Wine’s Finest Mates: Canine of California Wine Nation

Dogs are always there for us – they lift our spirits, make us smile, and encourage us to stay active and engaged. Recent studies suggest that having a dog nearby may help reduce a person’s stress levels and even lower their risk of health problems like high blood pressure.

That’s no surprise to the California winemakers who share their canine family members and favorite dog stories in this cover story.

“I appreciate the calming influence of a dog,” said Barbara Banke, chairwoman of Jackson Family Wines and owner of three Happy Go Lucky Ranch dogs.

Winemaker Kathryn Hall says of Rocky, her globetrotting spaniel: “We crave companionship, and when your dog is with you there is someone who loves you.”

For Caymus founder Chuck Wagner and his son Joe Wagner, owner and winemaker of Copper Cane, everything revolves around camaraderie with dogs, regardless of whether they do magic in the vineyards or ride in a truck. Go out the window. “They seem to pick up feelings,” says Joe.

On the following pages you will meet two dozen dogs who work and play alongside their winemaker owners and also act as ambassadors on the best wineries in the wine country. It’s just a selection – there are many more wagging tails waiting to welcome you at the tasting room doors – but we hope this story introduces you to some you know by name when they see you at a future one Welcome visit.