Wine country events then calendar style with listings body text bold bullet Between the Vines is a biweekly column on wine and wine making in the Livermore Valley region. This column was contributed by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.

Canine companions are welcome at many Livermore Valley wineries. A few establishments even have winery dogs that are very popular with guests.

PressTon, a 5-year-old Havanese, has been greeting Longevity Wines' visitors with a happy bark since he was 8 weeks old. Featured as "Mr. November" in the 2014 Valley Humane Society Calendar, PressTon is the only pet in Livermore Valley to be featured in the USA Winery Dog Book's third edition. He enjoys company, so friendly dogs on leashes are welcome in the tasting room.

"Most of our guests love being welcomed by PressTon, and on the rare occasion he isn't there, they miss him," said Longevity Wines proprietor Debra Long. "He has business cards that say, 'Chief of Security.' We also have a malbec/cabernet blend named after PressTon with his picture as the label."

Located on Vasco Road, Longevity Wines is open for tasting Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Another pinup pooch, Rhone, is the winery dog at Les Chenes Estate Vineyards and "Mr. March" in the Valley Humane Society calendar. A black Border Collie mix, Rhone is an exceptionally smart rescue dog that tosses his toys to guests as an invitation to play.


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"We have had guests stand in line to play fetch with Rhone," says Les Chenes owner Candice Dixon. "They often bring him treats, and some will visit only when Rhone is here!" Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome to picnic outside with their owners at Les Chenes, and water is provided. The tasting room on Victoria Lane in Livermore is open weekends from noon to 4:30 p.m.

An acre where dogs can roam off-leash while their owners supervise with a wine glass in hand makes El Sol Winery a special spot for dog park lovers. Located on Lupin Way in Livermore, El Sol is open on weekends from noon to 5 p.m. and often on Fridays (call ahead to check).

"If the dogs are people-friendly, then we are dog-friendly," says owner/winemaker Hal Liske. "Folks are comfortable here, and so are their dogs. They both get to meet new friends." El Sol offers water for dogs and an outdoor patio for wine tasting in nice weather.

Nearby on Greenville Road, White Crane Winery also welcomes friendly dogs with their owners.

"Our blue merle Australian shepherd, Bacchus, grew up in the winery. He greets guests in the parking lot and walks, or "herds," them to our tasting room," says Nick Nardolillo, White Crane's owner. "My guests give our blue-eyed Bacchus a lot of love -- so much that we sell T-shirts with his picture on them." Open for tasting Friday through Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m., White Crane offers bowls of water and treats for dogs to enjoy as their owners taste a variety of wines. For more information and help planning a wine tasting trip to Livermore Valley wine country, visit www.LVwine.org.

Wine Country Events

  • Artist Reception -- 1 to 3 p.m. March 2 at Wente Vineyards Estate Winery & Tasting Room, 5565 Tesla Road in Livermore; www.wentevineyards.com. Join Wente Vineyards for an artist reception showcasing pastels by Linda Beach. Artwork will be on display in the Estate Winery Tasting Room through March.

  • Chocolate & Cabernet -- 12 to 5 p.m. March 8-9 at Fenestra Winery 83 Vallecitos Road in Livermore; www.fenestrawinery.com. Cost is $15. A grand event for wine lovers and chocolate lovers alike! We pair our award-winning wines with different chocolate dishes, savory recipes and sweet chocolate treats. $15 gets you a glass, buffet plate, recipes and a decadent pairing for your taste buds.