Winemakers, brewers and distillers are often cool cats, so perhaps it’s not surprising that so many actually adopt cats, support cat rescues and aid other feline-friendly causes.
Winery cats help with rodent control and greet visitors between, ahem, cat naps. Many are adopted from animal shelters and rescue organizations, living out their lives either as “barn cats” who roam the property or indoor lap cats who prefer to snuggle up inside. Either way, the benefits they bring to establishments are plentiful, and often inspire owners to help other animals in the community.
Michelle Benvenuto, executive director of the nonprofit Winegrowers of Napa County, said it’s natural for industry folk who value sustainability to support animal causes as well.
“Winegrowers of Napa County defines sustainability as a three-legged stool that needs all three legs to stand: the environment, the economy and the community. Supporting local animal shelters ties into all of our long-term sustainability efforts,” she says. “As part of the community, vintners and growers not only enjoy giving back, but they also understand the importance of animal life since in the vineyard, protecting and encouraging wildlife can promote healthy soil and air quality as well as conserve water and energy. An added benefit: who doesn’t love a winery dog or cat?”
Here’s a sampling of wineries, distilleries and breweries that have animal lovers grinning like a Cheshire cat.