ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — A bill that has just passed the Virginia House of Delegate would permit dogs in the tasting rooms of Virginia vineyards.
In September, the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS) sent a letter to Bluestone Winerynotifying them of the state regulation. The agency cited its policy on animals in food and beverage establishments. Shortly afterward, the vineyard notified customers via email of a new policy barring any dog that's not a service animal from their tasting room.
According to a spokeswoman for VDACS, dogs were never allowed inside Virginia tasting rooms (except service animals) and were only allowed outside at vineyards as of July 2016, under certain guidelines like being on a leash and not being able to sit on the tables and chairs.
The guidelines were meant to keep dogs out of areas where wine is manufactured or sold.
The crackdown on the policy struck a blow to many vineyards throughout the commonwealth, who often feature dogs in advertising and even in the names of their wines.
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