Dogs Whine for Mutt Lynch Winery

The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the world’s largest competition of American wines in the world, went to the dogs this year.

Mutt Lynch Winery’s 2009 Out of Reach Muttitage red wine, a special “dog art” label from the winery, won the Sweepstakes Wine Label Award. Out of 5,500 entries, the most the contest has ever had, Brenda Lynch’s wine took home the award, but the real winners are the dog rescue organizations that benefit from Brenda’s success.

This year, the proceeds are going to Mutteville of San Francisco, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of senior dogs by finding them homes or giving them hospice. The organization also provides information about caring for older dogs and support for people who do worldwide.  

Curious about this unusual pairing, we asked the winery owners, why dogs and wine?

In 1995, Mutt Lynch Winery was born out of Brenda and Chris Lynch’s dream of owning a winery, and their love of dogs. Brenda believes she had 5 rescue dogs at the time they started the winery.

“I was the crazy lady that picked up all the strays, brought them home, cleaned them up, and made them part of the family.”

They had a vision: to make great wine, have fun selling it, and give back to their community.

“It was an easy fit to put dogs on the labels, and give a portion of the proceeds back,” said Brenda.

 So, they decided to name their wines after dogs and each year, they pick a different dog rescue group that will receive 10% of the sales from their “dog art” wine. This wine has a special label that is created by a local artist who is chosen via a contest Mutt Lynch Winery holds every May.

“We were approached by Dog Art Today,” explains Brenda when asked how the idea for a label art contest was born. “Moira is an amazing artist and blogger, it was completely her idea, and we absolutely loved it. We had over 100 entries last year.”

The entries are placed on the web and are voted on by fans of the winery. Last year’s contest brought over 6,000 votes. Then, the top 10 finalist go before a panel of judges for the final pick.

At their annual open house on the 2nd weekend of August called Dog Days of Summer, they release the new “Muttiage” wine and pick the charity group for the year.  This year, the winner was Nancy Shutt and her “Out of Reach” label art. True to the winery’s culture, this is a dog friendly, family friendly event.

Currently, the Lynch’s have one resident dog, Patches, a retired racing Greyhound from New Zealand who is the king of the vineyard.

Brenda and her husband Chris plan on continuing to make wine, give back to their community, and help homeless dogs.

Sounds like a pretty sweet pairing.

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