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Dog friendly wineries? Yes it’s true!

Georgia Morris

Great wine, delicious food and all enjoyed with your furry best friend.

Life can’t get better than that. And you don’t even have to stay at home to enjoy all three! After very enjoyable research, we can now recommend four Canberra region wineries* that offer excellent wine, food and perfect dog-friendly facilities.

SINCE IT’S THE EASTER WEEKEND, MAKE SURE TO CHECK FIRST WHETHER YOUR WINERY OF CHOICE IS OPEN. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OPENING HOURS. 

We focused on wineries that also offer meals so you can make the most of your visit by trying out local food as well as sampling Canberra’s award-winning wines. All our recommended wineries are family-run businesses offering a unique experience and well worth a visit even if you’re not a wine connoisseur. Although we’ve focused on the ‘dog-friendliness’ aspect rather than the wine and food, they all attract large numbers of very positive reviews from their visitors.

But before we get to the dog-friendly wineries themselves, here are some quick tips to make sure you get the most from your visit.

Call ahead

Phone or email ahead to make sure you get the very best dog-friendly table. If you prefer to be spontaneous, these wineries won’t mind if you just turn up, but you may not get the best position for you and your dog.

Make your dog comfy

Your dog won’t be able to join you in wine tasting areas (because they are inside), so our recommended wineries offer shady, safe spots to tie up your dog immediately outside. We also recommend bringing a rug or your dog’s bed so they can rest comfortably while you’re inside wine tasting or outside with them enjoying your meal.

Be a considerate guest

Dogs are very welcome as long as they stay on leash. And, of course, make sure you pick up after any messes.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s a summary of our four dog friendliest wineries. To find out more details, including a recommended half-day driving tour to all four, go to our Canberra Dog Walks dog blog.

Lerida Estate and Cafe Lerida, Lake George

Beautiful views, happy guests and relaxed CDW whippets at Lerida Estate.

Beautiful views, happy guests and relaxed Canberra Dog Walks whippets at Lerida Estate.

On the edge of Lake George, Lerida Estate is smart, professional, and able to cater for large groups and functions as well as individuals with their dogs. An enormous and striking ‘shed’ designed by renowned architect Glenn Murcutt houses the winery, wine tasting and cafe facilities. On many Sundays there’s the bonus of free live music by local and visiting artists.

Cafe Lerida provides two very pleasant dog-friendly outdoor areas to choose from, both bordered by a herb garden: a tiled courtyard with full shade/full sun options just outside the tasting room; and a grassy spot just around the corner with large shade umbrellas for hot days. A water bowl is also provided for visiting dogs which can be refreshed from a tap in the courtyard.

All the outdoor areas have beautiful views over (usually dry) Lake George and the blue-tinged hills behind Bungendore.

Favourite features

Amazing views, contemporary architecture, and a pretty 2 km (on leash) walk through the vines and gum trees along the Lake George Range (free map and walking notes at the winery shop).

Murrumbateman Winery, Murrumbateman

Mollie and Tannin entertain the guests at Murrumbateman Winery.

Mollie and Tannin entertain the guests at Murrumbateman Winery.

Winery dogs, Mollie and Tannin, are quick to greet you as you step onto the outdoor deck at super dog-friendly Murrumbateman Winery. Both Mollie and Tannin were adopted from the RSPCA and must think they’ve landed in doggy heaven – open space, muddy ponds and a never-ending stream of new humans to throw their manky balls!

There are plenty of outdoor tables to choose from – either on a large, rustic deck shaded by a marquee during warmer months or on the lawn under mature, tall claret ashes.

Murrumbateman Winery helps support the RSPCA through proceeds from the sale of Mollie’s own wine Mollie’s Block Sauvignon Blanc – such a clever dog! – and the sale of homemade dog biscuits. We think she’s very generous sharing these. Mollie and Tannin also host a Christmas dog party each year asking guests to donate dog toys for the RSPCA.

Favourite features

Relaxed vibe, customer focus and friendly winery dogs.

Shaw Vineyard, Murrumbateman

Winery dog, Indi, with Tanya Shaw and Flint’s events and venue manager, Annika Rigby.

Winery dog, Indi, with Tanya Shaw and Flint’s events and venue manager, Annika Rigby.

Shaw Vineyard offers perfect dog-friendly facilities. Outdoor areas are varied and extremely generous with oodles of space between tables. There’s a fully covered verandah, a large paved terrace shaded by umbrellas in hot weather, plus more seating out on the grass.

Since researching this article, Shaw’s long-time partner restaurant decided not to renew its lease. A new restaurant is expected to open later this year in the same dog-friendly space, and we’ll make sure we report the details in our dog blog.

In the meantime, dogs are very welcome to accompany you on a wine-tasting visit. And if you’re lucky, you’ll even see winery dog, Indie, flashing her sweet grin.

Favourite features

Super friendly, dog-loving staff, and outstanding dog-friendly outdoor areas.

Surveyor’s Hill Vineyards and Bistro, near Hall

CDW whippets and guests relaxing at Surveyor’s Hill Vineyards.

CDW whippets and guests relaxing at Surveyor’s Hill Vineyards.

Surveyor’s Hill Vineyards is a little hidden gem. Tucked away against the eponymous hill, the intimate tasting room/restaurant offers pretty views of grapevines, olive groves and rolling pastures every way you look.

The guest facilities are ultra-modern but the Surveyor’s Hill farm was first settled in the 1880s. Your dog will enjoy having a wander on leash exploring the spacious home yard and sniffing around the kitchen gardens and old farm sheds.

A small number of dog-friendly tables are available on hardwood decks at the front and back of the bistro and wine tasting building, plus there’s another table under a pergola on the grass – all with pretty outlooks.

Favourite features

Pretty rural views, intimate atmosphere, and the historic homestead

Want to know more about dog-friendly Canberra?

Canberra Dog Walks  provides free information about dog-friendly Canberra inspired by a love of Canberra, walking and dogs. Check our Facebook page for the latest news and events.

We also organise regular social group walks in different places around Canberra. If you’d like to join in, check Canberra Dog Walks meetup for information on upcoming group walks.

*How did we choose these wineries?

There are around 35 wineries in the Canberra region. We only contacted the wineries that also offer meals, given that dogs aren’t allowed into wine tasting areas. Of these wineries, some were not dog-friendly (did not want dogs on the property or had no outdoor tables), or were ‘tolerant of the occasional dog’ but did not want it promoted, or did not respond to our queries.

We asked the remaining wineries to send us information and then visited them personally to make our own assessment.

 

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Georgia Morris

Canberra Dog Walks creator, Georgia, has lived in Canberra for nearly 50 years – since she was only one! Somehow, although there’s been lots of Australian and international travel, she’s never managed to move away. Georgia now shares her extensive insider's knowledge and love of Canberra and dogs with others through http://www.canberradogwalks.com.au, and on Facebook @canberradogwalks. Although targeting dog owners, she hopes her free information inspires everyone to get out and explore new areas of our beautiful city. More about the Author

  • Wow! We sure don’t have any dog friendly wineries in Sweden… yet 🙂

    Looks like a great potential adventure both for me and my dog.

    Great list of wineries!

    /Adam – The Doggy Institute

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