Seven Of Our Favorite Most Dog Friendly Wineries In Northern California
As a dog lover and wine enthusiast, there’s nothing better than enjoying a glass of wine while surrounded by beautiful scenery and your furry best friend. Luckily, Northern California is home to some of the most dog-friendly wineries in the country. From stunning vineyards to pet-friendly tasting rooms, these wineries are sure to please both you and your pup.
As a 30 year veteran transformational guide and serial entrepreneur, my focus has always been on creating transformational experiences for people… AND their dogs.
As founders of Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours we created an opportunity for people to travel with their dogs and really connect. The concept that was inspired when clients on a four day private camping tour to the San Blas Islands in Panama told us that although everything was amazing, our three dogs were the best part of the trip.
Destination Drivers is very dog friendly and clients are welcome to bring their canine sidekicks with them. Our mission is to provide a level of service that exceeds clients expectations and enhances their experience, even if that means making sure that your dog has such a good time that you get jealous.
When clients ask if we’re dog friendly, our response is resoundingly yes! We tell them “We’ll even take them for a walk or hang out in the car with them if its too hot. Plus, we will even provide a “Dog-for-a-day” upon request.”
We do charge a small additional fee for a “dog-for-a-day”, 100% of which is donated to a local animal rescue that we work with, training their rescue dogs in preparation for future adoption.
Here’s our list of our favorite Most Dog Friendly Wineries In Northern California:
1. Jessie’s Grove Winery
Our number one choice is simple – Jessie’s Grove Winery in Lodi, California.
Jessie’s Grove is a fifth generation farm that planted its first wine grapes in 1886. Those vines are still alive and producing – 25 acres of the oldest Cinsaut vines in the world.
Besides outstanding wines from grapes grown on over 200 acres from many old and ancient vines, we love the environment of Jessie’s Grove and their outstanding team.
But the number one reason that Jessie’s is our favorite dog friendly winery is that Greg Burns – winemaker, owner, and Great-Great Grandson of founder Joseph Spenker – is such an animal lover and good guy that he allowed us to bury our Cattle Dog, Dozer on the property when he passed away in 2020 at the age of 17.
Needless to say we are regular visitors of Jessie’s Grove. We buy a bottle of wine and then spend an afternoon at Dozer’s grave with our other two dogs, toasting the love and joy that Dozer, the amazing hitch hiking dog brought into our lives.
I say hitch-hiking because Dozer ran out in front of my truck on my way home from work in 2004 in Taos, New Mexico and when I got out to chase him away, he ran around me and jumped into the open door of my truck and made himself at home. In the next 16 years he and I and my other Cattle Dog Max traveled through 10 countries in North, Central and South America together.
So don’t miss a visit to Jessie’s Grove winery. A beautiful setting to enjoy great people with big hearts serving great wine.
2. Heritage Oak Winery
Heritage oak is our second favorite dog friendly winery. Besides great food and a welcoming staff, Heritage Oak has a walking trail that goes down to the Mokelumne River, a beautiful relaxing 25 minute stroll through the vineyards and old oak trees that ends on the river with several beautiful beaches to relax and enjoy a picnic and bottle of wine.
With over 100 acres of vineyards on their estate farmed using sustainable farming practices, Heritage Oak Winery produces a variety of award-winning wines that showcase the unique characteristics of the Lodi appellation. Heritage Oak Winery uses cover crops, composting, and natural pest control methods to reduce their impact on the environment and promote healthy soil and vine growth.
Visitors can enjoy tastings of the winery’s award-winning wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting room is dog-friendly, so visitors can bring their furry friends to enjoy the beautiful surroundings as well.
Owner Tom Hoffman is an outstanding wine-maker and has a large selection of exceptional wines. His tasting room staff, primarily Hailey and Abby are friendly, knowledgable and welcoming, and Cusco the small black winery dog is always there to greet visitors.
If all this weren’t enough, we have a soft spot for Heritage Oak Winery because the newest addition to our canine family, Riley the McNabb found us at Heritage Oak. Claudia and I were there picking figs from Tom’s enormous fig tree with our other dogs Dozer and Margie in October of 2019. Riley popped his head out from under a branch and instantly he and Margie began to play. He was a stray who just showed up. Like Dozer and Margie before him (Margie ran out in front of my truck looking for a ride at 2 months old in 2008 in the Republic of Panama), Riley seemed to be hitching a ride, and when Tom said he was a stray that needed a home, we invited him along for a ride and he’s been hanging with us ever since.
