Exploring Pet-Friendly Wineries: Types, Locations, and More

Visiting a winery can be a perfect spring activity to relax and enjoy the outdoors as the weather warms up. And sometimes that chilled glass of fresh Sauvignon Blanc is best enjoyed with a cute pup by your side.

Many businesses, including wineries, have become increasingly pet-friendly in recent years. While there are many pet-friendly wineries, there is no one-size-fits-all pet policy, so it’s important to do your research before visiting. Here’s information on pet-friendly wineries, including how to find them, what to expect, and tips before you go.

What Are Pet-Friendly Wineries?

Pet-friendly wineries are exactly what they sound like—wineries where you can bring your furry friend. But different pet policies often mean there are different levels of “pet-friendliness.” Certain wineries may require pets to be on a leash, restrict pets to certain parts of the winery, or enforce restrictions on pets or breeds.

While wineries may use the term “pet friendly,” dogs are by far the most common pets you’ll encounter at a winery. However, if you have a particularly sociable cat (or rabbit, lizard, or guinea pig) that’s comfortable in public, you may be able to take them to a pet-friendly winery that welcomes all pets.

Exploring Pet-Friendly Wineries: Types, Locations, and More

Types of Pet-Friendly Wineries

On the theoretical scale of pet friendliness, imagine one side being “pet friendly” and the other “pet allowed.”

Typically, pet-friendly businesses don’t just allow pets, they encourage them. Pet-friendly wineries often have amenities specifically for pet owners, like water bowls, treats, poop bag stations, or an on-site dog park. You’ll usually see lots of pets and pet owners at these places.

Businesses that allow pets often have more restrictions and fewer amenities. A common restriction at wineries is that pets are allowed in the outdoor area but not in the tasting room.

It’s important to respect pet policies and remember that just because some places have restrictions doesn’t mean the winery owners or staff don’t mind animals. Often times, there are reasons for restrictions that are outside of their control, such as zoning regulations or state laws.

How to Find Pet-Friendly Wineries

There are several ways to find a pet-friendly winery near you. One of our favorite ways is to use online resources that have already done the research for you. These sites often have lists, ratings, and reviews of pet-friendly businesses. We recommend BringFido, which has reviews of hotels, restaurants, activities, and events in all 50 states, and Cork Hounds, where you can search for dog-friendly wineries, vineyards, mead breweries, and breweries by zip code.

You can also look up the pet policy of a winery in your area. You can often find out if pets are allowed by checking the website’s FAQ page, but sometimes it takes a bit of research. If you can’t find any information about pet policies on the company’s website, you may have success by searching its social media pages or typing the winery’s name and “pet friendly” or “pet policy” into a search engine. As a last resort, you can always call a winery and ask about its pet policy. If a winery doesn’t openly advertise its pet policy, pets may not be very welcome there.

Exploring Pet-Friendly Wineries: Types, Locations, and More

What to Expect When Visiting a Pet-Friendly Winery

If this is your first time taking your pet to a winery or similar venue, you can probably expect some behavioral differences in your pet. Your Golden Retriever may be a well-behaved, obedient angel at home, but in a new environment with new sights, sounds and smells, that upbringing can be lost, so it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on him.

You can also probably expect a little more attention from other pet lovers, especially those who are particularly sociable after a glass or two of wine. If your pet is skittish, politely ask people who approach to either slow down or leave your pet alone. Also, be mindful of children, as they are often allowed at wineries.

No matter how pet-friendly the winery is, don’t expect them to have everything you need, so it’s always a good idea to bring your own water bowl and plenty of fresh water. You may also want to bring a snack or toy to keep your pet occupied.

Tips for Visiting a Pet-Friendly Winery

As with most trips, before visiting a winery with your pet, ask yourself: Am I doing this for my pet or for me? Consider whether your pet will really enjoy being in a place that may be crowded or overstimulating. Questions you may want to ask include:

Does my pet enjoy exploring new places and meeting new people?

Has my pet ever bitten or poses a threat to the safety of other people or animals?

Can my pet relax and sit quietly in a winery setting?

Can I have fun or should I be concerned about my pet?

If you still decide to bring your pet, here are some tips for you:

Come prepared: Check out the pet policy of the winery you plan to visit and bring water, treats, and other items your pet may need.

Choose a leash and collar or harness wisely: Your pet will likely need to stay on a leash for a while, so they may be more comfortable with a harness than a collar. You may also need a leash that you can attach to your chair or table so you can keep your hands free.

Know the weather: If it’s too hot or too cold, taking your pet to an outdoor winery can be uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.

Be careful around grapes: Grapes are toxic to dogs, so it’s probably not a good idea to take them for a walk through the vines of the vineyard where they could eat fallen grapes.

Be responsible: Ultimately, you are responsible for your pet, so you should be aware of where they are and what they are doing at all times. It can be tempting to let loose and relax, especially when wine is involved, but unless you’re prepared to care for your pet throughout your adventure, it’s best to leave them at home.