If you're looking for a reason to return to Leelanau County this fall, consider the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association's annual Harvest Stompede Vineyard Run & Walk and Wine Tour over the weekend of September 18 & 19. It's considered one of the most scenic running & wine touring events in the Midwest and is returning to the Leelanau Peninsula for the ninth year.
The race itself is the kickoff of the weekend's festivities and will be held on Saturday, September 18 at 9 a.m at Ciccone Vineyard. Designed for serious and recreational runners and walkers, it's a great event for spectators as well. This is a ONE OF A KIND course and offers the option of participating in the popular local wine tasting tour. It is designed it for competitive or pleasure runners and also the curious walker. The course provides landscape views that are unrivaled. Both courses wind through vineyard rows that allow for viewing of nearby participant positions.
The Harvest Stompede Wine Tour follows the race and offers a special pour and food celebrating the season at each of the 18 Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association member wineries. Leelanau Vintners spokesman Andrew McFarlane explains "All our wine trail events draw a great crowd, but there's a special energy on the wine trail at harvest time that makes this a must-attend event every year. People are in a great mood, there's a hum of activity in the vineyards and September is really prime time for enjoying the beauty of the Leelanau Peninsula."
This year Taste the Local Difference, Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa and the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association are teaming up to celebrate local food, wine and arts with the Get Local Giveaway. The Grand Prize is 2 tickets to any LPVA wine event and two nights' lodging for 2 in hotel accommodations at Crystal Mountain Resort! Visit The Get Local Giveaway page for details.
The event sold out in 2009 and advance tickets are required. Tickets are $40, include special food and wine pairings at each tasting room and are available online at lpwines.com. Tasting hours on Saturday are 11am to 6pm; Sunday hours are noon to 5pm. All ticket holders receive a commemorative event wine glass as well.
The cost to participate in the walk/runs are $26 & $27 per person. Those wishing to register for one of the race events must do so online at lpwines.com. Participants wanting a t-shirt must register before 9/4/10.
Please note that registering for the vineyard race/walk does not include the admission price for the wine tour. Watching the race/walk is both encouraged and free, but if you are planning to participate in both events you will need to pay your race/walk registration fee and purchase a ticket to the wine trail event.
LPVA was formed in 2000 with a goal to help spread the word about all the wonderful things the Peninsula has to offer including a growing number of award-winning wineries, excellent restaurants and a rich agricultural history. Today, it is the largest and strongest of the four organized wine trails in Michigan which promote the state's nearly $790 million grape/wine industry.
Take a look at over 300 Hi-Res photos from previous years.