3. M2 Winery
Number 3 on our list is M2 Winery, a boutique winery located in Lodi, California, that produces a variety of premium wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Lodi appellation. Winemaker and Co-owner Layne Montgomery and his wife Karen are big animal lovers and over the years they’ve produced many outstanding wines, some of which donate a large percentage of the proceeds to animal rescue. In addition to producing high-quality wines, M2 Wines is also known for their dog-friendly tasting room and outdoor patio, making it a great destination for wine lovers who want to bring their furry friends along for the ride.
One of the unique features of M2 Wines was their “Doggone Good Wine Club,” a wine club specifically designed for dog lovers. Members of the club received quarterly shipments of dog-friendly wines, which are produced using grapes that are safe for dogs to consume. The wines are also packaged in a dog-friendly format, with labels that feature dog-themed artwork and fun names such as “Tail Wagger” and “Furry Friend.” A portion of the proceeds from the Doggone Good Wine Club are donated to local animal rescue organizations, making it a great way to support a good cause while enjoying great wine.
In addition to tastings, M2 Wines also offers a variety of events and experiences for visitors, including private tastings, vineyard tours, and food and wine pairing events. The winery also hosts a popular “Yappy Hour” event, where visitors can bring their dogs to the tasting room and enjoy wine, snacks, and socializing with other dog owners. They also have live bands all summer in their unique tasting room. Come out with your pup, buy a bottle and hang out on the lawn while enjoying live music. There’s a different food truck every week providing outstanding eats, or bring a picnic of your own.
Overall, M2 Winery is a great destination for dog loving wine lovers who want to enjoy high-quality wines in a dog-friendly environment. The winery’s commitment to sustainable farming practices, unique dog-friendly wine club, and welcoming atmosphere make it a standout in the Lodi wine region.
4. Mutt Lynch Winery
Number 4 on our list is Mutt Lynch Winery. As the name suggests, Mutt Lynch Winery in Windsor, California is a dog-friendly winery that is all about dogs. The winery produces unique, dog-themed wines and hosts fun events that celebrate our furry friends. From the moment you step inside the tasting room, you know that this is a place where dogs are welcomed with open arms.
The tasting room features a dog-friendly wine bar, and the outdoor patio is the perfect spot to relax with your furry companion. Dogs are welcome inside the tasting room as well as on the outdoor patio, and water bowls are provided to ensure that your pup stays hydrated. The winery even has a “Pup Club,” where you can sign up to receive dog-related goodies and discounts on wine.
One of the highlights of Mutt Lynch Winery is its unique wine labels. Each label features a dog-related theme, such as “Unleashed Chardonnay” or “Merlot Over and Play Dead.” The winery’s founder, Brenda Lynch, is a dog lover and animal rescue advocate, and many of the wines are named after dogs she has rescued.
In addition to its dog-friendly atmosphere and unique wine labels, Mutt Lynch Winery also hosts a variety of events throughout the year that celebrate our furry friends. One of the most popular events is the “Dog Days of Summer” festival, which features live music, food trucks, and a dog costume contest. The winery also hosts “Yappy Hour” events, where you can sip wine with your pup and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Mutt Lynch Winery is more than just a fun place to bring your dog. The winery also produces high-quality wines that are sure to please any wine lover. The winery produces a variety of red, white, and rosé wines, including a popular Zinfandel called “Out of Reach.” The winery also produces a unique blend called “Portrait of a Mutt,” which is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.
One of the things that sets Mutt Lynch Winery apart from other wineries is its commitment to animal rescue. The winery donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescue organizations, and they often partner with local shelters to host adoption events. In addition, the winery’s “Portrait of a Mutt” blend features a different rescue dog on each vintage, and a portion of the proceeds goes to the rescue organization that helped that dog.
If you’re a dog lover and a wine lover, Mutt Lynch Winery is a must-visit destination in Northern California. From its dog-friendly atmosphere to its unique wines and commitment to animal rescue, this winery is a great place to relax with your furry friend while enjoying a glass of wine. And who knows, you might just leave with a new favorite wine and a greater appreciation for our furry companions.
5. Matanzas Creek Winery
Number 5 is Matanzas Creek Winery, a beautiful winery located in Sonoma County. Known for producing high-quality wines, Matanzas offers visitors a truly unique experience. Not only is the winery beautiful and dog friendly, but it is also a lavender farm, with a stunning landscape of lavender fields and vineyards. They harvest and sell lavender based products. It’s a great destination for wine lovers who want to bring their furry friends along for the ride.
Matanzas Creek Winery includes the use of biodynamic and organic methods. The winery is focused on sustainability and is dedicated to preserving the surrounding ecosystem, which is home to a variety of wildlife, including bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes.
Visitors to Matanzas Creek Winery can enjoy a variety of experiences, including tastings, tours, and picnics. The winery’s dog-friendly policy means that visitors can bring their dogs along for the ride, making it a great destination for wine-loving dog owners. Well behaved dogs are welcome on the winery’s outdoor patio and in the tasting room.
