Vineyard Races for Wine Lovers

Whether it's 26.2 in the charming Bordeaux countryside or a 5K along Lake Michigan, here are nine races for wine-loving runners.
Photo by Frank Miller

Zigzagging through grapevines is easily one of the most enjoyable running experiences, and a fresh-poured glass of red wine is so much more satisfying after you log a few miles. Wineries like to encourage this pursuit by hosting races. Here are some to check out.

Solstice Stomp 5k

A perfect kickoff to summer, this evening race takes place each June at family-run Cascia Vineyards & Winery on Kent Island, Maryland. There’s live music, ample picnic space and the promise of wine at the finish line, all overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.

Marathon du Médoc

Often regarded as the world’s longest and booziest race, this September event is for all the long-distance runners out there. The standard 26.2-mile course traverses stunning vineyards in French wine country and includes 23 stops for wine tasting.

Where to Paddle Your Way to Wine

Fueled by Fine Wine One Half-Marathon

Largely an off-road course, this race weaves through some of the most scenic vineyard vistas in Oregon. It’s exclusive, too: Only 1,200 runners are allowed to register. If a run along unpaved vineyard trails, through rows of grapes and beneath the branches of hazelnut trees sounds like a good time, this race is a can’t miss. Registration is now open for the July 2019 event.

Wineglass Race Series

For those who seek variety, look to this series of wine-adjacent races in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Each September, you can choose from 5K, half-marathon or full marathon challenges. You can also opt for something in the middle with an 8K, which takes place in May. For post-race activities, enjoy the wine trails of Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake, or make your own wine glass at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Fenn Valley Vine Wine’d

Experience a scenic 1-mile, 5K or 10K tour of Fenn Valley Vineyards, a family-owned winery that sits on a 240-acre farm five miles from Lake Michigan. As new grapevines are planted, runners can see the evolution of the vineyards from the ground up. The October races coincide with harvest, so don’t forget about the grape-stomp contest: Teams have five minutes to smash all the grapes they can in stomping boxes.

Woman running in vineyard
Getty

The Winery Running Festival

Need an excuse to experience Australian wine country? Your search ends with this massive three-day event that unites competitors of all backgrounds and levels each July. The festival hosts multiple races allowing participants to walk, run or simply saunter through the wineries of Australia’s Hunter Valley. Local entertainment, plus sports and produce expos, will keep your loved ones occupied when they’re not cheering on the runners.

Harvest Stompede

Explore Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail during this annual September event. Options include a seven-mile race or a 5K walk/run. After the race, swing by the more than two dozen wineries that dot the trail. You’re sure to discover culinary treats and fruit wines that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. A $40 ticket is good for both Saturday and Sunday and includes a souvenir wine glass, plus food and drink pairings at all participating wineries.

Cloverdale Kiwanis Vineyard Races

Run a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon in northern Sonoma County. The October races are perfect to see autumn unfold in California wine country via dirt and gravel roads that weave through the rows of working vineyards. With San Francisco about 80 miles away, make a long weekend out of it and take in the many sights.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

For Disney fans, this early November race in Orlando is a definite bucket-list item. This weekend full of races ends with a Sunday night rager in Epcot. After crossing the starting line under a shower of fireworks, runners tour through Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. The finish line is near Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, where a celebratory drink awaits. At the exclusive Sunday party, participants can sample wines from around the U.S. and abroad.

Published on December 3, 2018
Topics: Travel



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