Tours & TastingsExperiences

The 10 Best Pet Friendly Sonoma Tasting Rooms

  • May 08, 2020
  • By Rebekah Stoltz Weeman

Pet friendly wineries in Sonoma are everywhere! Find out our favorite wineries that will welcome you, as well as your dog.

I can’t think of a winery in Sonoma County that has ever turned me away when I have had my dog along. Most places in Sonoma will welcome your pet with open arms. Especially in the summer, this is a wonderful thing. With temperatures soaring each year, it's frowned upon to leave your pet in the car (even if the windows are open). Having said that, this quick list of pet friendly wineries and tasting rooms that will give you some direction as you (and your pooch) navigate through the Sonoma wine country.

10. Mutt Lynch Winery in Windsor has created their whole brand around dogs. You can be sure that a visit to Mutt Lynch with your pup will be welcomed, if not expected. Founded in 1995, Brenda and Brett Lynch (and their three dogs) started a journey in serious winemaking, without the pretense. Naming the winery after her dogs seemed like the natural thing to do. In this way, Brenda could focus on making the best wine she could produce and still keep the project in the fun zone and connect with people on a level most could relate to. Let's face it, learning about wine can seem daunting in the beginning. At Mutt Lynch, the conversation tends to revolve around a lifestyle with pooches first, leading to wine second. The concept is brilliant and the wines have become very popular. The tasting room is comfortable and the gift shop has a great selection of fantastic doggie related items to buy. Mutt Lynch Winery is always giving back, through support to rescue organizations, both at home and abroad.  Grab a bottle of the 2019 Rosie Rose and toast to your pets and the summer with a smile.

9. Doggies and humans from all over the solar system love Deerfield Ranch Winery. The resident dog, Obe Wine Kenobi, welcomes all breeds to Deerfield. Obe (a noble and proud standard poodle) is known for his friendly tagline, ‘May all fours be with you!’ Your dog can romp and play while you enjoy a glass (or bottle) of White Rex Wine  (great zinfandel. excellent value).  If you are sensitive to sulfites in wine, that probably won't happen at Deerfield. Unlike many other wineries, Deerfield Ranch  triple filters the juice. This practice eliminates most bacteria, yeast and sulfites that are the cause of many adverse reactions in humans. Look for great sales during the ‘dog days of summer,’ for seasonal wines that can be consumed right away. Tastings on the patio, underneath the ancient Oak trees, is the best. No matter what you drink at Deerfield, you will be pleased. Winemaker Robert Rex, won winemaker of the year in 2018. That’s no small feat in a valley where there are over 600 winemakers, all producing excellent Sonoma wine.  Be sure to snap a cool picture with Obe Wine Kenobi as he is quite the celebrity around town.

8. Roche Winery is a fantastic family owned winery and tasting room. With two locations, there is bound to be something for everyone.  Filled with Irish charm and hospitality, you can visit their popular tasting room on the Sonoma Plaza or go out to the winery in Southern Sonoma Valley. Both options will welcome you and your doggie with open arms (as well as tasty treats). The vibe is casual and the staff make you feel welcome in the most genuine way.  You can do a Select Family Tasting ($20) or a Reserve Tasting ($30). The Select Family Tasting will pour up sparkling wine, white wines, red wines, dry rosé and if that’s not enough, the Select Family Tasting also includes a sneak peak (directly from the barrel) of Roche futures. My favorite however, is the experience at the winery.  I love the fire pits and cabanas, which accompany some of the best views in the area. Your dog will love it too. Woof. Woof.

7. Longboard Vineyards is a fun tasting room with a relaxing, island vibe. You and your four-legged companion will feel right at home in this vibrant, ‘good-vibe’ tasting room. Owner, winemaker and international surfer, Odad Shakked knows how to connect with the world around him. Mainly his passion for ‘da kind life’ has fed his desire to put down some roots and create an oasis right here in Sonoma. The wines Oded makes reflect his love for bringing together all the right ingredients. If you're lucky, he will be there when you go for a tasting. Oded loves to chat and has some of the best stories from around the world that I have ever heard. Ask him about his dog stories and he will flash a bright smile. Be sure to have a glass of wine in hand as he will begin the story, which will get better with each sip you take. My dog, Bogey and I were stoked to see the large collection of longboards in the back barn. I recommend trying the 2018 Watergirl Rose (91 points) or the 2014 Syrah (94 points).

6. Kokomo Winery is a great find. The relationship between vineyard manager, Randy Peters and proprietor/winemaker, Erik Miller is profound. It's pretty clear that the bond they share is the essence of the incredible wine that they are making. The wines are a delightful display of artistry and collaboration. Kokomo Wines breathe life into the phrase, ‘wine is poetry in a bottle.’ Founded in 2004, this Dry Creek Valley property has become a place where locals and visitors can enjoy wine in a comfortable, laid back environment. Of course, it goes without saying that hospitality as such would include man's best friend. We love the Zinfandels, in particular the ones from Pauline’s vineyard. With all tastings currently outside, it's the perfect time to include your dog and have a tail-wagging time.

