The Dogs of Virginia Wineries

The Dogs of Virginia Wineries

We didn’t think that Virginia wineries could get any better, but add in a pup or two and that’s an absolutely perfect way to spend an afternoon! While most Virginia wineries are pet-friendly, allowing you to bring your dogs along for a day at the vineyards, many also have their own winery mascots. These four-legged friends often protect the vines from pests, but they are also there to greet visitors and get lots of pets in the process. Meet the friendliest and most lovable vineyard employees, the dogs (and cats!) of Virginia wineries.


Captain—New Kent Winerynew kent winery captain the winery dog

Age: 5 years old 

Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever

Fun Facts: Captain’s main job at the winery is security, ensuring that no animal enters the vineyards to snack on grapes. While he began as a naughty employee, occasionally stealing lunches from other workers, he has settled into his role and become a model employee for the vineyard.


Cara, Calvin, & Cody—Elk Island WineryElk Island winery cara calvin and cody winery dogs

Age: 1 year old, 3 years old and 4 years old, respectively

Breed: Cairn Terriers and Yorkshire Terrier

Fun Facts: Calvin and Cody were “hired” to chase off vermin from the vines, but they have shifted to a part-time role in the tasting room, where they spend time mingling with guests and melting hearts to gain lots of snacks. Their winery nickname is the “Elk Island Terroiriers”, a play on terrier and terroir. They have earned their own wine label for their hard work, Terroirier Red and Terroirier White, with a portion of the sale proceeds going to three different Terrier rescue groups. 


Rosie—Iron Heart Wineryiron heart winery Rosie the winery dog

Age: 7 years old

Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer

Fun Facts: Rosie was originally hired as a bird dog for guests staying at the winery to use during guided hunts. However, she quickly changed positions, becoming the winery’s top customer service representative in a short amount of time. She’s a gentle soul that absolutely loves fetching tennis balls. 


Crush—Cunningham Creek Winery


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Age: 7 months old

Breed: Australian Shepherd

Fun Facts: Crush loves everyone at the winery, even Spicy Cat, the vineyard’s resident feline. In addition to Crush and Spicy Cat, Cunningham Creek Winery is also home to Jack and Whip, two more vineyard dog mascots. 


Remi—Old Hill Cider and Showalter’s OrchardOld Hill Cider and Showalter's Orchard Remi the winery dog

Age: 9 years old

Breed: Brittany Spaniel

Fun Facts: Visitors to Old Hill Cider and Showalter’s Orchard often find Remi waiting in the parking lot, ready to walk with you to the farm store or usher you down rows of apple trees. 


Bramley—Old Hill Cider and Showalter’s OrchardOld Hill Cider and Showalter's Orchard Bramley the winery dog

Age: 3 years old

Breed: English Setter

Fun Facts: Like Remi, Bramley is all about making new friends, trotting obediently after his latest buddy as they explore the orchard and cidery. 


Flo, Jughead, Randy Travis, Winnie, Peebles, and Buster—Dog & Oyster WineryThe Dog & Oyster Vineyards winery dogs

Age: Ages vary

Breed: Hound Dog and Beagle Mixes

Fun Facts: As the name suggests, the dogs of Dog & Oyster Winery have been a staple in the vineyards since the winery opened. These dogs were rescued from the Lancaster County Animal Shelter and the Animal Welfare League, and they protect the vines from pesky deer and other grape-eating animals. Feel free to say “hi” to the pups when visiting, but you’ll have to go to them, as the animals are kept inside the enclosure with an invisible fence. Each dog has their own insulated dog house inside the vines, complete with radiator heaters and heated water buckets for the winter months and water misters for the summer months. 


RascalBarren Ridge Vineyard barren ridge vineyard rascal the dog

Age: 12 years old

Breed: Jack Russell Terrier

Fun Facts: Rascal visited the winery in 2008 and decided to stay permanently after his owners could not be found. This sweet boy often leads guests from their cars to the tasting room, making sure you don’t get lost along the way. If you take a seat, be ready for Rascal to make himself comfortable in your lap. 


Beau & FigKnight’s Gambit Vineyard


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Age: 2 and 1.5 years old, respectively

Breed: Shepherd Mix and Hound Mix

Fun Facts: Fig loves kids and tends to tag along with them as they play in the yard outside the tasting room. As the unofficial winery mascot, she greets customers at their cars and escorts them to the tasting room, even following them onto the deck for a few snuggles. Both Fig and Beau guard the vines, running off the pests attempting to sample the grapes. 


