The sound of dogs barking and people chattering filters through the vines at Martha Clara Vineyards as the monthly Vines & Canines Educational Vineyard Walk begins.
Once a month the vineyard invites canines and their two-legged companions on a walk of the vineyard and discussion about current wine production. The stroll through the vineyard takes about an hour with stops along the way for the dogs to grab some water while the humans talk about wine.
Martha Clara Vineyards produces several varieties of sparkling, white, rose and red wine. As the Vines & Canines group makes it way through the vineyard, one of the wine makers points out the different grapes explaining which ones produce which wines and allowing anyone that wants to, to sample the grapes.
The vineyard is home to several very curious Clydesdales. The friendly, working horses come up to investigate the people and dogs, letting the people rub their noses and the dogs to sniff them.
Martha Clara Vineyards handpicks some grapes, such as the ones used for Pinot Noir and the sparking wines but also uses machines to pick the other kinds of grapes.
Netting on the grapes is one of the ways the vineyard deals with insects. Another way is with a big blow-up man, sort of what one might find at the a used-car lot, but it seems to work in scaring the birds away and some of the dogs. The vineyard practices sustainable methods of growing the groups and dealing with pests.
By the end of the tour, the Vines & Canines group has passed goats, sheep, and horses, seen the Entenmann house and of course seen many of the grapes.