Last week when I wrote my blog, I thought I was completely out of decent races to run in the State of Washington for the year. To my surprise, an e-mail which arrived late last week prompted me to run a very different kind of half marathon this weekend – the Woodinville Wine & Beer Country Half Marathon.
The start was from this very unique and quaint Chateau in the county of Woodinville, a wine country region. We did a wine tour of the Chateau Ste. Michelle on Saturday afternoon. To my amazement, there is quite an art as well as a science to the making of wine.
From the grapes they use to the region where the grapes are harvested all affect the taste of the finished product. Even the wine barrels in which the wine is stored affect the taste of the wine. Very interesting! Wine barrels apparently go back a very long history, but the barrels used nowadays are still designed the same way as many many generations ago. Depending on if French oak wood or local wood is used, the type of wood will give the wine a distinct smoky flavour.
The day before the race, we got to sample 3 types of wine: white, red and a Muscat type of wine – which tastes more like sweet grape juice! Drinking wine requires sophistication: from how we hold our glass to the slight shaking of the wine all affects the final taste.
I was so fascinated, and now I understand why wine can differ in prices so dramatically.
Apparently this region has many award winning wines. The prices all seemed very reasonable too.
I learned something this weekend that I would never have learned otherwise if I hadn’t signed up for this race. So it was a win-win weekend for me!
Our race started early in the morning at 7:00am, and the start line was right at Chateau Ste. Michelle…very cool. Felt more like I was running a race in Napa Valley than in Washington. If you have a chance to visit, I strongly suggest you visit this winery. The area that the chateau encompasses is massive, and the gardens are well manicured. The whole setting was very relaxing! However, based on doing the wine tour the day before, there is a much different vibe once you enter inside the chateau. It changes from peaceful to a very excited crowd of wine-samplers and buyers.
This race is part of a series of half marathon races called the Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathon series. Visit their website and find out more about their series.
To me this weekend’s race was worth the cost of registration. I got a nice race shirt, and one of the COOLEST medals I have ever received (see picture below); it functions as a corkscrew as well as a beer opener! I also received a wine glass upon completing the half marathon!
Overall, I loved the venue. It was very unique! I find this wine concept is nice. Really gives it a “destination race” feel. So much so, that I didn’t quite feel like I even raced! In fact, the whole race weekend made me feel recharged.
A job well done to the race organizers – loved your race! Thanks for the beautiful memories 🙂