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June 07, 2012

Dog-Friendly Wineries in Santa Cruz County

All Photos by Garrick Ramirez

Oh, the carefree life of a winery dog. It ranks high on our list of reincarnation fantasies. Yet in Santa Cruz County, which is home to over 70 family-owned wineries, you needn’t wait until the next go-round to enjoy a breezy life of leisure. Treat yourself—and your pooch—to a taste of the good life at the following dog-friendly tasting rooms.

SANTA CRUZ

Storrs Winery & Vineyard

This cozy tasting room welcomes dogs—and pigs!—on their outside patio set amidst the historic Old Sash Mill. You’ll enjoy award-winning pinots and chards while your canine companion takes five with dog treats and water. Owners Pamela and Stephen Storrs have their own pack of pups, but they’re busy working in the winery’s organic, biodynamically-farmed estate vineyard in Corralitos.

Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

Leashed pets are welcome in this open tasting room and cellar where they’ll find doggie treats and water bowls. Meanwhile, their owners should seek out a luscious, dry Grenache Rose that’s only available in the tasting room from now through the end of summer.

MJA Vineyards

This Hawaiian-spirited winery spreads the aloha to four-legged friends by welcoming them inside the tasting room and on a lively, fire pit-warmed deck. You’ll be handed samples of exceptional cabs while dogs taste through treats and water. No word on if anyone gets a flower lei.

Sones Cellars

Dogs may be a regular sight at this Westside tasting room, but everyone’s talking about hedgehogs. Taking a cue from the wineries of Old Europe, Sones invites customers to refill swing-top bottles with the house wine on tap, Hedgehog Red. The zin-and-petite-sirah blend changes throughout the year, so each visit offers a taste of something new.

SOQUEL

Bargetto Winery

Santa Cruz’s oldest winery invites pet owners to enjoy a glass of wine on a beautiful patio perched directly above Soquel Creek. Nab a seat and toast your pup with a glass of Tuxedo Red, a delicious sipper that honors Bargetto’s former black and white tuxedo cat, Tux.

Wargin Wines

Dogs are welcome in the charming tasting room, but, like you, they may prefer relaxing on the shaded, landscaped patio out front. It’s a pleasant spot to kick back and enjoy a flight of Wargin’s unique Italian varietals.

CORRALITOS WINE TRAIL

Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery

It’s Pinots and pups at this picturesque winery tucked into the rolling hills of the Corralitos wine country. Leashed dogs get water bowls and dog treats, you get single-vineyard wines, and everyone is treated to an expansive outdoor patio with dramatic vineyard views.

Nicholson Winery

Estate wines and olive oils should lure epicures to this idyllic vineyard and tasting room in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Pups aren’t allowed inside the tasting room, but they’ll hardly mind while lounging on a scenic patio and picnic area enveloped by peaceful Pleasant Valley.

NORTH COUNTY

Bonny Doon Vineyard

This far-out Davenport winery, aka The Dooniverse, welcomes earthlings and their well-behaved pets with witty, delicious takes on Rhone varietals (Clos de Gilroy, anyone?). There’s plenty of room for pups to wander a casual tasting room equipped with picnic tables and water bowls, but note that it’s BYODT: bring your own dog treats.



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