Over the years, many of Oregon’s winery dogs and cats have become unofficial tasting-room ambassadors and are known to greet guests with eager tail wags and purring ankle rubs. Here are some of the fluffy friends that make winery visits even more welcoming.
Barn Cat Philanthropists in the Dundee Hills
Harry and Sebastian are handsome orange and white cat brothers that were originally found in the Sokol Blosser Winery barn in Dayton as fluffy kittens. Among a menagerie of dogs, goats and chickens on the property, they are known for their mice-catching antics. In addition to their Instagram fame, the brothers have also dipped their paws into charity fundraising. T-shirts featuring Team Harry and Team Sebastian have raised money for the Homeward Bound Pets no-kill shelter in Yamhill County.
This heritage winery — run by second-generation winemakers — just celebrated 50 years. Before you visit to sample their award-winning pinot noir, be sure to make a reservation for a seated, 75-minute experience in a lovely tasting room overlooking the vineyards.
Seasoned Hunter on Chehalem Mountain
A cross between a Bengal and an Ocicat, also known as the Cheetoh cat, Sonny Boy of Freja Cellars in Hillsboro acts as regal as he looks, especially when he’s angling to be petted by guests. He came to Freja Cellars as a kitten for the sole purpose of catching pocket gophers. And that he did — about 100 per season in his younger days, topping 1,500 for his lifetime-achievement award. Now retired, Sonny Boy enjoys a leisurely lifestyle of cat luxury and takes naps on the warm brick patio.
Freja Cellars is located on Chehalem Mountain and requires an appointment to visit on all days but Thanksgiving and Memorial Day weekends. Sip a selection of pinot noir, albarino and rose from the gracious tasting room overlooking vines facing the south and southwest.
Special Delivery From Dundee
If there is a cat that likes to watch people, it’s Jack. Jack joined the Lange Winery family around 14 years ago by just showing up. Perhaps, it is speculated, he arrived in Dundee as a stowaway and hopped out of a delivery truck. The theory developed over the years, as it was clear Jack loved hanging out in delivery vehicles. In fact, he loved them so much, the winery staff refers to “de-Jacking the car” before anyone leaves. You can find Jack watching the winery action by the fire, near any guests who seem intriguing.
Lange Winery, founded in 1987, is a pioneer in Oregon pinot gris production and offers panoramic views over 30 acres at the top of Dundee. Make a reservation for tastings in their state-of-the-art tasting room or in a heated outdoor dome.
Puppy Fever and Pet Treats on 200 Acres
At nine months, Paco, an Australian shepherd, runs around the Keeler Estate Vineyard’s 200 acres in Amity with enthusiastic abandon. His adventures include jumping into the pond and playing with the visiting dogs of wine-tasting guests.
Located halfway between Dayton and Salem, Keeler Estate has always been dog-friendly and welcomes your well-behaved dogs when visiting. With over 2 miles of hiking trails winding around the vines and forest, Keeler makes for a perfect afternoon trek with your pup on-leash before relaxing at one of the tables under the thicket of trees adjacent to the tasting room. It’s not only a great place for wine tasting; it’s wonderful for a puppy nap.
Wine club members have the thoughtful option of a pet treat add-on for each wine shipment, which comes with a donation to a local animal shelter.
Terrier Inspects Winery, Yurt, Guests
When winemaker Thomas Savre shows up with little Archie — a fluffy black Scottish terrier — at Lingua Franca in Salem, everyone knows he’ll be checking out operations, too. Archie’s route includes the winery and checking in on any guests seated in the outdoor, glamping-style yurt that’s decked out with ambiance lighting and decorative throw rugs.
Lingua Franca produces Burgundian-influenced wines from a 66-acre vineyard in the Eola-Amity AVA outside of Salem. The winery is open Thursday through Monday by reservation only. For the ambitious wine enthusiast, Lingua Franca offers a private blind-tasting experience of limited-production wines from their cellar.
Charming Host at the Grain Elevator in Carlton
When guests sit on the tufted red-leather couches in the center of the Flâneur Wines tasting room in Carlton, they soon are visited by Ramsie, the winery’s black Lab. It is said that no one can resist such devastating charm, especially when she rests her head on guests’ knees.
Located in the renovated and iconic Carlton Grain Elevator in the center of town, Flâneur Wines is open seven days a week by reservation only. Be sure not to miss their monthly supper club, an ever-evolving prix fixe menu paired with wine. Pro tip for the paparazzi: When Ramsie is not in Carlton, she runs wild and free at Flâneur’s La Belle Promenade vineyard in Newberg, greeting visitors to the big blue barn.