Top 10 ultimutt wineries
ENJOY A GLASS OF BORDEAUX WITH YOUR BORDER COLLIE OR A NICE CHARDONNAY WITH YOUR SHELTIE, AND LET YOUR DOG'S NOSE (AND THIS LIST) BE YOUR GUIDE TO THE WEST'S DOG FRIENDLIEST WINERIES.
Written by Brianne Downing; photography by Jamie Pflughoeft
1. Sleeping Dog Wines WASHINGTON
Your dogs are welcome to run around in the vineyard across the road and nose around in Sleeping Dog Wines’ tasting room. Aurora, a shepherd mix shelter dog, is the namesake at this Benton City, Wash., winery, and owners Larry and Joyce Oats include her in much of the winemaking process. Aurora oversees the whole operation, from inspecting the vines daily and helping Larry determine when to begin tasting to greeting guests and posing for pictures. The Oats family encourages you to call ahead (509.460.2886) to make sure they’re around. sleepingdogwines.com.
2. Dutch Henry Winery CALIFORNIA
Your well-behaved canine companions are welcome at the Dutch Henry Winery in Calistoga, Calif. There’s no leash requirement here, and the three Airedale terriersBuggsy, Sadie and Minniewho call this winery home, are always excited to play. If your dog is lucky, pugs Henry and Olive might be around for frolicking as well. While at the Dutch Henry, try the Napa Valley Argos, a Bordeaux-style blend. We hear it’s the most dynamic and complex of the wines available. 888.224.5879. dutchhenry.com
3. Bonair Winery WASHINGTON
Bonair Winery, located in Zillah, Wash., farms 40 acres of estate vineyards in the Yakima Valley, including the home vineyard of Château Puryear. It is also home to Bung the Wonder Dog, an Australian shepherd, the inspiration behind the popular Bung Dog Red. When stopping here, do note that dogs are not allowed in the tasting room, but are welcome to roam outside. Leashes are advised because of ducks on the property. 509.829.6027. bonairwine.com
4. Mutt Lynch Winery CALIFORNIA
Sonoma County, Calif. winery Mutt Lynch is one of our favorites because it is proud to support a variety of dog-related charities each year, including Washington’s own Wenatchee Humane Society. As the tasting room at Mutt Lynch is by appointment only, do call before arriving. Try the Merlot Over and Play Deadowner Brenda Lynch claims this wine “is not a wimpy merlot.” Mutt Lynch will even host special events for your canine and her furry friendsbirthday parties, puppy showers and “bark” mitzvahs! And, every August, Mutt Lynch hosts the Dog Days of Summer, a dog-friendly fundraising, wine tasting, hot dog eating event to support the Healdsburg Animal Shelter. 707.942.6180. muttlynchwinery.com.
5. Oak Knoll Winery OREGON
Oak Knoll Winery, located just 18 miles west of Portland in beautiful Willamette Valley, Oregon, is the perfect spot to soak up the sights of the surrounding Chehalem mountain ridge with your sheepdog. Once the site of a dairy, the winery’s major red focus is pinot noir, and its pinot gris is the winery’s most popular dry white. Though leashes are required and the owners prefer dogs not in the tasting room, the lawn areas are large enough for running. 800.625.5665. oakknollwinery.com
6. Hyatt Vineyards WASHINGTON
Noted for its spacious and well-stocked tasting room, the Hyatt Vineyards in Zillah, Wash., overlooks the Eastern Cascade Range and provides beautiful views of Mt. Adams. Though dogs aren’t allowed in the tasting area, your pups will love to sniff and roam around the large off-leash picnic area. 509.829.6333. hyattvineyards.com
7. Eola Hills Winery OREGON
The Eola Hills Winery, about 25 minutes from Salem, Ore. in the natural weather shadow of the Coast Range, has more than 25 wines at any given time to sample, but it is best known for its pinot noir collection. Those with sophisticated palates will appreciate limited-quantity reserve and late-harvest wines, and others will love consumer-friendly wines at great prices. Dogs must be on leashes, though they are welcome in the tasting room. 800.291.6730. eolahillswinery.com.
8. Sokol Blosser Winery OREGON
Sokol Blosser Winery in Dundee, Ore., is home to two famous pooches. Yellow lab André and white standard poodle Twix, Sokol Blosser’s resident winery dogs, were included in Craig McGill and Susan Elliott’s 2008 book Wine Dogs USA 2. As for the winery, Sokol Blosser’s 85-acre estate features pinot noir and pinot gris grapes, and the staff encourages you to bring your dogs, a picnic lunch and stay for the afternoon. Dogs here are welcome in the tasting room. 888.582.6668. sokolblosser.com.
9. RustRidge Ranch & Winery CALIFORNIA
RustRidge sits on 450 acres just a 15-minute drive from the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, and boasts three yellow Labs, 13 cats, 17 horses and 14 turkeys among the wildlife. This Chiles Valley B&B has separate accommodations for guests with dogsa one-bedroom cottage with plenty of room for your canine to runand since canines are welcome to nose around in the tasting room, this is one of our top choices. 800.788.0263. rustridge.com
10. Dunham Cellars WASHINGTON
Dunham Cellars makes our list because it implements sustainable vineyard growing practices in all of its vineyards, and with three border collie mixes at Dunham Cellars and more dogs at the coffee shop next door, the Walla Walla, Wash., winery doesn’t seem to mind an extra dog or two on its grounds. Dogs are preferred to stay outside, but there’s plenty of room to roam. While there, try the Three-Legged Red, named after Port, the beloved border collie who passed away in May. 509.529.4685. dunhamcellars.com