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Destination Dog: Barrel Oak Winery

A Virginia winery that takes “dog-friendly” to the next level.

Photograph by Gwyn Donohue.

About an hour’s drive west of DC, Barrel Oak is not only dog-friendly—just about everything the winery does is focused on catering to our four-legged friends. Many local wineries allow dogs on their grounds and in outdoor seating areas, but at Barrel Oak, leashed dogs are welcome throughout the property, including inside in the tasting room.

Set in the rolling foothills of the Shenandoahs, you can spend an entire day enjoying the views, tasting locally produced wines, and listening to live music on weekends. You can bring your own snacks, or order from an assortment of light food options such as cheese and spreads.With temperatures dipping, you can park yourself on a cozy spot flanking the stone fireplace, or around the fire pit.

Winery owners Brian and Sharon Roeder have two Golden Retrievers, Barley and Justice, as well as Birch, a Visla, and Peanut, a mutt. Nearly every weekend there’s a fundraiser or food collection for animal rescue organizations, and the winery donates a portion of every bottle sold to various charities.

And one of the best parts of visiting is that you’ll never get dirty looks from other patrons when your dog sticks his nose in their lap to be petted—for the most part, people who don’t like dogs know they shouldn’t go to Barrel Oak.

Gwyn Donohue is the author of the blog Two Dog Tales. Head there to read about more events, activities, and news for Washington dog owners.