Vintage Pooches

Benny from Seven Stones Winery in Cawston, after passing his tractor license. (Photo by Troy Townsin)

In touring wineries, I’ve encountered many wine dogs over the years. I think that it belittles them to call them mascots because they often do a lot more work than any mascot could. Some have real jobs to do like scaring away bears and patrolling vineyards for birds or other pests in addition to welcoming visitors to the winery. The first winery dog that I can recall is Mocha, from Blasted Church Vineyards. Mocha was a chocolate lab and was viciously effective at hunting the tennis balls that were thrown randomly into the vineyard.

Victoria wine writer and author Troy Townsin has been publishing the Winery Dogs of BC wall calendar since 2007. Each calendar has featured over 30 pooches that actually live at BC wineries. To date these calendars have raised more than $10,000 for the BCSPCA.

This year, the 2021 BC Winery Dogs calendar has added another cause that it is raising funds for – The Cure Blau Syndrome Foundation.

Blau Syndrome is a rare inflammatory condition that took the life of Troy’s six-year old daughter Lexi last October. Lexi’s role in the calendars for the past four years had been getting dogs to look at the camera whilst they were getting their picture taken. She would often say “I have the hardest job of all and I don’t get any of the credit”.

In the 2021 calendar not only is she getting that overdue credit, but inside the calendar she is pictured together with several of the winery dogs she had worked with during her short life.

Lexi was the inspiration and original founder of the Cure Blau Syndrome Foundation, a non-profit that her parents started to search for a treatment and a cure. The work is continuing to honour her legacy and to fund research into treatments for inflammatory conditions.

The Winery Dogs of BC calendars retail at $14.95 and are now available for purchase and can be shipped worldwide at

** Contest **

Nominate your favourite winery dog to be Wine Country BC‘s Winery Dog of the Year by leaving a comment below. Or tell us about the most-special dog in your life!

2 comments will be chosen at random and you will each receive a FREE COPY of the 2021 edition of the Winery Dogs of BC calendar delivered right to you!

The winning dog will be interviewed for a feature story / or video here on Wine Country BC!