By Heather Rader
Posted On: May 16, 2022
When the weather is nice, there's nothing better than sipping on a glass of wine and sitting outside at a local Ohio winery. One thing which might make it better, is sharing that experience with your beloved pup. If your dog is your best friend and you love to explore with them, there's plenty of dog-friendly wineries to visit in Ohio!
With dozens of pet-friendly wineries throughout the state, wine lovers are welcome to bring their well-behaved pups with them to enjoy a glass of wine, grab a bite to eat, and to relax while spending quality time with their best friend.
Recently, my husband and I spent the afternoon exploring a few pet-friendly wineries with our Golden Retriever, Lulu. We visited three wineries along the Vines & Wines Wine Trail in Northeast Ohio. There are nearly two dozen dog-friendly wineries throughout Ohio's Wine Country that dogs will enjoy just as much as their owners!
We started the day in Lake County at Laurentia Vineyard and Winery with a wine tasting, lunch, and stroll through the vineyard and around the pond. With an expansive stone patio overlooking the vines and a pond, it's the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful day with your pup. While we enjoyed our wines, Lulu enjoyed laying in the shade watching the birds fly over the vineyard.
Pets are not permitted inside the tasting room and restaurant, but they are allowed on the patio.
While the outdoor tables are spaced out nicely, I would recommend asking for a table farthest away from the tasting room as those are quieter and closer to the grass. Dogs must be leashed when visiting Laurentia Vineyard and Winery.
Our next pet-friendly winery was South River Vineyard in Geneva. As one of the largest growers of vinifera growers in the area, the spectacular vineyard views make for the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of wine while snuggling with your pup. This boutique winery is located in an old church, and while dogs are not permitted in the tasting room, be sure to take a minute to see the inside without your pup.
There's plenty of outdoor seating on the veranda, pavilion, and surrounding vineyards. Bring a blanket and picnic to enjoy a quieter experience or sit in the large pavilion for expansive vineyard views. Dogs must be leashed when visiting South River Vineyard.
The last stop on our dog-friendly winery afternoon was at Grand River Cellars Winery in Madison. Grand River Cellars offers over 20 wines and a full-service restaurant, making this winery a great spot for lunch or dinner. While dogs are not permitted inside the tasting room, restaurant, or upper outdoor patio, they are allowed on the lower outdoor patio.
We enjoyed a glass of wine and an appetizer while Lulu was being admired by the neighboring table of dog lovers. Since the dog-friendly patio is smaller than the dining patio, I would suggest visiting during the week or for lunch to avoid the weekend crowds. Dogs must be leashed when visiting Grand River Cellars.
A fun spot to visit in Ohio's Wine Country that caters to you and your beloved pup is Ruff Life on the Lake. This dog-friendly restaurant, wine, and beer bar is located in Geneva-on-the-Lake and has a doggie boutique and offers doggie daycare. Or head to the Winery at Wolf Creek in Norton for their "Yappy Hours," which feature wine and food trucks for you and dog to enjoy.
Tips for visiting a winery with your dog:
- Call ahead to verify pets are welcome at the winery
- Keep your dog leashed and always have full control of your pup
- Pick up after your pet
- Be respectful as not all people like dogs and/or are comfortable around dogs
- If it's a warm day, leave your pet at home or wait until sundown when it's cooler to visit
- If your dog gets overstimulated by crowds of people or loud noises, visit during the week to avoid crowds
- While some wineries provide water bowls, I'd recommend bringing a bowl and bottled water just in case
- Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and any alcohol, including wine, can make your pet ill
Cheers to dog-friendly Ohio wineries!
For more pet-friendly attractions and places to visit in Wine Country, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org.