Since it opened 108 years ago, Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery has welcomed four-legged friends onto its property year-round.
“As long as they’re leashed, we’re pretty flexible,” says Alicia Robinette.
Requiring the use of leashes and picking up after dogs is about as strict as most Michigan wineries get. While dogs aren’t allowed in tasting rooms, many wineries statewide welcome well-behaved pups on the patio or grounds.
At Hickory Creek Winery in Buchanan, Ranger the dog sets the dog-friendly tone, says Owner/Winemaker Adam McBride.
“Dog owners — without us posting anything — automatically know the winery is super dog-friendly,” he says. “It’s a recurring theme we hear from people: They love that he’s here because then they know that they can bring their dogs.”
Each June, Round Barn Winery in Baroda hosts Wine and Wags, a fundraiser and dog adoption opportunity that lures up to 3,000 dog owners who are encouraged to bring their pets. Shelter and rescue groups split proceeds.
At Robinette’s, a group called Grand Rapids Dog Adventures brings upward of 150 dogs each year for an annual get-together.
Even with that many dogs on-site, Robinette says there’s never been a problem.
“Dogs just make everyone smile. Very few people are scared of them, so when people have them, people love petting them,” she says. “It makes everyone happy.”
This article originally appeared in the 2019 edition of Michigan Wine Country magazine.