Home Industry News Releases Solvang’s “Wandering Dog Wine Bar” Celebrates 10 Years in Business: Three April Events and Promotions Planned for...

Solvang’s “Wandering Dog Wine Bar” Celebrates 10 Years in Business: Three April Events and Promotions Planned for Santa Barbara County’s Longest Operating Wine Bar


The Pioneering Williams Family Reflects on the Growth of Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s Business, and their Place as a Hospitality Forerunner in Solvang’s Wine and Tourism Industries

March 8, 2017 – Solvang, CA – Solvang’s “Wandering Dog Wine Bar – Santa Barbara County’s premier dog-friendlylongest operating and only Certified Green Business wine bar – will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in April 2017, with three different events and promotions.

As of SaturdayApril 12017Wandering Dog Wine Bar will be running $10 by-the-glass wine specials for the remainder of the year, each month featuring a different wine. The first month’s special will be Wandering Dog’s proprietary 2014 “Leila” Pinot Noir, set to debut at an April 1 Release Party. The April 1 “Leila” Release Party, which runs 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Wandering Dog, will fête the first wine that Wandering Dog ever produced under their rapidly-expanding private label program. The first vintage of their “Leila” Pinot Noir was 2005, crafted for Wandering Dog by winemaker Norm Yost, of Flying Goat Cellars fame, who has continued to make each subsequent vintage of “Leila”.

On SaturdayApril 82017Wandering Dog will host an “official” 10-Year Anniversary Party with an open-to-the-public affair in Solvang’s Hans Christian Andersen Park (633 Chalk Hill Road), from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The family-friendly barbecue will include children’s games and a kids’ menu, as well as food, wine and beer for the “bigger kids”. Reservations are required for the April 8 event; tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite, at www.eventbrite.com/e/wandering-dog-wine-bar-10-year-anniversary-party-tickets-32546874578 ($10 per person; $5 for kids ages 2-10).

Wandering Dog Wine Bar has always been known for carrying under-the-radar labels, specializing in boutique wines. As Santa Barbara Wine Country has expanded and evolved, so has Wandering Dog’s business: the Bar offers up international wine imports, domestic wines from areas other than Santa Barbara, craft beers from all over the world, and their own private label wine program – which started with only four labels, and now boasts a line-up of 12-14 wines at any given time. And, as of 2016, Wandering Dog Wine Bar patrons may find co-owners Jody and CT Williams’s newest venture, “Broken Clock Vinegar Works”, a line of drinking vinegars, available at the Bar as a tasting or as individual-purchase shrub “cocktails”.

Each of Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s private label wines are made by local winemakers/wineries, sourced from local vineyards, and each winemaker/winery is listed on the respective bottle; every winemaker is given full credit for the wines produced for Wandering Dog, in line with the wine bar’s mission to support and foster local vintners – from those just launching to established makers and brands.

Wandering Dog’s current releases include a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Syrah/Grenache Cuvée, and a Tempranillo, all made by California Central Coast winemakers and friends of Wandering Dog Wine Bar, such as the afore-mentioned Norm Yost, and also Michael Larner, Mark Horvath, Joshua Klapper, Louisa Lindquist, Joey Gummere, Janell Dusi, Chris Ferrara, Curt Schalchlin and Clarissa Nagy.

Wandering Dog Wine Bar also offers a dozen wine flights every day including everything from local favorites, sparkling and sweet wines, to reserve flights featuring wines that run $100+. Beer fans may partake in Wandering Dog’s offering of craft brew bottles, and the Bar also features gourmet cheese and charcuterie platters available in a variety of sizes, along with local olives and fine chocolates.

Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s knowledgeable staff encourages guests to “leave your leash behind” and try new wines, some of which are sourced from unexpected, but blossoming, wine regions, served with a healthy dose of friendly wine “schooling” in a relaxed and comfortable, dog-friendly atmosphere.

Every ThursdayWandering Dog Wine Bar hosts a locals-favorite “Blind Tasting”, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, when guests are challenged to match up regions, varietals, alcohol percentages, price points, and vintages of four featured red wines. The Bar also features a Wine-by-the-Glass loyalty card program (buy 10 glasses; get one free) and often, wine classes. Wandering Dog also arranges wine travel tours open to its dedicated Wine Club Members and the general public.

New to Wandering Dog Wine Bar is their Monday “Game Night” (4:00 PM to 8:00 PM), where guests may relax with $5 specials on a select white wine, select red wine, select “shrubtail” and select beer, while they entertain themselves with games like Yahtzee, Backgammon, Chinese Checkers, Dominos, and more.

The Williams family, who owns and operates Wandering Dog Wine Baropened the venue in 2007 during what Wandering Dog’s “Director di Vino”, Charles “CT” Williams, refers to as “a challenging time for Solvang, but one that held lots of promise”.

CT Williams explained, “At that time, Solvang had numerous empty storefronts, and the food and wine scene was not nearly as thriving as it is, today. But we felt that our wine bar model could be just what was missing, and we bravely opened in the hopes that we might spur more business in our corner of the [Santa Ynez] Valley.”

CT and his wifeJody Williamsco-own Wandering Dog Wine Bar with CT’s parents, Susan and Jack Williams. CT and his parents have been Santa Ynez Valley residents since 1988 and have vigilantly observed, and championed, the growth of two of the region’s main businesses, wine and tourism. Wandering Dog was established with a founding purpose of supporting and showcasing winemakers with limited production, and/or labels who could not afford to have their own tasting room, and Wandering Dog’s location was deliberately chosen to fill a void in what was then, a rather quiet “West End” of Solvang.

“We love this location. The majority of our business is tourists, and this end of town has a heavy concentration of hotels. Guests looking for something to do in the evenings, need only walk a few steps to Wandering Dog. Even from our early days, we’ve been open later than a good portion of Solvang businesses, which has also helped to build our local following and our fan base from within the wine industry,” said Jody Williams, Wandering Dog’s Events & Marketing Director.

As a testament to Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s loyal, local support, is the fact that Wandering Dog has been voted “Best Wine Tasting Room” for the last three years, in the Santa Ynez Valley News annual “Best of the Valley” readers’ poll.

Wandering Dog Wine Bar is located at 1539-C Mission Drive (next to Paula’s Pancake House), SolvangCA93463. As one of Solvang’s few businesses open late into the evening, Wandering Dog Wine Bar’s hours are Monday through Thursday1:00 PM to 8:00 PMFriday1:00 PM to 10:00 PMSaturday11:00 AM to 10:00 PMand Sunday, 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Free street parking is available. To reach Wandering Dog Wine Bar directly, please call 805.686.9126.

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