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Touring wineries with your furry, four-legged friend

As the weather heats up, who can’t wait for another beautiful Okanagan summer — with wine! Hopefully pandemic restrictions will ease as the B.C. vaccination program is in full swing. Getting out and about will likely be top of mind for many people.

In the Okanagan that often means visiting the myriad of local wineries that produce a stellar array of vintages — wines that are making names for themselves on the world stage.

And for many, what better travelling companion is there than a dog? And, yes, our furry friends are welcome at many wineries throughout the valley. But there are a few rules to keep in mind.

First and foremost, dogs that like to accompany their owners on a winery visit must be kept on a leash at all times and must be well behaved. With other people around — as well as other dogs — and maybe even a winery pooch on-site to help welcome both two-legged and four-legged friends, it’s especially important that rambunctious pets do not spoil the enjoyment of the experience for everyone.

If your dog is calm and well-behaved, many area wineries will welcome them with open arms. Some may even have a treat for your pet as you sample the wine.
Wineries that are pet-friendly are located up and down the valley and they want pet owners and their pets to experience all their establishments have to offer, in the best possible way.

Deep Roots Winery on the Naramata Bench, for instance, is a good example.
With its own guest-welcoming dog “on staff,” a 3 ½-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, the winery — which opened in 2014 — describes itself as very pet friendly and likes to welcome dogs onto the property.

While pandemic restrictions currently have the tasting room at Deep Roots — along with tasting rooms at all other B.C. wineries — currently closed, many wineries have moved tastings outdoors. There, wine can be enjoyed under the sun or the shade of a tree, using social distancing protocols and taking in the spectacular spring, summer and early fall weather the Okanagan offers.

Wineries that welcome dogs are especially helpful for visitors from out of town. Often, folks may be vacationing in the area with a pet and are hesitant to leave the animal behind at their hotel or in an RV when they go out sightseeing.

So it’s nice to let your dog enjoy the lush winery property with you instead of staying behind or — something that should never be done — leaving him or her in a vehicle. That can be can be extremely dangerous for a dog.

Relaxing with its owner, outdoors on the cool grass in the shade with a bowl of water and maybe a few doggie treats is a much more relaxing and safe way for your pet to enjoy a visit to a local winery — for your dog and you.

In the Okanagan, the list of wineries that welcome dogs is long but you should call ahead first, just to make sure. In addition to Deep Roots Winery near Naramata, here are just a few of the many Okanagan wineries that welcome dogs: 

In the South Okanagan:

  • Deep Roots Winery
  • See Ya Later Ranch Vineyard
  • Road 13 Vineyards
  • Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
  • Lake Breeze Winery

In Kelowna:

  • Summerhill Pyramid Winery
  • Tantalus Vineyards
  • Cedar Creek Estate Winery
  • St. Hubertus Winery
  • The View Winery
  • House of Rose Winery

In West Kelowna:

  • Quail’s Gate Winery
  • Kalala Organic Estate Winery
  • Rollingdale Winery
  • The Hatch Winery

In Lake Country:

  • Grey Monk Estate Winery
  • 50th Parallel Estate Winery
  • Intrigue Wines
  • Ancient Hill Winery

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