We may have found one of the dog friendliest wine country locales around – the wineries and vineyards of the Yakima Valley of central Washington state.
The Yakima Valley is located about midway between Seattle, Spokane and Portland, OR. Unlike the gray drizzle often associated with Seattle and Portland near the coast, the Yakima Valley is a surprising, sunny gem tucked inland east of the Cascade Mountains. Here, you’ll find old west history, Native American culture, a veritable cornucopia of produce, and the heart of Washington’s Wine Country.
Located in the same latitude as the great wine-producing areas of France, the Yakima Valley is home to six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): Naches Heights, Rattlesnake Hills, Snipes Valley, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain, and Horse Heaven Hills. Here, many of the great varietals are planted, and you’ll delight in discovering unique finds in the fields and tasting rooms.
Although the Yakima Valley takes its wines very seriously, you’ll find a decided casualness and sense of fun here. People are relaxed, unpretentious, and delighted to share the local bounty with visitors – and that includes visitors of the canine persuasion!
Here are a couple of the area’s dog friendliest wineries:
Two Mountain Winery
2151 Cheyne Rd.
Zillah, WA 98953
Brothers Matthew and Patrick Rawn own and operate this 26-acre estate vineyard and winery. The Rawn brothers have a rich history behind them: their grandfather established a fruit orchard in the Yakima Valley in 1951, and the family has been farming ever since. The estate vineyard was planted in 2000, and the first vintage was produced in 2002. Two Mountain varietals include Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rose. The brothers work alongside the four winery dogs, each of which has its own profile on the winery’s website!
Two Mountain Winery is extremely dog friendly. In fact, earlier this summer it was named one of the top dog friendly wine tasting rooms by Wine Enthusiast magazine! Not only does Two Mountain Winery welcome dogs in the vineyards and tasting room, there are four full-time winery dogs making sure things run properly: Gus, Bentley, Rudy and Stoli. According to Tasting Room manager Kelly Wilde, Gus is a complete ham and adores a belly rub! “He will roll over and spread both sets of legs and grin up at about 85 percent of people who come into the tasting room…sometimes he, Stoli AND Bentley are on their backs in a line. Now THAT is a show!”
In addition to the four full-time winery dogs, Kelly brings her rescue, Dahlia, to work on weekdays. Recently, the winery took in a stray dog that wandered into the winery (she must have known Two Mountain was a supremely dog friendly establishment!). After being taken care of by winery staff for a few days, a couple visiting the winery actually took her home and named her Charly. What a happy ending!
Here’s the official word from Two Mountain Winery about visiting with your pet dogs:
Dogs are more than welcome. If they are outside, off-leash is fine. Let them run, poop in the orchard (not my yard please), lay in the grass, dig for gophers, roll in the grass, etc. If they are inside, they need to be acclimated to people, other dogs, and on leash. Please ask before entering the tasting room with your pup.
Bonair Winery and Vineyards
500 South Bonair Road
Zillah, Washington 98953
Bonair is a sunny, bright and happy spot in the Rattlesnake Hills area of the Yakima Valley. Here, you’ll of course find bountiful vineyards, plus park-like grounds which include a duck pond (but no rattlesnakes!). Reigning over this beautiful domain is the Wine Goddess – Shirley Puryear – and her dog, Bung, an Australian Shepherd. Incidentally, a bung is the stopper to seal the hole in a wine barrel. Bung even has a wine named after him – Bung Dog Red, which is a blended red.
Deborah Estrada, Bonair’s Event Coordinator, tells this about Bung:
Bung is very popular, but is never more memorable than during “Tapas” season. Bonair serves light Spanish snacks Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from late May into October. If there is an empty chair at your table, Bung will quickly take a seat. Then, watch him work his magic with the guests! First, he sits quietly for a few minutes. If you don’t offer him food, he gently reaches over and taps your arm with his paw as if to say, “Hey, could you spare a few morsels for a dog down on his luck?” If this doesn’t work, he’ll lay his head on your table and look up with the most pitiful eyes. It seldom reaches this point, but it works every time. There are many visitors that come to Bonair, just to meet Bung the Wonder Dog. His Bung Dog Red (a table red) is a huge hit with our guests and each bottle is stamped with Bung’s seal of approval . . . .”My name is Bung II and I approve this wine.”
Here’s information about visiting Bonair Winery and Vineyards with your dog:
We welcome people who travel with their beloved pets. We have a big grassy area for your doggie to run around on. He/she is welcome to picnic with you. Our own Bung the Wonder Dog will greet you and make you feel welcome. Due to our restaurant license, we cannot have pets in the tasting room, but there is plenty of room outside for your pet to relax and have fun.
There are plenty of additional dog friendly wineries in the Yakima Valley, including Tefft Cellars (tasting room in Outlook) where you will be greeted by canines Molly and Magnum, and Thurston Wolfe Winery (Prosser), home to rescued dog Chance, who has his own wine label.
The area also boasts plenty of dog friendly restaurants and shops that welcome both humans and dogs. For outdoor fun, the Yakima Greenway permits leashed dogs to walk and run with their humans along the Greenway’s ten miles of paved pathway. The Greenway also features three parks, two fishing lakes and four river access landings. You can even bring your leashed dogs to the Yakima Farmers Market (Sundays, from May through October).
Leashed dogs are also welcome in the Yakima Area Arboretum, a living museum on 46 acres of over 1,000 examples of trees, forbs, grasses and shrubs. You can even go rafting with your dog. Rill Adventures (Thorp) welcomes dogs to raft with their humans on the Yakima River.
And for those interested in learning more about the history and heritage of the Yakima Valley, you can learn alongside your dogs. The McAllister Museum of Aviation (Yakima), the Yakima Valley Museum (Yakima), and the Central Washington Agricultural Museum (Union Gap) welcome well-behaved leashed dogs.
Wow, doesn’t the Yakima Valley sound like a fantastic place to visit with your dog? Sunny skies, world-class wines, plenty of fun activities for you and your dog, plus a truly friendly, relaxed and welcoming vibe. We’re on our way!
Find a variety of Yakima area dog friendly lodgings in our full service hotel booking engine. For more information about visiting the Yakima Valley, check out the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau website.