Wine Dogs

Wine Dog Polly - Whicher Ridge Wines

Polly the Dog

Polly is a 3 year old black Kelpie. Kelpies are highly intelligent dogs, very easily trained and bred to work sheep or cattle.

Polly’s antics feature regularly on our facebook page, and she loves having her photo taken. She also believes that people come here to visit her, not our cellar door, so you may be greeted by an enthusiastic, bubbly, smiling dog when you drive in to visit us if I haven’t managed to send her first to her kennel.

She is Neil’s constant companion whenever he is out and about on the farm bike, moving cattle or sheep, checking the dams, or fixing fences. When we are in the vineyard, the rabbits had better watch out as she does have an amazingly fast turn of speed if she flushes one out of the grass.

She has had her photo taken by the Wine Dogs Book team, and we are looking forward to seeing her in the next Australian Edition of this popular book by Craig McGill and Sue Elliot.

Spit teh WIne Dog (Sheep) - Whicher Ridge Wines

Spit the Sheep (Dog)

Spit is our 3 year old pet sheep who thinks he’s a dog. He was hand raised by us from a day old lamb, and even though he now shares his paddock with four dorper ewes, he still doesn’t consider himself to be a sheep.

He is a dorper, a breed which is a cross between an English Dorsett and a middle eastern Persian sheep breed. Dorpers do not require shearing, losing their wool slowly over a couple of years, which is why Spit often looks very scruffy.

As with any good wine dog/sheep, he loves running along beside the farm bike, and springs along off all four hooves like Pepe Le Pew when he gets excited. He will come to you when you call his name, and loves having his ears scratched. He also loves eating grape skins, dried grape stalks, roses, rose leaves, just about anything really ….

Despite being called Spit, he will definitely never ever end up on one.

Sally - Whicher Ridge Wine Dog

Sally the Dog

Sally was our wine dog for many years up until September last year when sadly she became quite sick and passed away. She was a black and tan kelpie. Sally loved working in the winery with us, especially when the pump was working filling or emptying barrels, or transferring wine around. Any piece of working machinery fascinated her and held her 110% attention.

She was brilliant around the farm too, and Neil holds her as one of the best farm dogs that he has ever had. As with any good wine dog, she loved the farm bike, and whoever was on the bike had Sally alongside them. She also would “set” and round anything up, so loose chooks in the garden and cattle in the paddocks would all be expertly rounded up by Sally.

She was Lizzie’s offsider, and never ventured out chasing roos or rabbits without her. We still miss having her around the farm, and vintage just isn’t the same anymore as she isn’t around to watch the pumps for us!

Lizzie - Whicher Ridge Wine Dog

Lizzie the Dog

Lizzie joined me in 1999 when I was winemaker at St Hallett Wines in the Barossa Valley. She was my wine dog for 14 ½ years until she passed away not long after Sally died. Being a border collie, she was very active for most of her life, and was quite naughty for the first few years and was often in trouble, but survived it all to live to a ripe old age.

Lizzie loved vintage time here as it meant grape sampling, and trotting up and down vine rows with me tasting grapes herself, straight off the vines. She tried her best to help Neil with moving cattle, but she always seemed to get in the wrong place, and a simple cattle moving exercise often ended up with the cattle chasing Lizzie and moving away in the wrong direction.

I miss her still, and haven’t come across another dog yet who can throw a ball back to you when playing. Grape maturity sampling for me is now a lonely affair with no companion trotting along beside me anymore …