Cowichan Valley Wine Run Race Recap – this may be a mouthful, but the race was fabulous!
Over Labour Day, I flew into Victoria for a quick 2-night, 3-day visit with family that included a run in the Cowichan Valley Wine Region, including tasting at four local wineries.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I was quick jump on the wine run bandwagon. My decision went something like this:
- cousin tags my aunt and myself on the Cowichan Wine Run Instagram page
- I email aunt
- I look at flights
- We book ourselves in the second wave
Total time? About two hours.
All that was left for me to do was order skirts from Katie and count down the days until it was time to fly out.
Leading up to the run, my sore hip/groin was diagnosed as a hip impingement by my physiotherapist, and was told to take it easy for the week. This meant we planned on walking, but we weren’t the only ones!
My flight left Calgary bright and early on Saturday morning, and I opted for a green smoothie at the airport instead of coffee (definitely questionable decision-making on my part) so by the time I landed, I was ready for something a bit heartier and some more coffee. We grabbed food at Denny’s (#klassy), picked up sunscreen, and then waited for the bus to arrive. The run takes place about 45 minutes outside of Victoria and bus tickets were available for $45 to shuttle us to and from the event.
After a bit of traffic, we arrived at Cherry Point, got signed in, tasted some wine, and waited for it all to begin. I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t take many pictures of Cherry Point because it was absolutely gorgeous, and would be a fantastic venue for a wedding on the Island.
Around 1:25 Wave 2 lined off and off we went – at a nice walking pace 🙂
It was hot out (32C) and we wanted to be smart considered we’d be drinking wine along the way.
6km in is the first stop on the route, at Rocky Creek Winery. Given the number of people, things were a bit hectic and we managed to (nicely) push our way up to the bar and sample some of their wines. Unfortunately, due to the number of people, we didn’t get to learn much about the wines, and stuck to tasting them and didn’t buy since the line was crazy long. After hydrating, we were on our way to the third stop.
The walk to the third winery felt like a bit of a slog, partly because it was 3.5km to go and overheard it was 2km away. In the heat of the day, that 1.5km difference feels like a lot. However, this was 100% worth the slog.
Venturi Schulze had people lined up at the tasting room and was bringing people in 12 at a time to go through the tasting. While it resulted in a bit of a wait, that we were able to learn about the wines made all the different. I was initially on the fence about buying wine since it meant I’d need to check my luggage, I bought two bottles from here and it was 100% worth it.
Too soon we were on our way to Blue Grouse. We were all very much looking forward to food, shade, and sitting.
The property at Blue Grouse was absolutely beautiful; however, they had already sold out of a number of their wines. We tasted wines made from Okanagan grapes, which was a bit disappointing, since I was quite interested in trying the local wines, not wines sourced from other areas in the province. We were also given a free glass of wine to enjoy with our dinner – and let me tell you, the dinner was amazing!
We enjoyed our wine, dinner, and sun, (and more wine) while listening to music.
The bus wasn’t set to leave Blue Grouse until 8pm, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors and sip on some wine – next time I’ll bring my Mexican blanket with me so we have something to sit on.
I went into the event a bit skeptical – not knowing about the logistics of the event, or the quality of the wine, and I have to say I was blown away. Everything was exceptionally well-organized, and the wineries handled the influx of people very well. I’ll easily be convinced to return to Victoria next year to take part.