Winery Dogs (and a Cat)
Newsflash! Triangle Wine Country Tours is getting a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy! Our first dog was also a Berner: Sierra (see below left with our daughter Chloe in 2001) and we were so in love with her, I knew my next dog had to be a Berner too.
As we await the arrival of our Cassie, short for Cascade, as in the mountain range (below right at 6 weeks), I reflect on the long tradition of winery dogs. Coffee table books abound with adorable photos of winery dogs: California, Napa, Sonoma, Walla Walla, New York, Australia and Oregon. Plus one lone book on winery cats.
We have met a handful of winery dogs (and one cat!) on our wine tours here in the Willamette Valley. The first wine dog we met last year was Fizzy the Airedale at Monksgate (see above left). Fizzy’s owner is Rebecca Moore, owner of Monksgate, who lives next door to the tasting room housed in a lovely barn amongst the vineyard in Carlton, Oregon. Fizzy greets all guests upon arrival with a ball in his mouth looking for a willing playmate. He even has a namesake wine: Monksgate’s Fizzy Dry Riesling with little dog paw print bubbles on the label. Sitting in adirondack chairs facing the coastal range to the west sipping great riesling, rose and pinot noirs while playing catch with Fizzy is an idyllic way to spend a typical warm and breezy Willamette Valley summer afternoon…
Meet another winery dog: Paco (see above right) at Keeler Estate Vineyard, Paco is happy to join your tasting and receive as much attention as you wish to share! This winery in Amity, Oregon is owned by the Keeler Family and tastings are hosted by Gabriele herself. At Keeler, you can enjoy Biodynamic/Demeter certified pinot noirs, pinot gris, rosé, white blend and port. Plus their views are amazing! Make a trip up the hill for great views of the Cascades.
My winery cat story is from Sokol Blosser, one of the oldest wineries in the Willamette Valley. It was first established in 1971 by Susan Sokol and Bill Blosser, after which their son Alex trained as the winemaker and is now president. During a visit with a group of guests last summer, while enjoying the new outdoor patio, one guest opened the tasting menu when Harry the cat climbed into his lap like he owned the place (I guess he does!). Harry is one of a pair of cats. His brother Sebastian is more shy and did not make an appearance. Cats are welcome at most farms to control rodents, after all vineyards are just our favorite farms, right?
We plan to invite Cassie on wine tours (as guests and wineries allow) and eventually train her as a therapy dog. Socialization with all types of humans and dogs is the best way to acclimate dogs to be friendly and calm, so the more opportunities the better!
Interested in touring with Cassie? Comment when you book and we will do our best to bring her on board!