine Tails Calender, which is unveiled during Dogtoberfest, and benefits the Healdsburg Animal Shelter. Of course if you can’t wait that long to visit, the tasting room is open year-round, stocked with treats and incredibly dog-friendly.


Larson Family Winery
23355 Millerick Road
Sonoma, CA
707-938-3031
Larson Family Winery

Located in Sonoma, Larson Family Winery opens its doors and hearts to wine fans and their dogs. With three Labrador Retrievers that call this winery home (Sunny, Bubba and Pete – the inspiration for the 3-Lab Cab and 3-Lab Chardonnay ), Larson is a very friendly and fun destination for everyone (even human children). Dogs are allowed in the tasting room and throughout the 70-acre property (provided they are supervised). In July, the Larson Family Winery hosts the Best Dog-gone Days of Summer event, where your pooch can get his or her portrait taken for $25 with proceeds benefiting Pets LifeLime.


Bartholomew Park Winery
1000 Vineyard Lane
Sonoma, CA
707-935-9511
Bartholomew Park Winery

This organic winery is open to well-behaved pups and their owners, especially those looking to hike up the vineyard’s breathtaking trails from which you can see San Francisco (weather permitting, of course). Dogs are also welcome in the picnic areas, tasting room, museum and tour. Guided tours can also be arranged.


Foppiano Vineyards
12707 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg, CA
707-433-7272
Foppiano Vineyards

Foppiano is open to all well-behaved, leashed dogs whose owners enjoy tasting and learning about wine. Canines are welcome in the tasting room as well as the gorgeous picnic area, where their parents can relax with a full pour of Pinot Noir or Petite Sirah. The vineyard also boasts a self-guided tour and three estate pups.


Lambert Bridge
4085 West Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA
707-431-9600
Lambert Bridge

A gem of the Dry Creek Valley, Lambert Bridge Winery loves to play host to dogs of all shapes and sizes. Starting on June 3rd, the vineyard will offer a Yappy Hour every first Friday of the month through September. Bring your pup and your thirst as Lambert Bridge offers an impressive variety of varietals. Dogs are welcome throughout the facilities – including picnic areas, gardens and tours.

By Lizz Westman

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