Dog Friendly Getaway: Sonoma Wineries
Posted by Amy Burkert from GoPetFriendly.com on 26th September 2016
that time of year again ... the temperatures are dropping, the leaves
are turning ... the perfect time to plan a dog friendly getaway has
arrived! Whether you're looking for a weekend road trip or planning a
longer vacation, harvest season is a great time to visit a winery. The
grapes are ripe, there's lots of activity, and spending a sunny
afternoon overlooking the vineyards is the picture of perfection. Half
of the lower 48 states have wine growing regions, so chances are you
won't have to travel far to find one, but our favorite area is in Sonoma
Sonoma is about an hour north of San
Francisco, where the hills are golden, the days are sunny, and the night
are crisp. It's truly a vacationers dream with world-renowned
restaurants, magnificent spas and ... of course ... the wineries.
of the 400+ wineries here will roll out the red carpet for your dog.
However, as with most things wine related,
there is a bit of etiquette
involved. These tips will have you enjoying the wine ... with no
- Not all wineries and vineyards are pet friendly. Be sure to search GoPetFriendly.com for pet friendly wineries in Sonoma.
wineries welcome pets on the grounds, but not in the tasting room.
Before entering a tasting room with your dog, ask about their policy.
- If the tasting room is crowded, consider taking a walk around the grounds until things quiet down before taking your dog inside.
- Once inside, keep your dog leashed and close to you. It's best to avoid flexi-leashes.
winery has it's own personality. Some are laid back and fun-loving,
others require a bit more decorum. If your dog is more boisterous than
appropriate, the patio may be a better place for him to show his
Now that you've got the basics, let's have our own little tour ...
Rodney Strong Vineyard
The Rodney Strong Vineyard generally welcomes pets on their patio overlooking the Russian River Valley. We were lucky enough to be there
when the tasting room was empty, and the boys were allowed to join us.
(Fortunately, Buster and Ty were on their best behavior.) We chose this
winery for sentimental reasons - Rod's son gave us a bottle of their
Cabernet as a gift, and we wanted to email him a picture of us in front
of the sign. It turned out to be one of our favorites thanks to the
quality of the wines, the reasonable prices, and a helpful and friendly
Lambert Bridge Winery
bit off the beaten path is the Lambert Bridge Winery, known for it's
very limited production wines. I'm sure the wines were delicious, but I
don't remember much about them because I was focused on the winery's
Greeting all the guests is Bernadette, a beautiful (and
huge) St. Bernard, and Gus, a plump yellow Lab. Gus' rotundness is no
doubt attributable to his expert cracker wrangling skills - a more
persistent, yet polite, beggar you'll never meet.
dogs are not allowed in the tasting room here, the grounds and
Mediterranean-style gardens are not to be missed. If you're packing a
picnic, you'll want to plan to take advantage of one of the covered
tables here around lunch time.
and Ty were welcome in the tasting room at DeLoach Vineyards, and
Buster was quite pleased when some of the other guests wanted to scratch
We were there too late in the day to take advantage of
it, but there is also a lovely picnic area on the grounds here. You're
welcome to bring your own, or the winery will provide you with artisan
cheese, salami, olive spread, cracker, nuts, and DeLoach chocolates for
$30. We may take them up on that the next time we visit!
you've had more luck getting your dogs to drive than we have, you won't
be able to spend all day at the wineries. When it's time for a break,
you might consider heading to one of the many state parks in the area.
Unfortunately, most of California's state parks don't allow dogs on the
trails, so we did a little more ... um ... digging.
Lake Sonoma Recreation Area
in 1983 with the completion of the Warm Springs Dam, Lake Sonoma sits
amidst a 17,600 acre park with more than 40 miles of trails. Paths
though deciduous forests, golden grasslands, and redwood groves open to
panoramic views of the lake and surrounding hills. Leashed dogs are
all the trails and a trail map can be picked up at the visitors center. This is a great break from wine tasting and chance for your dogs to enjoy the water and the cool forests.
We wish you waggin' trails!
About the Author: Amy Burkert runs the award-winning pet travel website, GoPetFriendly.com, which makes it easy to plan a trip with your entire family. Her blog, Take Paws,
is an encyclopedia of pet travel tips, pet friendly destination advice,
and stories of the adventures she and her husband have as they travel
full-time in their Winnebago with their dogs, Ty and Buster.
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