Brix WhiteChateau MerrillAnne WineryChateau Merrillanne Brix White the winery cat

Age: 2 years old

Breed: Yellow Tabby 

Fun Facts: During a winery potluck dinner, Brix showed up to eat and spent the evening mingling with the guests. Brix works in the tasting room every day, keeping pests at bay and greeting visitors, but he has a bad habit of showing up late and making himself comfortable in the laps of unassuming visitors. His hobbies include sleeping and getting nonstop belly rubs. 


Ti ReyReynard Florence Vineyard reynard florence ti rey the winery dog

Age: 7 years old

Breed: Corgi

Fun Facts: Ti Rey can be a bit of a diva when other dogs are around, but he loves greeting visitors at the door and herd them to their seats, where he’ll plop down by (and sometimes on) your feet while you sample the wines. 


Jackson—Abingdon Vineyard & Wineryabingdon vineyards jackson the winery dog

Age: 2 years old

Breed: Vizla

Fun Facts: Jackson is a social butterfly, especially with visiting dogs. He enjoys running around the vineyard with these pups, chasing birds, and fetching sticks from the river that runs beside the winery. 


Eli—Abingdon Vineyard & Wineryabingdon vineyards Eli the Winery Dog

Age: 11 years old

Breed: Unknown

Fun Facts: Eli is a rescue, so his breed is unknown, but he is 100% sweetheart. He spends his days greeting tasting room visitors, napping in front of the fireplace, and begging for salami. 


Dixie—Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery hill top berry farm dixie the winery dog

Age: 12 years old

Breed: Red & Blue Heeler Australian Cattle Dog Mix

Fun Facts: Dixie is the latest in a long line of Blue Heelers that have belonged to the owners of Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery. The breed is especially close to their hearts, and Dixie returns all of this love to winery employees and visitors alike. The winery carries special meads called Blue Heeler Dry Blueberry Wine and Little Heeler Sweet Blueberry Wine, and when they are in stock, they are purchased by Heeler fans all over the country. A portion of proceeds from the sale of every bottle goes to The Mosby Foundation, a nonprofit that helps finance animals in need of critical care.


Rkatsiteli “Rascal”—MountainRose Vineyardsmountainrose vineyards Rkatsiteli “Rascal” the winery cat

Age: 15 years old

Breed: Large Grey Exotic Tabby

Fun Facts: Named for the Rkatsiteli grape, one of 15 varieties grown at MountainRose Vineyards, Raskiteli, called Rascal for short, definitely lives up to his nickname. He was born the same year the winery was constructed, and he seems to think that it was built to serve as his house. Rascal is very friendly and loves greeting guests, periodically stopping in to see if anyone is willing to share snacks with him. Before leaving the winery, be sure to check your car, as Rascal has been known to catch a ride home with visitors before! 


Millie—Afton Mountain Vineyards


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Age: 5 years old

Breed: Boxer-Labrador Mix

Fun Facts: Millie loves playing with kids; she is more of a winery “greeter” than a vine protector. A rescue from the Augusta County animal shelter, Millie shamelessly begs for attention from every visitor, flopping onto her back for belly rubs whenever possible. She loves kids and will often run around with them, frolicking on the grounds until everyone is worn out and ready for a nap! 


Madison—Rosemont Vineyards & Wineryrosemont vineyard and winery madison the winery dog

Age: 10 years old

Breed: German Shepherd/Chow Mix

Fun Facts: Madison has spent her whole life at the winery. Her daily duties include greeting guests and playing with visiting children. 


Duchess—Beliveau Estate Winerybeliveau winery duchess the winery dog

Age: 17 years old

Breed: Unknown Mix

Fun Facts: Duchess may be up in age, but she can still race the tractor to the top of the vineyard and win. She is great with all visitors, stopping by each table for a few scratches and pets, and even welcomes cuddles from young children. 


Winston & Wyatt—Brix & Columns VineyardsBrix and Columns Vineyards winston and wyatt the winery dogs

Age: 9 years old and 13 weeks, respectively

Breed: Great Danes

Fun Facts: Winston has become such a fixture at the winery that he even has a monthly blog named after him (Wine with Winston) that details upcoming winery events, and Brix & Columns Vineyard is often affectionately referred to as “Winston’s House”. He likes to greet guests in the parking lot and ushers them to the tasting room. In 2019, Winston moved up in the ranks and began training Wyatt, who is learning the ropes of being an adorable tasting room host. 


