It’s summer, and while some people’s thoughts turn to beaches and water parks, others dream of a tour through wine country. If you love traveling with your pet, but your idea of a perfect trip involves sampling fine cabernets in picturesque family vineyards, there is no need to worry. You don’t have to leave Fido behind – there are hundreds of vineyards around the country who welcome dogs.
Some pet friendly vineyards have special outdoor areas where your pooch can run and play to his heart’s content. Others allow dogs in the tasting room, and still others provide water bowls and even treats for four-legged visitors.
Then there are those vineyards who are run by people who love dogs as much as they love wine. People who understand that, while enjoying a truly exceptional glass of wine with friends and connoisseurs is a fantastic experience, having your best four-legged friend by your side makes it that much better.
We scoured the country to find the dog friendliest vineyards out there. Here is our list of the top five to keep in mind for your pet travel plans.
Located in the breathtaking Finger Lakes wine region of upstate New York, Americana Vineyards offers visitors a wide assortment of delicious, yet reasonably priced wines served by a knowledgeable tasting staff. Guests can have a bite to eat at the café, which serves tasty treats made from fresh local ingredients. The winery features a weekly live music series, as well as holiday celebrations and yearly festivals.
The tasting room and café are situated in an early 19th-century barn, which greatly adds to the vineyard’s warm, cozy, family-style tasting experience.
The owners of Americana are serious dog lovers. Their two chocolate labs, Max and Rubie, have two important jobs at the winery: greeting new human and doggie friends, and maintaining their own blog.
Dogs are welcome on the vineyard grounds, and guests love bringing their favorite furry friends to the Americana’s festivals and outdoor concerts.
Once a year Americana hosts Woofstock, a day-long celebration that features live music, games, food, and wine, and sells a myriad of doggie-themed treats, crafts and novelties. All proceeds from the extravaganza go toward supporting local pet shelters.
Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane
Grown-ups, kids, dogs – Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane, Virginia welcomes one and all. Guests are encouraged to come tour the vineyards, have a picnic on the grass, sample wine in the tasting room, or enjoy the goodies offered at the Farm Farm Farmer’s Market, which the winery hosts on the weekends.
Dogs are a huge part of everything that goes on at Barrel Oak. Even the winery name reflects this fact: the first letters of each word intentionally spell out “bow,” as in “bow wow.” The owners, Brian and Sharon Roeder, have four dogs, who are honored on everything from the front door, to the menus, to the wine labels. One of their dogs, Birch, works as a greeter, and can be found lounging all over the property, or at his very own work desk.
Leashed dogs are allowed everywhere inside and outside the winery, and visitors are encouraged to bring well-behaved, happy dogs to meet, greet and play on the property.
Mutt Lynch Winery
With a motto like “Bark Less, Wag More,” you just know that the Mutt Lynch Winery is a dog friendly place to be. Even the names of Mutt Lynch wines offer a tongue-in-cheek nod to the canine set, from Chateau D’og Cabernet, to Merlot Over and Play Dead, to Portrait of a Mutt Red Wine. The winery dog, Patch, is a retired racing greyhound who now spends his days finding sunny spots to stretch out for a nap and chasing the occasional squirrel.
While the winery is generally only open by appointment, Mutt Lynch hosts several events throughout the year that welcome pooches and their people. One of their most well-known is the annual Dog Days of Summer Festival, which features great food, live music and a dog art exhibit. Leashed dogs are allowed throughout the establishment.
Kunde Family Estate
Upscale, historic, and lushly beautiful, the Kunde Family Estate in Sonoma Valley’s legacy spans five generations and more than a hundred years. The vineyard takes pride in crafting beautifully-balanced wines from hand-harvested grapes, which are grown entirely on the estate.
While this winery doesn’t wear its dog-loving heart on its sleeve, it does offer a unique experience for pet parents and their pooches, which landed it on our list. Winegrowers Jeff and Roberta Kunde, along with their dogs Cooper and Marley, offer a four-hour hiking tour through the estate for guests and their dogs. The tour finishes with a tasting, a delicious lunch, and treats for the canine hikers.
This Napa Valley winery was named for the owners’ beloved French bulldog, and he has since become the face of the company. The charming pup appears in versions of classic portraits throughout the winery, and even has his own YouTube channel.
Canine visitors to Frenchie are treated to true luxury. The winery features an outdoor dog suite, where guests can cavort in the sunshine or lounge on wine barrel beds. Pet parents can watch their pooches from a special camera while they sample Frenchie’s finest wines.
While they may not be as overt as to feature portraits of dogs on their wine labels, many wineries around the country are decidedly dog friendly. When you’re planning your wine tour, call ahead to any winery you find interesting. You just might find that they welcome Fido as warmly as they do you.
TripsWithPets.com is the #1 online resource for pet travel. Named best pet travel site by Consumer Reports, TripsWithPets.com’s mission is to offer resources that ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe while traveling. The website features a directory of pet friendly hotels and accommodations across the United States and Canada, as well as airline & car rental pet policies; pet friendly restaurants, beaches, and events; a user-friendly route search option; pet travel tips; pet travel supplies; and other pet travel resources.