The weekend's festivities kick off at 9 AM on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Ciccone Vineyard with the Harvest Stompede race. The race is designed for both serious and recreational runners and walkers, and while it’s not part of your wine tour ticket, it's a great event for spectators with a one-of-a-kind course that meanders through Leelanau vineyards that are heavy with ripe grapes.
The Harvest Stompede Wine Tour starts at 11 AM on Saturday following the race and features a special wine pour and food pairing at each of the 18 Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association member wineries. Nothing goes better with local wine than local food, and each winery will be featuring local items in their food pairings!
"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," said Leelanau Wine Trail director Andrew McFarlane. "People are in a great mood, there's a hum of activity in the vineyards and September is prime time for enjoying the beauty of the Leelanau Peninsula. Our wines are perfect with food, and our food pairings will showcase the versatility of our wines and the amazing bounty of Leelanau and Northern Michigan at harvest time!"
Harvest Stompede Food Pairings
- L. Mawby: Mac & Cheese with local squash and a sage cream sauce paired with their newest bubbly, Green.
- Silver Leaf : Local bratwurst & sauerkraut paired with 2009 Riesling – it’s an Oktoberfest theme with German Music!
- Bel Lago: Local Fall Harvest Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage with Bel Lago Red, a cabernet franc blend with several select red varietals.
- Ciccone: Has comfort food at its best – classic hardy corn chowder with local corn and 2009 Pinot Grigio.
- Cherry Republic: Toasted puff pastry wrapped with local cherries, local vegetables and feta cheese paired with the 100% Balaton Cherry wine “Cherry Twist”.
- Good Neighbor Organic: Grilled pita, local cherry hummus, and naked brats with wine (and beer!).
- Black Star Farms: Grilled focaccia with Isidor’s Choice Pinot Grigio poached pear, Leelanau fromage blanc and carmelized wild leek paired with the 2010 Arcturos Riesling.
- Gills Pier: Barbudos en Salsa de Chile Dulce, a baked local green bean omelet with pulled chicken and roasted red pepper sauce paired with 2010 Riesling. A vegetarian option will also be available.
- Chateau de Leelanau: Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich featuring all local Beef, Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Cheese and Bread paired with the Solem Farm Red Wine.
- Good Harbor: Going local with Carlson’s of Leland fish pate served with grapes and crackers and paired with Fishtown White.
- Chateau Fontaine: Cincinnati-style chili with local onions (optional) and Big Paw Red .
- Tandem: Savory buckwheat crepes with Leelanau raclette, Shetler Dairy Milk, local eggs and honey cured ham paired with Ida Gold hard cider.
- Verterra: Smoked white fish chowder featuring local whitefish & potatoes and paired with Pinot Gris or Pinot Noir.
- 45 North: Smoked Carlson’s whitefish on crustini with chevre paired with 45 White.
The event routinely sells out and advance tickets are required. Tickets are $40 and include special food and wine pairings at each tasting room. They are available online at www.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.