One of the highlights of a visit to Matanzas Creek Winery is the opportunity to explore the winery’s beautiful lavender fields. The fields, which cover more than five acres of the winery’s estate, are in full bloom from May through July and are a sight to behold. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the fields, learn about the different varieties of lavender that are grown on the property, and even purchase lavender products in the winery’s gift shop that are produced by local artisans.
The winery’s commitment to sustainability is also evident in its architecture. The tasting room and other buildings on the property are constructed using recycled materials, and the winery’s solar panels generate much of the energy used on the property. In addition, the winery’s wastewater is treated using a constructed wetland system, which helps to filter the water naturally and return it to the environment.
Matanzas Creek Winery produces a variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery is particularly known for its award-winning Merlot, which is made using grapes grown in the Bennett Valley AVA of Sonoma County. The winery also produces a limited-edition lavender-infused wine, which is a must-try for visitors to the winery.
6. Story Winery
Story Winery in Plymouth, California is a dog-friendly winery that offers a unique and special experience for visitors and their furry companions. The winery is located in the beautiful Sierra Foothills, and is surrounded by vineyards and overlooking the Cosumnes River.
One of the things that make Story Winery unique is their genesis. Owned by two partners – David & Giorgi – both originally from the European country of Georgia, they offer tastings and sales of wines that they make locally from regionally grown grapes, as well as wines from their winery back home in Georgia! Its a fantastic multi-continental experience. While they have a variety of Zinfandel, a grape variety that is well-suited to the climate and soil of the Sierra Foothills. The winery produces a range of wines from other varietals such as Barbera and Primitivo. Their wines are known for their bold, rich flavors and unique character.
In addition to their excellent wines, Story Winery also has a welcoming and cozy tasting room that is adorned with rustic decor and antiques. Visitors can relax on the patio or inside the tasting room while sipping on their wines and enjoying the beautiful scenery. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they are happy to answer any questions about the winery and the wines.
One of the most beloved features of Story Winery is their resident winery dog, Simba the Rottweiler. Simba is friendly and playful who loves to greet two AND four legged visitors and make new friends. He can often be found lounging on the patio or playing with his favorite toy, and he always brings a smile to everyone’s face. When we go with our dogs Riley and Margie, they are both eager to play with Simba.
Overall, Story Winery is a must-visit destination for wine lovers and dog owners alike. With their excellent wines, charming tasting room, and lovable winery dog, it’s no wonder why the winery has become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
7. Bella Grace Winery
Bella Grace Winery is a family-owned and operated winery located in Plymouth, California that welcomes dogs and their owners to come and experience their beautiful property and award-winning wines. The winery is nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards that provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing wine tasting experience. Its a fantastic place to end the day, tasting wines and olive oils outside of their wine cave while overlooking the valley.
Winery dog Lucy the Golden-Doodle and part timer Jack the Black Lab are always anxious to greet visitors, especially on food truck days.
Bella Grace Winery is unique in that they use only sustainably grown grapes to make their wines, which are all estate-grown and handcrafted in small batches. They produce a wide variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Viognier, Barbera, Zinfandel, Syrah, and more, all of which have earned critical acclaim for their exceptional quality and distinctive character.
The tasting room at Bella Grace Winery is warm and welcoming, with a charm that reflects the winery’s commitment to sustainable farming and traditional winemaking methods. Visitors can sample the winery’s current releases, chat with the friendly and knowledgeable staff, and learn more about the winery’s history and winemaking process.
Northern California is home to some of the world’s most dog friendly wineries. They offer visitors an opportunity to experience exceptional wines, stunning beauty, and do so with your canine sidekick. Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a dog lover looking for something to share with 2 and 4 legged friends, a visit to these wineries will be worth your day.
Whether visiting wineries in Northern, Central or Southern California, Destination Drivers is focused on making sure you have the best possible experience while staying safe. Enjoy being toured around in the comfort of your own vehicle by a concierge level driver.
Be sure to also check out the amazing upcoming Experience Panama tour, February 24 – March 3, 2024, designed and led by Destination Drivers Norther California owners and 30 year veteran tour operators, guides and Panama Experts, David Blank & Claudia Fabrega. Claudia is a native of the Republic of Panama where she and David met and formed a unique adventure tour company that for 7 years focused on highlighting the best of Panama to their guests. This is going to be an incredible 10 day exploration of the history, culture and nature of The Crossroads of the World! https://www.soulconnectionjourneys.com/panama-tours
We love Destination Drivers! We have used them in Sonoma and Napa and have had the best experiences! David is wonderful and made us feel like princesses as he drove us around! Highly recommend this service!!! – Liz Braun, Google Reviewer