When I mention Winery Dogs, I’m not taking about the classic-rockish “super group” of the same name, which is due to release its third album on August 4.
No, I’m talking about actual dogs at actual wineries — in some cases dogs that reside on the estates and serve as the winemaker’s best friend, and in other cases dogs that guests bring to wineries for a visit.
For twenty years, Australians Susan Elliott and Craig McGill have done a fabulous job of photographing winery dogs in impossibly cute poses. Thanks to a book on Down Under canines and their stories being so successful, their Wine Dogs company has become a full-fledged publisher of multiple books, calendars, greeting cards and other products — all devoted to the love of wine and dogs.
But what about your dog? Will it be welcome as you zig-zag between Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail in California’s Napa Valley?
While many wineries are welcoming to dogs, others are not. That means you need to know before you go, especially during the summer months when the valley heat can make it dangerous and cruel to leave pets in cars.
A great resource is the Rover.com website, which lists the “Top 8 Dog-Friendly Wineries in Napa Valley”.
In addition to the list, the blog includes some useful information on each winery. As an example, it notes that Honig Vineyard & Winery “is not only dog-friendly, but uses ‘sniffer’ dogs to identify female mealybug pheromones. This allows Honig to remove infested vines and avoid the use of pesticides.”
Most folks who have dogs already know how to identify pet-friendly hotels and motels. Now, with a little advance planning, you’ll also know at which wineries your best friend will be welcomed.