Today’s post comes to us courtesy Shannon & Cortney Casey of Michigan by the Bottle. Since it quotes Absolute Michigan’s own Andrew McFarlane, it’s probably best that we have a third party writing it anyway! Make sure to scroll down on the details of their giveaway of a pair of tickets to the Harvest Stompede and also how to have a shot at a pair that Absolute Michigan will be giving away as well!
The season wineries eagerly await year-round is upon us, and the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association will usher it in in fabulous, footloose fashion with its annual Harvest Stompede. The event features fantastic food and wine pairings at participating LPVA wineries — with unique dishes at every stop — and kicks off with a 7-mile run and 5K run/walk through the grapevines Sept. 10.
The LPVA has kindly supplied MBTB with two tickets to give away to the fall festivities, set for September 10-11. Getting entered to win is easy; we’ll tell you more about that in a moment!
If you’re not too keen on running for your vino, no worries — participation in that segment of the celebration is strictly voluntary. The only requirement for the self-guided vineyard tour portion of the event is to have your thirst and appetite at the ready.
Here’s how the 12-hour shindig works: Attendees purchase tickets to start their weekend at a specific LPVA winery, but can swing through the remainder of the stops in any order they please. Tickets allow the bearer to visit up to eight wineries on Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and eight wineries on Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Each starting point’s allotment of tickets is limited to space out guests and ease crowds.
Using a plethora of locally sourced ingredients — from cherries and corn to bratwurst and whitefish — participating LPVA wineries will serve up fare orchestrated to pair well with their designated wine (or wines) of the day. (See below for a full list of the mouth-watering lineup.)
LPVA spokesman Andy McFarlane said it’s only natural to bring together food and drink produced in the immediate area.
“For the second year in a row, all of our tasting rooms are featuring local items in their food pairings,” he said. “The wine, of course is local, and I think pairing it with food from our region makes it extra special. There’s a ton of interest out there in supporting local food and local farms, and it’s important to remember that local wine IS local food.”
Tickets for the vineyard tour are $40 apiece. There also are $30 tickets available for designated drivers, who receive food at each site, but no glass for wine, though some locations will may provide non-alcoholic beverage substitutes.
The races and walk begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 10 at Ciccone Vineyard, located at 10343 E. Hilltop in Suttons Bay. Openings are capped at 850, and the event was at capacity last year; as of Aug. 29, the number of slots remaining was down to 80. Chip timing is available, and organizers joke that the reward for the winner is “bragging rights provided at the finish line.”
McFarlane said he’s not a runner himself, but adores observing the race along with other spectators.
“I know that I’m biased, but I think the Harvest Stompede race is one of the most unique running events in Michigan,” said McFarlane. “The runners start to gather before sunrise and it’s pretty cool to see them stretching and getting ready as the light breaks over the vineyards. At 9 a.m., the runners take off, and from the vantage at Ciccone, you can see them stream through Ciccone’s vineyard and into Larry Mawby’s on their way to Black Star Farms.”
Entrants don’t have to be seasoned runners to enjoy themselves, he noted.
“Everyone really seems to have a lot of fun with it,” said McFarlane. “We have people who run barefoot and a lot of folks who walk it, too. It’s really cool to me to see all the people in the vineyard with the grapes almost ready for the crush.”
At the end, everyone crushes a “symbolic tub of grapes,” he added.
Participation in running/walking events entails a separate fee. Advance registration through Sept. 8 is $26 for the 5K walk, $27 for the 5K run and $27 for the 7-mile run. Runners can register in person during packet pick-up on Sept. 9, but the price increases to $30 that day. No day-of registration is available.
For more information on the Harvest Stompede, visit http://lpwines.com/harvest.
To be entered into the MBTB’s Harvest Stompede drawing, find the contest post marked OFFICIAL on the Michigan By the Bottle Facebook page and respond to that post with any ONE of the following:
- An ode to your favorite Leelanau Peninsula winery (whether it be a little poem, a limerick, a song, etc.).
- Your favorite memory of visiting a Leelanau Peninsula winery.
- The name of a Leelanau Peninsula winery you would like to visit in the future, and why you want to go there.
- Please do NOT start a new thread with your entry into the contest; simply post your response as a reply to the OFFICIAL thread.
If you do not use Facebook, please feel free to email MBTBs with your name and answer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While they encourage creativity, and can’t wait to read your submissions, the winner will be drawn randomly via a random number generator. So even if you feel like your poetry-penning skills are lacking, you have just as good of a chance to win! The contest runs through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
Just in case luck isn’t on your side, you can also purchase tickets online at http://lpwines.com/harvest or join the Absolute Michigan email list for a giveaway on Thursday! (form at the bottom of the post!)
To register for the race or walk, visit https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/75458.
Planned pairings include…
- Hardy corn chowder made with local corn, paired with 2009 Pinot Grigio, at Ciccone.
- Toasted puff pastry wrapped with local cherries, local vegetables and feta cheese, paired with Cherry Twist wine at Cherry Republic.
- Barbudos en Salsa de Chile Dulce — a baked omelette made with local green beans, pulled chicken and roasted red pepper sauce — paired with 2010 Riesling at Gill’s Pier (a vegetarian option also will be offered).
- Grilled pita, local cherry hummus and naked brats paired with wine — and beer — at Good Neighbor Organic.
- Macaroni and cheese with local squash and a sage cream sauce, paired with Green sparking wine, at L. Mawby.
- Local bratwurst and sauerkraut, paired with 2009 Riesling (and a hearty side of German music, to complete the Oktoberfest theme!), at Silver Leaf.
- Local fall harvest vegetable soup with Italian sausage, paired with Bel Lago Red, at Bel Lago.
- Grilled focaccia with pear poached in Isidor’s Choice Pinot Grigio, Leelanau fromage blank and a caramelized wild leek, paired with 2010 Arcturos Riesling, at Black Star Farms.
- Smoked Carlson’s whitefish on crostini with chevre, paired with Forty-Five White, at Forty-Five North.
- Philly cheesesteak sandwich made with local beef, peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese and bread, paired with the Solem Farm Red, at Chateau de Leelanau.
- Carlson’s of Leland fish pate with grapes and crackers, paired with Fishtown White, at Good Harbor.
- Cincinnati-style chili with (optional) local onions, paired with Big Paw Red, at Chateau Fontaine.
- Savory buckwheat crepes with Leelanau raclette, Shetler Dairy milk, local eggs and honey-cured ham, paired with Ida Gold hard cider, at Tandem Ciders.
- Smoked whitefish chowder, featuring local whitefish and potatoes, paired with Pinot Gris or Pinot Noir, at Verterra.
- Local apple caramel crisp, paired with Pinot Gris, at Willow.