Hank, a brown and white hound, lounged in the shade of the grapevines at Veritas Vineyards and Winery in Afton recently.
He rose from his spot in the grass and padded off through the lines of grapes, patrolling the vineyard for unwanted critters.
Hank is one of five wine dogs Veritas keeps in the vineyard. Their jobs are to keep deer and small animals, like groundhogs, away from the fruit by chasing them away and barking. Their scent also deters bears from coming to the vineyard, said Ruth Terry, who takes care of the winery’s animals.
“They try to keep more grapes on the vine,” Terry said.
The dogs, which range in age from nine months to 12 years, live with the grapes all of the time, kept in the area with an invisible fence. A special dog house sits at the top of the hill where the grapes stop for them to hang out in.