Wine tasting is never complete until you meet the owner—the one who runs the place. The one who keeps order, assures no one is misbehaving, knows who comes and goes, and is sure to pick up any wayward food bites you might drop. Of course, we’re talking about the winery dog.
It’s a good life that most of us can only envy. These even-tempered and carefree workers perform their job with the precision of a well-oiled machine. A quick cameo with each guest, accept any extended hands, follow all that up by a long nap in the sunshine, then repeat. Precision, I tell you.
Up at Arlyn Vineyard, Miss Cooper has elevated the gig to an art form. She’s even a social media celebrity, appearing in most of the owner, Janis Pate’s, Facebook posts. She’s also a celebrity chef, with a pretty-great recipe for peanut butter and bacon dog treats. It was published on the Willamette Valley Visitors Association website.
Akiko Shiba at Shiba Wichern Cellars introduced us to Kaibu. Hers’ is a Japanese name, derived from the word for “monster.” I think Kaibu is anything but! Jojo watches the vines and supervises the activity at Styring. Chehalem Mountain might not be Everest, and their Tibetan Mastiff might not be a Sherpa, but Tenzing runs things at Mad Violets Wine Company. Cherokee and Caramel run the place at Natalie's Estate Winery. Cherokee even has a side gig, as a service dog at Providence Newberg. Not every winery has a winery dog (though they should). A few outliers have a variation on the theme with a winery cat. Mogli runs the place at Parrett Mountain Cellars.
We might secretly wish for their life, but the winery dogs of Newberg really do provide a service for their guests. They make all of these wineries feel like home. If you’d like a dog of your own (or a cat), consider adopting one from the Newberg Animal Shelter. Choosing your new best friend might make your place feel more like home too!
Winery dogs are a fun story to tell. If you have a winery dog and would like them featured in a future article, just let us know!
Written by: Ron Miller