5. Reeve Wines is personally one of my favorite tasting rooms in all of Sonoma. I maybe biased, however you can't dispute the acclaim coming from visitors near and far. With quite the cult following, the spirit of Reeve has made a mark on many. When I first went there, I had almost no expectations.  By the time I left, I was completely in love with the space, the wine, owners, their kids and their dog. The tasting room, by the way, is done in a style that I wish I could recreate at home. Elegant and down home, one feels comfortable at Reeve. The decor is an eclectic mix of old and new, with a touch of international bohemian. While I write this blog, I am ordering a bottle of XV Libertine No. 4 Propriety Red and a Reeve trucker hat online. There is something profound about the style of the wines and the way that Noah and Kelly Dorrance have emerged with fantastic wine, representing the elements and people involved in its creation. Reeve is honest. Besides that, they love dogs. Get yourself there as soon as you can. Perhaps we will meet on the veranda. I sure hope so.

 4. The Meadowcroft Wines' tasting room is tucked away in west Sonoma within Cornerstone. There is much to do around the area and a visit to Meadowcroft is always a great one to have on the itinerary.  Besides being completely pet friendly, the tasting room has an upbeat feel and the staff are helpful, as well as friendly.  You can get a formal tasting, wine by the glass and by the bottle. Reservations are only required if you want a tasting. The outdoor patio is cheerful and spacious and lends well to great people watching, as visitors to Cornerstone mull about. We had a light snack (for an extra $12) with our wine and it felt like we were somewhere in the Italian or French countryside. Meadowcroft Wines is a great place for the whole family, including those with four legs!

 3. Gustafson Family Vineyard is one of Sonoma’s best kept secrets. Located above Lake Sonoma, the journey there is full of twists and turns. Well worth the effort, arriving at Gustafson Family Vineyard is nothing short of spectacular. If you haven't been up that way before, you can expect to find trees galore, sweeping views and if you are lucky, some sightlines of Lake Sonoma. Before the pandemic, Gustafson had a great little tasting room in Healdsburg. Sadly, that location has recently been permanently closed. Not to worry, your visit to the vineyard will not disappoint. Welcomed with warm smiles and a glass of wine, getting comfortable at Gustafson is effortless. The estate tasting room and picnic area is an outdoor oasis. The view was so beautiful that it looked like a movie set backdrop. The wines are award winning. We brought some nibbles (they allow that) and enjoyed a self guided tasting flight called ‘above the fog.’ While we were there we heard about the tour, tasting and lunch experience. Next time, we plan to give that a try. It looked amazing. My friends and our dogs enjoyed every second of our visit. 

2. Fulcrum is defined as the point on which an object balances. Established in 2005, Fulcrum Wines has proven to be the perfect name for this impeccable and meticulous wine. Proprietor and self-taught winemaker, David Rossi has brought his own style and palette to winemaking with creativity, ever year since. Located on the famed Sonoma Plaza, the tasting room is easy to find and once you arrive and sip the wine, you will be on a wild ride. Every vintage represents a seamless balance of the climate from that year. It's fun to experience a flight of Rossi’s small production wines, as the experience creates an artistic canvas of the times. Incidentally, printed on each cork are the words from Archimedes, “Give me one firm spot on which to stand and I can move the earth". Specializing in Pinot Noir, your best bet is to select five wines to taste and purchase as many as your budget will allow. Your tasting fees will be waived and long after you have returned home, you will be able to revisit the essence of Fulcrum.

1. Walt Wines, with two locations in Sonoma, has you covered!  You can enjoy Walt Wines in their testing room either in Healdsburg or the Sonoma Plaza. The newest to the family is the stunning Walt/Baca in Healdsburg. This location has an impressive art collection and breathtaking vineyard views. Of course, great wine goes without saying! Proprietor Catherine Hall knows a few things about wine and hospitality. Yes, she and her husband also own the famed Hall Winery and Hall Rutherford in Napa Valley. Walt Sonoma is in an adorable historic bungalow right off of the plaza. The backyard is all decked out and there is lots to look at. Shaded by the huge trees in the yard, the space is comfortable. Whichever location you enjoy, be sure to look for Walt’s spectacular Pinot Noirs. It's fun to taste the Pinots side by side and explore which ones you love. We’ve heard that coming soon, Walt will be offering a new tasting called Route 101. The concept here is to try Pinot from a 1000-mile range and explore the nuances of the varied terroir. We can't wait! Being a dog enthusiast throughout her life, Catherine and her dog-loving team will welcome you and your furry bestie at any of the Walt properties.    

With so much to choose from and in the best company (with your dog), you are sure to need more than a day to explore the incredible pet friendly wineries listed above. Check out our blog Best Places To Stay In Sonoma to find the perfect pet friendly place to spend the weekend. If you are day tripping, be sure to plan your next visit before summer is over! We are looking forward to hearing about your wine tails with your pets. Cheers!


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