Race Preview: 2016 Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon


– Photo via FPFW Facebook

There are very few ongoing races which rotate their race courses each year AND maintain a loyal following in the process. The Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon is one such event, and they do a masterful job at creating new experiences, while still staying true to their calling card.

We here at Run Oregon have participated in this event over the past few years. I love to highlight some quotes from our previous recaps, as I feel they do a good job at the greatness that this race provides:

  • Maybe it was the 666 on my bib, maybe it was the fact that there was a giant thunderstorm bearing down on us, but I started praying and running as fast as I could during [the race] – the hardest, hilliest, dirtiest, most fun and terrifying 13.1 I’ve ever run in my life.
  • I was elated and unprepared, donning my best blue and white Sauconys that would later that day become permanently stained by the red, Jory soils of the Dundee Hills AVA. I think I may have cried that day: I was so happy and so homesick, in so much pain from climbing so many unending hills, and so overcome by the beauty of all the scenic vistas.
  • [N]othing takes your mind off the pain like running through some of the most beautiful hillsides you have ever seen in your life. Truly, I kept stopping to take pictures and ooooohing and ahhhhhing over the scenery. Breathtaking. Gorgeous. Incredible. Unbelievable. Stunning. These are the words that came to my mind as I looked around me throughout the middle section of the course.
  • Every ascent was initially met with complaining until we reached the next vista view. I became the selfie queen, no doubt annoying everyone around me. And I will say this: my photos do not do the beauty that surrounded us any sort of justice.
  • [D]espite my tired body and rush to finish, not even the hills over the first 5 miles (or at mile 12) could bring me down. The views were just too spectacular. The volunteers were too amazing. The treks through the wineries, while hilly, filled my heart with red-colored excitement.

The last few years have seen a start at the main park near the main street of Dundee, and the course is modified so that wineries who are part of the Dundee AVA get to be showcased with a course section. This year, the start is moving a little further SW down Highway 99W to the beautiful Stoller Family Estate. The course will run a generally counter-clockwise loop with a couple of signature significant climbs, the most sustained one being between miles 5.6 and 8.3. A quick Run Oregon analysis suggests stops at or nearby:

  • Stoller Family Estate
  • Sokol Blosser Winery
  • Durant Vineyards
  • DePonte Cellars
  • Archery Summit Winery
  • Nysa Vineyard
  • Domaine Drouhan Winery
  • Armonea Vineyard and Winery
  • Vista Hills Vineyard and Winery
  • Domaine Serene Vineyard and Winery
  • Winter Hills Estate Vineyard and Winery


So awesome.

Following the race, stick around for the winetasting after party (9am-12pm) at Stoller. Take advantages of the seven aid stations along the course, so you don’t make the mistake of hydrating with wine! Gear check is available, so you can pack wine drinking attire for afterwards. You receive a free entrance with your bib, and additional tickets can be purchased for $25. If you haven’t registered yet, please be knowledgeable that the event has sold out the past few years (space is limited to 1200). If you can’t run this year (or have a family member who wants to drink with you afterwards), consider volunteering. Volunteers will receive a logo wine glass and entry into the after party.

If you are looking for a place to stay, consider “Making a Day of It” at The Vintages – an extremely short drive to the race start.

Follow the race on Facebook here.

Here are the event details:
Date: Sunday July 10, 2016
Location: Stoller Family Estate
Start Time: 7:00AM
Price: Online here; $85 (medal, tech shirt, 24 ounce wine glass, and after party admission)


FRIDAY (Portland)
DATE: Friday July 8, 2016
LOCATION: REI Portland (NW) – 1405 NW Johnson, Portland, OR 97209

DATE: Saturday July 9, 2016
LOCATION: Domaine Drouhin Oregon – 6750 NE Breyman Orchards Road, Dayton OR 97114

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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