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The Best Places to Go Drinking with Your Dog in Sonoma County

Best-in-show wineries that are as into your dog as you are.

Ginger holds down the fort at Anaba Wines.

 

While it’s technically true that more than half of Sonoma County’s roughly 425 wineries are dog friendly, that’s sort of like saying that most fast-food chains are vegetarian friendly (we see you there, Arby’s bread sandwich). Just as in Napa, in Sonoma County there’s a difference between best in show and merely showing up. Here, seven wineries that have made it to top dog—and also make great wine.  

Anaba Wines
Unlike most wineries, at Sonoma's Anaba Wines most dogs are welcome to roam, just like friendly winery pup Ginger, who usually rolls out the welcome wagon. Anaba offers doggie cookies and a “community slurping bowl”—and these folks have become so well known for their hospitality that regulars like Shorty, a corgi, bury bones and treats under the deck for future visits. They do have a resident cat, Gato, who tends to take off if there are too many paws, but even then the vibe here is relaxing and the vineyard view from the deck peaceful. Since it’s still summer, go after the Picpoul Blanc ($28) for the pineapple and citrus notes. When winter comes, opt for the reds like their beast of a petite sirah. 

Deerfield Ranch
This Kenwood winery features a 23,000-square-foot cave for dogs and their people to explore. Escape the heat and explore the caves or cuddle up on the comfortable couches while you sip. Deerfield Ranch is known for its vast array of well-made wines and a knack for helping you find the right wine for your palate. The super-committed can even get help making their own barrel of wine. Whatever you decide, make sure to try Obi Wine Kenobi ($48), which is juicy, dusty, and food friendly—and features, naturally, an image of the winery dog alongside the tagline “May all fours be with you.”  

Bella Vineyards and Wine caves allows dogs...pretty much everywhere.

Photo courtesy of Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves

Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves
Want to kick back with a small group and a great bottle of zin? Healdsburg's Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves (which caps parties at eight) is the place. Bring a picnic, lounge on the shady hillside lawn, or “cool off on the floor of the wine caves” (that’s directed at dogs, not over-served people…mostly). Bella’s got water bowls and treats for your pooch and comfy lawn chairs for you. Also on offer: hula-hoops and corn hole. Try the 2012 Zin Alexander Valley ($28) before it’s gone. It has a wonderful balance of ripe fruit, cherry, and peppery spice.

Wilson Winery 
Wilson Winery has both a large grass area for pups to run around and a conscience. Every time the Healdsburg winery sells a bottle of its earthy but fruit-forward and playful 3 Dog Zinfandel ($29), it donates $2 to the Green Dog Rescue. There’s swag, too—the gift shop stocks Wilson logoed dog collars, leashes, dog sweaters, and even balls. If your pooch likes to run and test his or her skills, call ahead to find out when the dog agility course is set up. 

Trione Vineyards & Winery
In Geyserville, Trione Vineyards & Winery is all about equal-opportunity playtime. There’s a large circular grass area surrounded by vines where dogs can run and play. Watch the action while you sip, or hit the bocce courts on the sidelines. Water and treats are plentiful, of course. On a hot day, sample the crisp sparkling wine or sauvignon blanc. And red drinkers might be caught drooling over the Primitivo ($37), which tastes a bit like a blackberry pie and is available only at the winery.  

Dutton-Goldfield Winery
You know it’s a dog-friendly spot when they lead with water bowls on the patio and dog cookies at the tasting bar. Sebastopol's Dutton-Goldfield Winery is known for pinot noir, and while all of their wines score well with the critics, definitely sniff out the chardonnay ($50), with its unusual flavors of lemon zest, peaches, and mango with a smooth creamy, toasty finish. On October 15, the winery goes all out for Pinot, Puppies, and Picnic, a furfest that includes pet photography, picnicking, and friendly pet sitters should you need a break from your doggone dog. 

Bartholomew Park Winery 
Bartholomew Park Winery is part of a 300-acre preserve in Sonoma with a three-mile hiking trail through forests of oak, redwood, manzanita (dogs must stay on leashes). Canines are also welcome in Bart Park’s picnicking spots, tasting room, and museum. The crisp, refreshing, zesty, and citrusy sauvignon blanc ($24) will be just right at the end of a hike.


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