Local wineries and walking trails feature in book on best dog-friendly spots

Kobe at the Maroondah Reservoir Park. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Callum Ludwig

One bounding boozehound has compiled a handy guidebook of dog-friendly wineries, including a number in the Yarra Valley.

Author and photographer Muriel Wang and her Pyrenean Mountain Dog Kobe have recently released their fourth book ‘Boozehounds and Kobernet: Dog-friendly wineries of Australia’ with 10 Yarra Valley wineries and a few popular local walking tracks found inside.

Ms Wang said they initially started making books for dogs (and their owners) a couple of years ago.

“It came about mainly because I think people enjoy bringing their dogs to wineries or other attractions, but a lot of people don’t have the time to research which wineries welcome dogs, whether they’re allowed indoors or outdoors, whether they have to book in advance and all the practical details that that’s useful to know when planning trips,” she said.

“My background is in landscape photography, vineyards are beautiful places to photograph and Kobe’s quite a photogenic boy so it all came together, our books have traditionally been that type of photography-based, keep-on-the-coffee table-style book.”

Written from the perspective of Kobe, the book details the experience at dog-friendly wineries, interviews resident ‘wine dogs’ along the way and the best dog-walking trails, featuring about 130 wineries in total from wine regions throughout Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

Ms Wang said she thinks in recent years, people have wanted more and more to include their dogs in travels, whether it’s going on holidays and road-tripping or just going to a winery for an afternoon.

“Part of it is a post-Covid thing where people are just used to having dogs with them all the time now, and I think businesses like wineries also recognise that people like having dogs with them all the time and go out of their way to make dogs feel welcome,” she said.

“It’s been nice to see that dogs are recognised as an important part of the family, whether it’s going hiking on trails or going to wineries, I think it’s just fun to be able to include them in more activities.”

Among the local favourites were Warrandyte South’s Rob Dolan Wines, which has doggie menus and a friendly pair of pooches in Larry and Rocky and Gruyere’s Soumah of Yarra Valley which has pet-friendly accommodation available. As for walking opportunities, the Mathias Walking Track in Olinda, the Maroondah Reservoir Park in Healesville and La La Falls in Warburton were among the favourites.

Ms Wang said she does encourage people to consider travelling with dogs because it’s very easy now compared to in the past.

“There are so many places that cater for it, even for people who live in the Yarra Valley area, part of what we wanted to do with the book was also encourage them to do day trips to places that might be not directly within the area specifically, but such as driving up to the Macedon Ranges or the Grampians and explore a bit more than before,” she said.

“It’s nice to have your dog by your side and it’s nice to see them enjoying themselves as well, they get to find new places to sniff, wine dogs to meet or some other furry guests from other customers and it just adds extra enjoyment to the experience,”

“Maybe knowing that their dogs are welcome is something that will convince people that it’s a good idea.”

The book is available from kotesbykobe.com.au/product/book-boozehounds-and-kobernet/.