Vivian in the vineyards!

The Viv and the Vino

Meet Vivian, our Wine Ambassador. Because we all know you registered for the run but are staying for the wine. Dive into wine with Viv so you can come prepared race weekend with a little more insight into wine tasting, because we want you to enjoy each drop! 

Hey Runners! I’m Viv, a marathon runner, wine blogger, social media influencer, and this year’s Wine Ambassador for the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon & Rosé 5K! With this race, we know it’s more than just running 13.1 miles, it’s also about that Runcation and celebrating at the post-race Wine Festival. Leading up to race weekend, I’ll be giving tips on wine tasting and what to expect so you can maximize your wine experience! 

How Viv’s wine passion started

Originally from Walnut, California, I have been practicing real estate finance law for eight years in New York City while also pursuing my other passion for learning about wine.  

I didn’t grow up drinking wine, and I always thought that wine was all about having super-sensory tasting skills – skills I definitely wasn’t born with! 

But in 2018, I took my first wine course, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 certification, at Capital Wine School in Washington, D.C., and since then, I have come to realize that wine is more than about which aromas you can identify – It’s about history, culture, science and art, and there is always more to learn about in wine. 

A self-proclaimed wine nerd, over the past six years, I have fallen completely in love with the world of wine, and I have worked my way through the WSET program to obtain my WSET Level 4 Diploma in 2022 and then moved on to specializing in the region of Burgundy with the Wine Scholar Guild’s Master-Level Bourgogne program in 2023. 

Some favourites

One of my favorite parts about wine is the communal experience. Each time we open a new bottle of wine, we get to experience something new that we have never had before, and to share those moments with others through tasting wine together and to exchange our thoughts and feelings about the wine elevates it from just another beverage or commodity but makes it an instrument for a shared experience. 

One of my favorite ways to taste wine is directly at the source of the wine regions, and I am so excited to be visiting Napa and Sonoma to run the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon & Rosé 5K on July 20th and July 21st. 

Exercise and running are incredibly important to me for maintaining my physical and mental health. I also did not grow up running or playing sports, but in my adult life, setting target goals, participating in running events and seeing my own progress over the years has had a hugely beneficial influence on my life as I work through my day job as a lawyer and balance my wine studies. 

One of my favorite running experiences was the 2022 Marathon du Médoc, an incredible 26.2 mile race that takes runners through the historic vineyards and famous châteaux of Bordeaux, France with oysters, steak, ice cream, and of course, wine, at the various stops along the way. 

Being able to combine my love of wine and running on this trip to Bordeaux was a dream come true, and since then, running the Napa to Sonoma Wine County races through Napa Valley and Sonoma, two world-class wine regions in my beautiful home state of California, has been next on my bucket list. 

Is running this race also a bucket list experience for you? 

Stay tuned for my next blog post on “The Basics of Wine Tasting,” and connect with me on Instagram N2S and vitamin.vino while I prepare for the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon & Rosé 5K 

Best wishes with your training, and I hope to see you on the course and at the wine festival at post-race so that we can taste some wine together!