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May 1, 2006 05:25 PM

Napa Valley, with dog

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In a couple of weeks, I'll be heading up to Napa for a night at French Laundry, followed by a day of relaxed touring/tasting. I've booked a room at a dog-friendly hotel and will be taking my small, well-behaved pooch with me (everywhere but TFL).

I found this list of dog-friendly wineries at Any others to add? Any ones on this list I should definitely see or avoid? Thanks!

Napa County:
Casa Nuestra Winery and Vineyards 3541 Silverado Trail N. St. Helena, CA (707)-963-5783

Cuvaison Winery 4550 Silverado Trail Calistoga, CA (707)-942-6266

Dutch Henry Winery 4310 Silverado Trail, Calistoga (707)224-5879

Graeser Winery 255 Petrified Forest Road Calistoga, CA (707)-942-4437

Mumm Napa Winery 8445 Silverado Trail Rutherford, CA (707)-967-7730

Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery 1991 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford (800)-782-4266

Rustridge 2910 Lower Chiles Valley Rd. St. Helena, CA (707)-965-2871

Sullivan Vineyards 1090 Galleron Rd. Rutherford, CA (707)-963-9646

V. Sattui Winery 1111 White Lane St. Helena, CA (707)963-7774

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  1. Avoid Niebaum-Coppola which is now Rubicon Estate or something like that. Anyway, it's $25 to just get in the door. Not even worth half of that.

    V.Sattui makes pretty bad wine, would stay away from there also.

    Graeser is an intersting place, kind of run down. It's a bit of a drive to get there and I found the wines to be mostly "alright," not great but not bad. The owner is a character and pretty interesting.

    Dutch Henry is alright, kind of fun and they do have some good wines. Good zin the last time if I remember correctly.

    Cuvalson is also good. They have a very nice chrard usually.

    Rustridge is alright but a pretty long drive for only a couple of wines.

    In the Dutch Henry, Cuvalson area you might try August Briggs, excellent chard and reds. Don't know about dogs but they are very nice and I don't think would mind.

    Have a great time and a wonderful dinner at TFL. Report back on your trip.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Monty

      I have to disagree. Rubicon Estate is well worth it. Francis Ford Coppola completely restructed what happens at his winery. He is now producing a very high end level of Estate wines - organically grown, too, for those that hold such standards in high regards. But the point is, he got rid of the Hollywood hustle and created an extremely high end line of all new wines. It's brilliant. The Chateau where the winery is housed is breathtaking and its history, ironically, is the stuff great stories and films are made of. The $25 guest fee is equal to - or in some cases less than - what you'll spend in fragmented fees at most other wineries. It's far less than what you'll pay at other high end wineries. If you keep up with the trade papers, Rubicon Estate has garnered some of the most impressive wine reviews and scores for it's flagship Rubicon cabernet AND it's Estate Zinfandel. There is a new sense of serious wine at this winery now. Also - the guest fee is good for three days. A whole weekend of coming and going! They have a really cool Wine Bar / Coffee Bar that is fun to come back on day 2 and 3 as your morning coffee stop or afternoon glass of wine. The wine bar is seperate from the tasting room and it looks like it was trasnplanted from the best spot in all of Europe. It's simply stunning. I strongly disagree...VERY well worth it.

      1. re: Bizzy

        Agree with Monty. Nix Rubicon. Heavy-handed, over-oaked wines with stewy fruit and low acid. The movie memorabilia is gone. Much better wines with as much atmosphere elsewhere.

    2. In case you are looking for a nice place for lunch or a snack, I remember that the delicious Jimtown store has a nice area in the back where our little dog felt quite welcome.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pia

        Sounds great -- thanks for the recommendation.

        1. re: Pia
          Melanie Wong

          Note that the Jimtown Store is in beautiful Alexander Valley in Sonoma County wine country and not in the Napa Valley.

        2. Overall, you'll find Napa to be very dog friendly. You'll know if a place is not right away. Even Bounty Hunter, a downtown Napa tasting room and restaurant, is rather dog friendly and there's a place to hitch up right out in back if you're comfortable with that. Hagafen, a nice small kosher winery on Silverado Trail in Napa, is very friendly as well and a good kept secret.

          1. Have you see this-I love this so much-

            One thing it is very hot up there at this time of year so make sure you have water bowl with you and never leave in the car.. you probably know that already! Have fun.

            1. Even though this post is from May 1st, one caution about Chowhounds' hounds:
              Most wineries have at least one resident cat, who rules the roost (often the tasting room), and also a winery dog, so please be advised of some terroritorial issues and possible conflict.