Wine-Tasting Myth Busting: You Can't Bring Kids or Dogs to Wineries
Contrary to popular belief, wine-tasting doesn't have to exclude your extended family, both human and animal. Happily, Sonoma County has many family-friendly and dog-friendly wineries, just a few of which are featured below. On your next wine-tasting trip in Sonoma County, feel free to bring along your kids and doggos to these beloved Wine Country spots.
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg
You'll find a toy chest here, as well as wine caves that keep the littles happy — while adults have fun, too. Experience entertaining events such as the Harvest Party in September, which includes grape picking, blessing of the grapes, brunch, a grape stomp competition, music, bocce ball tournament, and more.
Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen
This organic winery features a playground, small bird zoo, beautiful gardens, picnic grounds, and fun Biodynamic Vineyard Tram tours in a tram pulled by a tractor. Also keep an eye out for sheep and goats, which help to aerate and nourish the vineyard soil.
Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma
Explore the oldest premium winery in California, which includes fun winery tours led by a dramatic interpretation of founder "Count" Haraszthy. You and the kids will also find a maze, a fascinating wine cave, and a Wine Tool Museum.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville
This resort-like winery offers acres of landscaped grounds and an enormous swimming/wading pool with arched fountains, where you can reserve tent-like cabines that come with pool passes, lounge chairs, towels, and wine tastings. Enjoy live music and children's activities on summer weekends, and year-round you'll find bocce ball courts, a movie memorabilia museum, eateries, and more.
Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood
Located at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, this beautiful winery offers a bocce ball court, picnic area, coloring books and crayons in the tasting room, and horse-drawn wagon rides in the summer.
A few more family-friendly wineries to visit in Sonoma County:
Bacigalupi, Bella, Campana Ranch, Crossbarn, DeLoach
Anaba Wines, Sonoma
Practicing the fine art of French hospitality, dogs are not only welcome in Anaba's gorgeous Vintners House tasting room, but they can even sit on the couches and curl up in front of the fireplace. The outdoor patio area is an ideal choice, too, with plenty of room for pups to maneuver, plus cornhole, bocce, and on weekends, special offerings like wood-fired pizzas, and donut and wine pairings.
Bartholomew Estate Winery, Sonoma
Nestled in historic, 375-acre Bartholomew Park, this winery features picnic tables, a three-mile hiking trail, and shady paths, all open to dogs on leash. While you sip on estate-grown wines, your pup can enjoy complimentary dog treats in the tasting room.
BobDog Wines, Cloverdale
Prepare a picnic, your pup, and a sturdy vehicle to visit Sonoma County's highest winery, which soars 2,000 feet above Alexander Valley. Your effort will be rewarded when winemaker Tim Ward and his wife Kandy invite you to enjoy a hiking tour through their vines, savor old vine Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and meet their miniature horses, mini-mule, and winery dog.
Hook & Ladder Winery, Santa Rosa
Founded by area wine industry pioneers the De Loach family (the name Hook & Ladder pays homage to Cecil De Loach’s 17- year career as a San Francisco firefighter), this small winery welcomes dogs in its cheerful tasting room and at umbrella-shaded patio tables set beside the estate vineyards.
Kunde Family Winery, Kenwood
Kunde periodically offers a four-hour dog hike for guests and their furry friends. This hike includes wine tasting and a Wine Country lunch, and a portion of the per-person fee is donated to Dogwood Animal Rescue Project and the Sonoma County Humane Society. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.
Lambert Bridge, Healdsburg
This Dry Creek Valley winery invites you to book a picnic experience that's perfect for canines and their people. At a picnic table tucked away in the manicured gardens, enjoy a flight of Lambert Bridge wines and a picnic basket of local cheeses, charcuterie and other provisions.
Mutt Lynch Winery, Windsor
This winery regularly holds dog-themed events like Yappy Hours, a Canine Classic benefit hike/run, and its annual Dog Days of Summer open house. A portion of proceeds from every bottle sold is donated to local animal rescue organizations.
A few more dog-friendly wineries to visit in Sonoma County:
Benovia, DaVero, Dutton-Goldfield, Ernest, Gamba, Jeff Cohn, Joseph Swan, MacRostie, Merriam, WALT
Wineries that Welcome Both Kids & Pets
Davis Family Vineyards, Healdsburg
A few blocks from downtown Healdsburg, Davis Family Vineyards features a sprawling picnic area beside the Russian River, offering shady picnic tables and a covered patio where dogs are more than welcome, plus a bocce court for family games. Kids in particular will love the "Wine Goddess," a huge metal sculpture by Sebastopol-based artist Patrick Amiot that watches over the organic gardens.
Larson Family Winery, Sonoma
At this former rodeo ranch-turned-winery, the relaxed, cowboy-style atmosphere comes with farm animals, a bocce ball court, and grass area for picnic blankets. Pups are welcome to accompany their human companions on a picnic or walk in the spacious open area overlooking the winery's estate Chardonnay vineyards. Kids might enjoy grape stomping at harvest time.
Moshin Vineyards, Healdsburg
Set at the southern end of Westside Road, 20 minutes from downtown Healdsburg and just past Wohler Bridge, this laid-back, family-owned winery welcomes everyone, human or otherwise, to its redwood-shaded picnic tables and tasting room. You'll find water and snuggles for pups, and juice boxes, crayons, and coloring books for kiddos.
West Wines, Healdsburg
At this small winery run by a Swedish-American husband-and-wife team, dogs can enjoy some water and shade outside by the outdoor seating area overlooking the vineyard. Kids can visit with Jane, the black-and-white winery cat, hop aboard a vintage truck for photo-ops, and play games beside the vineyards.
More Sonoma County wineries that are both family- and dog-friendly:
Arista, B.R. Cohn, BACA, Balletto, Carol Shelton, Cartograph, Cline Family, Dry Creek Vineyard, Emeritus, Flambeaux, Foppiano, Gloria Ferrer, Inman Family, Keller Estate, Kokomo, Laurel Glen, Ledson, Limerick Lane, Longboard, Lynmar Estate, Mauritson, Meadowcroft, Medlock Ames, Muscardini, Papapietro Perry, Pellegrini-Olivet, Pride Mountain, Quivira, Robert Young, Sbragia Family, Schug, Seghesio, Sojourn Cellars, St. Francis, Taft Street, Trentadue, Westwood Estate
One Last Note
The suggestions above are by no means the only wineries in Sonoma County that welcome children, pets, or both. If you want to find out if a Sonoma County winery will allow you to bring the canine or young human members of your family, simply email or call ahead to inquire. We wish you all a collectively wonderful time!
Written by Melanie Wynne