If there's one reason to get up early on a Sunday morning its to head up to Sonoma County to enjoy the morning at the Kunde Family Winery, which is exactly what we did last Sunday morning! It is such a dog friendly winery and we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for a while before the tourists started to ramble in for their tastings. We have been members of the winery for over a year now, since we first went on one of their dog hikes that they offer a few times a year, and we decided that this month we would drive up and pick up our shipment instead of having it delivered.
Of course we couldn't resist pulling out our cameras and capturing a few moments with our hounds around the patio area just outside the wine tasting room, and since we were there early we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for a while so we didn't look too ridiculous laying on the ground trying to get Cody in action. He just hates having his picture taken!
After walking around and letting the dogs take in all the smells we strolled inside the wine tasting room to learn more about the vintages we picked out for the ride home, and ended up bringing home the 2014 Reserve Chardonnay and 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon as well! Not only were we spoiled with the generous flight options, but the dogs were spoiled with dog treats and attention from all of the staff! I think they enjoyed the winery more than we did ultimately.
The vines were bare and just starting to bud so it was a great time to explore the rows and see how the pruning had been done depending on the type of grape, along with the different type of support systems. Hazel thoroughly enjoyed running through the tall grass in the rows, especially since the dew had the scent of former wildlife hanging on it from the night before! One our drive we noticed that all the vineyards had "weeds" growing between the rows, but after reading about Kunde's sustainable practices we realized that it was actually a cover crop that the growers use to re-establish vital nutrients and to enrich the soil for the coming year. The holistic approach is very fascinating and it is definitely worth going on one of the hikes to learn more about the way biodiversity is used at the winery.
If you are planning a trip up to Sonoma with your pups then take a side trip up to Kenwood and enjoy an afternoon at Kunde Winery, and let me know what your favorite vintage was!