A Vineyard Made For Dogs?

Is the Napa Valley going to the dogs? It might seem that way at Frenchie, a new winery for dogs that debuted recently at Raymond Vineyards in St. Helena.

Frenchie — named after the 5-year-old bulldog that belongs to Raymond owners Jean Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo — adds new panache to the critter wine category. Boisset gave his wife the bulldog so she'd always have a "French gentleman" around during his frequent trips to France. But the clever dog used Boisset's absence to create a winery for dogs, according to the whimsical Frenchie Winery back-story.

We know real wine is bad for dogs. But canines that visit Frenchie Winery will like lapping up red wine-colored water from one of three tasting tanks, relaxing in the custom dog beds, or frolicking outside. Maybe they'll even be inspired by the oil portraits of Frenchie as Napoleon, Louis XIV, Thomas Jefferson, and Marie Antoinette that adorn the winery's walls.

Meanwhile their humans can sample the first two drool-worthy Frenchie releases: Frenchie Napoleon Red Blend 2009 (California) for $24.99 and the Frenchie Louis XIV Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Napa and Sonoma Counties) for $29.99.

We can't imagine a better place to enjoy the dog days of summer.

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