16 Sep. 2021
Have a pampered pet where only the finest will do? Does your pooch maybe get that from you? Here’s a gourmet day trip that’ll thrill your taste buds and make sure your pup feels as special as you know they are.
Rob Dolan Wines
Departing Melbourne, start your morning with a coffee and puppucino at the pet-friendly Rob Dolan, while you’re there, visit their cellar door for a mid-morning tasting. Resident pup Merlot (also known as their Chief Cuddle Officer) is often onsite to say hello to both you and your pet. While you’re doing tastings, your best friend is welcome to enjoy a fresh water bowl and relax in a sunny spot. Also, if your pup is Instafamous, let the staff know. Merlot is always keen to feature his friends on his own Insty page.
Make sure to say hello to Merlot (pictured) at Rob Dolan Wines.
Steels Gate Wines
Located in Dixons Creek, Steels Gate is a small and stunningly picturesque cellar door and restaurant. The sort of place where you may catch the owners pouring your wine tasting (excellent as they are also the winemakers - no question that can’t be answered right there), discussing your food choices or talking about their resident wombat. The best bit? You can experience this gem of a place with your dog. In fact, Steels Gate love pups so much they’ve made it as easy as possible to visit with your canine companion. No reason humans should have all the fun!
The dog-friendly deck is the perfect location to soak up the sunshine while tucking into some seriously gourmet fare. Looking for something more casual? Grab one of the winery's picnic blankets and a grazing platter and enjoy an alfresco session with your pooch on the lawn.
Dogs (and their minders too) love visiting Steels Gate.
This dog-friendly winery is also located in Dixons Creek and their philosophy of sharing great wine and food with friends and family extends to all members of the family. Here dogs on leads are welcome to enjoy the lawns and garden areas as well as keeping you company at one of the outdoor tables near the cellar door while you enjoy wine and grazing platters. Pawfect!
Stretch the Legs (all four of them)
Following a tasting and lunch, why not stretch the legs at a nearby park or reserve? Pop a lead on your furbaby and enjoy a stroll at any one of the region’s pet-friendly parks. The Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve and Showgrounds are pet friendly with a large off-leash area that’s much loved for its numerous trees perfect for sniffing and open space for chase and fetch. Closer to Nilumbuk, the Hurstbridge Dog Park and Diamond Creek Dog Park are popular with locals and offer plenty of space for walkies.
Looking for more pet-friendly parks in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges? Click here.
Golden Hills Brewery
As you make a very leisurely journey back to Melbourne, pop in for a sneaky sundowner, an afternoon coffee perk up, or a snack at Golden Hills Brewery where their undercover area is great for pups and their owners.
Brewing their beers on-site and serving their own roast coffee blend, Golden Hills is well worth the stop for the sunshine and tummy scratches celebrating a great day out. Even if you can’t stay for a meal (and we suggest you squeeze it in), it’s worth taking home a six-pack of their craft beer, a takeaway coffee for the road, or a bottle (or two) of a local drop from their onsite bottle shop to enjoy later.
Looking for More Wineries?
The region is full of wineries happy to roll out the welcome mat for you and your dog. Add more stops in your itinerary by visiting Mandala Wines on Melba Highway as well as Sutherland Estate or Greenstone for a tasting or a take-home bottle or two.
Take Pup to Market.
Visiting on a weekend? Pair your tasty newly-acquired bottles with farm-fresh smallgoods and specialty treats from one of our pet-inclusive weekend markets. Stock up on jams, sauces, honey, fruit and veg, freshly baked goods, you name it. When it comes to fresh produce and gourmet goods, it doesn’t get much fresher than this. A farmer’s food market is held at the Punt Road Winery on the 3rd Sunday of every month and allows dogs on leads.