About Us

Sleeping Dog Wines was founded by Larry “Alpha winemaker” Oates along with his wife and partner, Joyce “I’d rather be fishing” Oates in 2002.  Their home and small winery overlook the Yakima River, where they reside under the watchful care of Aurora, the Sleeping Dog, Bella, the plump guardian cat, and Syrah, the self-appointed winery cat.

Larry & Joyce

Larry’s first encounters with wine were typical of the ’60′s– shared consumption of the cheapest jug wine, Riunite, Laver’s Rose, Mateus, and random encounters with something that might have had some pedigree.  To help finance his extended career as an undergraduate, he took gainful employment at a local wine shop.  The owner encouraged him to experience some of the classic French vintages offered at the shop, to better advise customers and sell more wine.  The “sample” bottles were one heck of a jump start into the world of fine wine, which wandered down numerous side roads and culminated with Larry gleaning neighbor Bob Buoy’s grapes to try his hand at the winemakers art and, ultimately, taking the plunge to establish Sleeping Dog Wines.

Throughout this journey, there has been a canine associate providing amusement, companionship, and oversight. We couldn’t come up with a better symbol that captures our dedication to creating wines that express the true characteristics of Buoy Vineyard grapes.  Besides, we happen to like dogs and the name just seemed to work!