5 wineries to visit with your pup in Prince Edward County

5 wineries to visit with your pup in Prince Edward County

Enjoy the dog days of summer with a glass of Pinot and your pooch at your side.

September 13, 2019

If you love wine and dogs, you’ll be smitten with Prince Edward County. Two and a half hour’s drive from Toronto and four hours from Montreal, it’s home to around 40 wineries and an abundance of walking trails along farmland, sand dunes, sparkling lakes and dramatic bluffs. These are our favourite wineries where dogs are welcome.

Three Dog Winery
Sacha and John Squair had three Golden Retriever rescues, Angus, Sienna and Chevy, when they decided to move to Prince Edward County to make wine. “We were looking for somewhere big enough for our dogs to run around, and this property had a mix of field and ponds and forest, so it seemed perfect.” In the summer of 2000, when the couple began planting vines, their furry pack would hang out with them all day in their Picton vineyard, and snuggle up to them as they camped at night. “Those original three dogs are now buried here,” says Sacha. Today winery visitors may be greeted by Jersey, Rieki or Bakkus, their Golden successors.

Visitors enjoying their glass of wine with their dog.

“The whole property is licensed, so you can walk your dog on the trails and take a glass of wine with you,” says Sacha. (Try the Doghouse White, Red or Rosé). The patio is also dog-friendly, so you can listen to live music with Fido there on weekends (June to September) and eat wood-fired pizza (five days a week in July and August and on weekends in the quieter months). Note to yoga lovers: Sacha gives classes on-site, so before you start sampling, you can get your downward dog on!


Karlo Estates
Even though we have a lot of cats on the property, we do love dogs,” says wine steward Melody Van Koughnett from Karlo Estates. (Look out for Little Bug, the friendly calico kitty with a split black-and-orange face.) The Wellington winery’s grounds are highly hikeable: “We have a beautiful arched drystone bridge over a brook, where people love to wander and take photos,” says Van Koughnett.

At Karlo Estates, barn cats—like Little Bug— are king, but dogs are welcome to join their owners in the tasting room and picnic area.

Karlo Estates is the world’s first vegan-certified winery, so it’s an excellent choice for animal lovers. No fish bladder, egg, milk or gelatine products are used to clarify the wine—just potato or pumpkin proteins. Patrons can sample wine by the glass in the 1805 post-and-beam barn tasting room, along with chips and dips or crackers and cheese (a.k.a. “treats”, if you ask the furry guy staring you down from the end of the table).


Huff Estates
Huff Estates is the only winery in the county with an on-site inn. Good news: four of the 21 rooms are dog-friendly! “Small dogs” are permitted to curl up in these designated deluxe rooms—no precise weight or height is specified—and there’s a $20 pet fee, for rooming with your furry best bud.

Leashed dogs can explore the grounds with their owners at this Bloomfield winery (although neither human nor canine visitors are allowed in the vineyard). If you come by on a Tuesday, you can enjoy live music and a glass of award-winning Chardonnay on the restaurant patio. And, on any day of the week, you can check out the four-acre sculpture garden, next to the vines, which is the perfect place for a morning or evening walk. You and Fido can discover 60 dynamic art installations in the serene natural setting there.


Long Dog Winery
This Milford winery was named after co-owners James Lahti and Victoria Rose’s original Wirehaired Dachshund, Otto, whose ashes are now scattered under the first Pinot vine they planted there in 1999. The current Dachshunds-in-residence are Flora and Fern. There are bottles named after all six of the couple’s past and present Dachshunds, with adorable wiener-themed branding. “Dogs are always very welcome,” says Lahti. “We have a beautiful old farm, with heritage buildings, and we encourage people to come here and picnic.”

At Long Dog Estates, Wire-Haired Dachshunds are the dogs of choice, but all other breeds are—of course—welcome.

Long Dog is best known for its Pinot and Chardonnay—they have some of the oldest vines in the county—and for its sparklers. Visitors can sample, with Fido by their side, in the restored 1830s tasting room, which has a deck overlooking the vineyards. Starting this fall, patrons can sign up to join the Woof Wine Club to receive wine in the mail, four times a year. “As a member you’ll get first dibs on new releases at a discount, and there’ll be invitations to barrel tastings too.”


Sugarbush Winery
Known as the garagiste winemaker of the county, Sugarbush does small-batch wines using only grapes from their own estate. And for Sally and Robert Peck, co-owners of this Hallowell winery, every day is bring-your-(fur)-kids-to-work day. While their two dogs, Acer and Taffy, tend to keep a low profile, patrons can request to visit with the two sweet Goldens. And if you come with your own canine companion, there’s an outdoor picnic area and a trail, where you can walk the dogs by the vines—or snowshoe in winter. (Snowshoes can be rented on site.)

The resident rescue Golden Retrievers at Sugarbush are happy to share the trails with visitors … both people and pooches.

There are special events throughout the year, such as corn roasts, art receptions and barbecues. If you’re in the region on a Saturday, from 11-4, stop in for a gourmet grilled cheese. “We do brie and apple, goat cheese and prosciutto, or bacon and cheddar,” says Sally. “And our patio is dog-friendly.” Traveller’s tip: Take home a bottle of Maple Red, with its Golden Retriever-emblazoned label, as a thank-you gift for your dog sitter.


Photo credits:

Photos 1, 4 and 5: Valerie Howes

Photo 2: Karlo Estates

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