A popular t-shirt with a certain crowd proclaims, “I Just Want to Drink Wine and Rescue Dogs!” Fortunately, innovative wineries in the U.S. and overseas are making it easy to do both–simply by purchasing a bottle.
While a cute pup on a label could easily just be a gimmick to help sell juice, for some wineries, it’s part of an inherent commitment to helping canines. Here is a sampling from near and far; and the way they give back is right on the nose.
Bar Dog Wine
Every wine label from this Santa Rosa-based winery features an eye-catching drawing of a dog wearing a monocle. Bar Dog makes regular donations to Wine Country Animal Lovers in Napa and Dogwood Animal Rescue in Sonoma. In 2020, Bar Dog worked with Petfinder Foundation to establish and donate $30,000 to the Bar Dog Operations Grant Fund, which donates to animal shelters and rescue organizations across North America.
Barrel Oak Winery (BOW)
Virginia’s Barrel Oak Winery is so pet-friendly that it’s also home to the nonprofit Washington Area Animal Adoption Group. In addition to donating thousands of gift certificates to animal rescue organizations for silent auctions, on Saturday nights during winter, BOW’s owners hand the winery over to nonprofits, including about 50 different dog organizations, to host fundraisers that have raised upwards of $1.5 million.
Blind Dog Wines
Named in honor of Écluse vineyard mascots and blind dogs Toby and Bingo, who worked as hearing assistance dogs for the property’s late caretaker Duane Robinson, a portion of the proceeds from this line goes to the service dog organization Dogs for Better Lives.
Chateau La Paws
This brand credits the late winemaker Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars with this charitable venture. Every wine label features photos of shelter dogs, and there is an interactive no-kill shelter locator on its website. The company has donated more than $100,000 to the nonprofit North Shore Animal League America.
Named for a French Bulldog, this Napa winery pictures “Frenchie” on every bottle–sometimes dressed as Napoleon or Betsy Ross. For every bottle sold, Frenchie Winery donates $1 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Great Oregon Wine Company
This organic winery dedicated its 2020 Rascal Pinot Noir to those rebuilding the Oregon wine community in the wake of the devastating wildfires last year. It has also donated over $80,000 to the Humane Society of the United States for its Emergency Animal Rescue Fund.
Mutt Lynch Winery
Opened by Brenda and Chris Lynch in 1995, this dog-friendly Sonoma winery has supported numerous rescue groups over the years with in-kind donations and “yappy hour” fundraisers. Plus, their “Wines that Give Back” program has serious legs; Mutt Lynch works with nonprofits to design special wine labels and then donates 25% of the purchase price to the organizations, ranging from the Humane Society of Sonoma County to The Grey Muzzle Organization, which supports senior dog adoptions nationwide.
This winery located in Napa’s Rutherford Bench has donated over $7 million to various causes, including animal rescue. It claims to have helped over 83,600 pets find forever homes.
Painted Wolf Wines
Owners Emma and Jeremy Borg unleashed their South African winery in 2006 to raise money for the endangered painted wolf, a.k.a. African wild dog. According to the conservation organization Tusk, only an estimated 6,000 painted wolves remain. To date, the winery has donated more than 2,770,000 South African Rand ($200,000 U.S. dollars) to painted wolf conservation and is a major contributor to the African Wild Dog Range Expansion Project.
Radical Wine Company
As the name suggests, there’s nothing traditional about this Lehighton, Pennsylvania-based urban winery, which offers a line of dog-themed wines and donates a portion of the profits to local shelters and rescues.
Rancho Rossa Vineyards
Rescue dogs greet visitors at this winery in Southeast Arizona. Owners Chris and Breanna Hamilton supported rescue groups for years and later founded the nonprofit Rescued Hearts Cellars, and also created a line to support it after the death of their beloved rescue pup, George Bailey. Their estate wines helped raise $20,000 in 2020, which Rescued Hearts Cellars used to pay veterinary bills for needy animals waiting for their forever homes.
Rescue Dog Wines
This winery makes wine from locally sourced, certified sustainable Lodi AVA grapes and donates at least 50% of its profits—plus anticipated profits based on 3-year forecasts aided by a wine industry consultant—to rescue organizations. This includes a $25,000 commitment to Best Friends Animal Society, which operates America’s largest animal sanctuary. Pop and pour bottles like Predominantly Poodle Sauvignon Blanc or Bubbly Boxer Sparkling Rosé.
See Ya Later Ranch
This winery in Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, commemorates the late founder’s loyal pooch with its Jimmy My Pal wine. A hearty $0.25 from every bottle sold at the winery, plus all bottle deposits from the tasting room and restaurant, go the British Columbia SPCA, which named the winery its Caring Company of the Year in 2015.
Sit Stay Society
Whenever someone purchases a bottle of these Australian wines, Sit Stay Society donates $.50 to the animal welfare charity Pet Rescue. The range comes in half-bottles, too.
Woof Woof Wines
Lucy’s Run Wines in Australia donates 10% of proceeds of the Woof Woof line to PetRescue. It also donates money to other animal rescue charities like Dog Rescue Newcastle, Greyhound Rescue and Koala Hospital.