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BY Lisa McKinnon | February 1, 2018

Photo/Lisa McKinnon – VC Star

Ventura County has more than a dozen wineries. But vineyards? Not so much. Exceptions include Cani Amante, located in the Upper Ojai and named for the loose translation of “dog lovers” in Italian. (The name isn’t an accident: Owner Ed Guerra got a paw-print tattoo on his left wrist, placed a giant metal sculpture of a dog in the vineyard, and donates proceeds from wine-grape sales to Ventura County Animal Services.) Stretching over more than 4 acres of hilly terrain, Cani Amante serves as the estate vineyard for Four Brix Winery in Ventura. The partnership first came to fruition with the 2014 release of a 2013 riesling. (For The Star’s story about that wine, click HERE.)

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Vines, canines at center of Ventura County winemaking effort

OJAI, Calif. – Ed Guerra’s vineyard in Upper Ojai isn’t going to the dogs. It’s already there.

Flashing a paw-print tattoo on his left wrist, Guerra pointed out the highlights while leading a tour of the 4 1/2-acre site he owns with wife Debbie Guerra.

It started with a visit to the larger-than-life metal sculpture of a dog. Purchased in memory of Sara, the couple’s beloved rescue Finnish Spitz, the sculpture stands at the border between their yard and the vineyard. Its nose points to the 4,200 vines arranged in neat rows on the steep, sun-baked hillside below.

Later, while driving a 4-wheel-drive truck past a protective berm of boulders to get a closer look at the vines, Guerra mentioned that some of the proceeds from sales of the grapes will go to the humane society.

“We love animals. Dogs in particular,” he said.

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Article written by Lisa McKinnon, Ventura County Star