Enzo—Hamlet Vineyards hamlet vineyards Enzo the winery dog

Age: Unknown 

Breed: Unknown

Fun Facts: Enzo is the official winery dog for Hamlet Vineyards. He stays busy following patrons around the vineyard during business hours. While his age and breed are unknown due to him being a rescue, his owners believe him to be an Australian Shepherd Mix who is about 8 or 9 years old. His job at the vineyard doesn’t include protecting the vines, but he does enjoy unsuccessfully chasing bunny rabbits from time to time. 


Tug—Effingham Manor Winery


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Age: 11 years old

Breed: Golden Retriever

Fun Facts: Tug has been voted Virginia Wine Dog of the Year three times, but he doesn’t let the fame go to his head. He spends his days patrolling the 12 acre vineyards to ensure everything is up to his strict standards, stopping into the tasting room to greet visitors. On cooler evenings, you’ll find Tug enjoying the warmth of the winery’s outdoor fireplace. 


Tug—Pearmund Cellarstug pearmund cellars winery dog

Age: 11 years old 

Breed: Golden Retriever

Fun Facts: Tug has never met a visitor at the winery that he didn’t like! He meets visitors at the door with a smile and a big tail wag, giving them his “cute look” until he gets all the pets and ear scratches. When he’s not mingling with the guests, Tug can be found snoozing in the sun. With his face is on a label, Tug is a major celebrity at the winery, and he even has his own Facebook page!


Gracie—Cardinal Point Winerycardinal point winery Gracie the winery dog

Age: 13 years old

Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer Mix

Fun Facts: Gracie has a keen interest in groundhogs, spending hours waiting outside a hole to say hello to its resident. She is a gentle and loving companion for visitors, but occasionally likes to voice her concerns when these visitors stray into the winemaking area. 


Rochambeau “Beau”—Gauthier Vineyard


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Age: 4 years old

Breed: Vizla

Fun Facts: Beau is so famous at Gauthier Vineyard that they named a wine after him–Sweet Beau. He works at the winery protecting the vines, chasing off deer and geese that come through his property. 


Dakota, Freckles, Lucy, Daisy, Bella, Bowman, Rudy, Teddy, Roxy, Jake, Rosebud, & Sandy—Good Luck Cellarsgood luck cellars winery dogs

Age: Ages Vary

Breed: Various Mixes

Fun Facts: There are a total of 12 vineyard dogs that make up the “Grape Vine Patrol Squad” at Good Luck Cellars, all rescue animals recruited from local shelters. Their jobs are to wander the vineyards and chase away wildlife so that the grapes can thrive and later become delicious wine. The dogs are lovingly cared for by the vineyard owners, and while they are mostly outdoor dogs, they each have their own dog house among the vines. Don’t expect these pups to come running when you arrive; they are kept on-site by an invisible fence, ensuring that they don’t try to go home with you, no matter how many milk bones you offer them!


Tucker—Chatham Vineyardschatham vineyards tucker the winery dog

Age: 2 years old 

Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever

Fun Facts: Tucker is from Montana and loves lacrosse balls, greeting customers in the tasting room, hunting and retrieving, chasing all sorts of animals from the vineyard, and most of all, he loves cuddling at home with his family. 


Frank the Cat—King Family Vineyards


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Age: Unknown, probably around 9 or 10 years old

Breed: Unknown

Fun Facts: Frank is a bit of a mystery, as he just showed up to the winery one day and decided it was his new home. He doesn’t think he works for the winery, instead choosing to believe that all the winery employees work for him. Frank has his own house, complete with a heated bed, and spends his days doing whatever he wants, from getting pets from visitors to wandering around the winery grounds. 


Dogbert—Glass House Wineryglass house winery Dogbert the winery dog

Age: 9 years old

Breed: Border Collie/Shiba Inu Mix

Fun Facts: Dogbert has two roles at Glass House Winery; she works as a greeter for guests visiting the tasting room while simultaneously keeping a close eye on the 50 acres of vines. And while it isn’t outlined in her contract, she also gives her official approval of all the food trucks that come to the winery. Dogbert holds a special place in her owner’s hearts, and not just because of her cuddling skills. In 2017, the son of the winery owners was diagnosed with brain cancer. During his illness and subsequent recovery, Dogbert stayed with him every step of the way, visiting him in the hospital, rehabilitation center, and eventually sticking by his side when he arrived home to recover. To this day, if he is on the property, Dogbert faithfully follows wherever he goes. 


Tell us, who is your favorite winery mascot?

The post The Dogs of Virginia Wineries appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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