Vincent Arroyo, the founder of California’s Vincent Arroyo Winery, once observed: “You can’t make wine without a dog.”
We’re not sure exactly what Arroyo meant by that, but we do know that dogs can serve a number of useful purposes on a wine estate.
They can be trained to chase away birds and other animals that like to munch on grapes at harvest time.
They can announce the arrival of guests to an otherwise quiet winery tasting room.
And, of course, they can serve as companions to grape growers and winemakers in the vineyards and cellars of the wine world.
Because so many winery owners have dogs, a number of wine estates welcome visits by those of the canine persuasion. Particularly in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, there is a large concentration of dog-friendly wineries.
Foursight Wines is home to a dog named Ozzie, and if he happens to be roaming the grounds or is otherwise occupied, visiting dogs are welcome to relax on his bed while you sample the estate’s wines. 707-895-2889.
Dogs are welcome inside the relatively small tasting room at Husch Vineyards. But an even better option, when the weather cooperates, is the deck behind the tasting room, where there’s more room for sniffing around. 800-554-8724.
Well-behaved pups also are welcome at Maple Creek Winery, where they’ll be greeted by the owners of the estate as well as their dogs. There’s also a dog-friendly picnic area on the property. 707-895-3001.
There’s plenty of room for dogs to roam at Toulouse Vineyards, including the large tasting area and the outside loading dock. 707-895-2828.
Yorkville Cellars allows dogs in the tasting room if it’s not too busy, and they’re always welcome on the big front porch. 707-894-9177.
But if there’s one place in the Anderson Valley that could be described as “dog heaven,” it’s Navarro Vineyards, where you’ll find a reflecting pool with a dog sculpture, built in honor of one of the estate’s gone but not forgotten residents.
There are several picnic tables on the grounds, and the winery even has a fenced-in exercise area for our four-legged friends. But that’s not all. Navarro also keeps a bowl of fresh water and doggy treats in the tasting room. 800-537-9463.
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4 Books Devoted to Wineries and Their Dogs
Allen Jacoby and Andrea MacNamara Jacoby are the co-founders of Winery Dogs Publishing, which has published four beautiful books about wineries that are home to canine companions.
They decided to merge two of their passions – wine and dogs – with a third passion of Andrea’s: photography.
Other family members also pitch in, and the resulting books make great gifts for people who share the same passions as the Jacobys. Currently available titles deal with winery dogs in New York, Sonoma, Napa Valley and Central California.
For ordering information, visit winerydogs.com.