Giovanni Borghese Helps Canine Companions for Independence Raise Assistance Dog

Giovanni Borghese, owner of Castello di Borghese, with Puppy Herbaceous
Giovanni Borghese (left), owner of Castello di Borghese (right), with Puppy Herbaceous, Photos: Courtesy Castello di Borghese

Giovanni Borghese, owner of Castello di Borghese Vineyard and Winery in Cutchogue on the North Fork, is teaming up with Canine Companions for Independence to raise a dog who will eventually assist a disabled person.

Puppy Herbaceous, a black lab named for the wine tasting term used to describe fresh notes of cut grass and herbs, will one day know more than 40 advanced commands and help someone in need with multiple tasks in their day to day life.

Canine Companions for Independence volunteers, such as Borghese, take their new furry friend into their home at eight weeks of age and teach the dog new basic commands and socialization skills. The socialization is perhaps the most important part of this process because the dogs must be exposed to any and all types of surroundings. With the special yellow capes they wear, these dogs are permitted to go to many public areas where family pets aren’t allowed, so they need to be socialized.

When Puppy Herbaceous is about a year-and-a-half old, the dog will be returned to the Canine Companions for Independence regional headquarters in Medford, where it begins six months of professional training with the organization’s nationally renowned instructors. Upon completion of this phase of training, the now well-trained dog will be matched to a child or adult with disabilities.

For more information about raising pups for Canine Companions for Independence, visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

Started in 1973 as Hargrave Vineyard, what is now Castello Di Borghese was the first vineyard to take root on Long Island. With their new venture, owners Alex and Louisa Hargrave created a movement in the region, which has grown to include more than 50 wineries and vineyards. In 1998, the Hargraves sold it to Marco and Ann Marie Borghese, who renamed it and set the business on course to become what it is today. Eventually, their children took over the vineyard, and it since won many international awards.

For more information on Castello di Borghese (17150 Route 48) in Cutchogue, visit,

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