Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Wedding Crashers Part 1

It never ceases to amaze me that every time we embark on a winery tour we have some sort of crazy thing happen and this by far was one of the craziest.

I never intended to crash a wedding. As a matter of fact, noting my tendency to avoid anything remotely embarrassing or god forbid to bring attention to myself, I am shocked to say we crashed two weddings on the same day. You have to keep in mind though that my husband Murray has no such tendencies and doesn't mind leading the rest of the group down a questionable path.

I generally don't go into establishments that have a "closed" sign hanging in the window but that doesn't stop Murray. This was about the third time we tried to visit "Allison Oaks Vineyards" in Yadkinville. One time a nice lady in the "Yadkin Cultural Arts Center" across the street told us that their hours of operation varied. That was a business concept that had us a little baffled but we are a determined lot and finding a closed sign when clearly folks were inside, did not stop us. We entered the premises and although there was a great deal of hustle and bustle going on around us a pleasant, elderly woman greeted us at the door. We asked her about doing a wine tasting noting the sign said they were closed. The woman seemed a little flustered but quickly turned the sign to open and led us to the tasting bar. A moment later another woman approached us who was introduced as the winery owner, Pam Renegar. When she realized we were there for a wine tasting you could see that Pam was clearly annoyed but she handled it like a trooper. Pam indicated that she thought the sign said they were closed but the elderly lady piped up, "Oh it was, but I fixed it!".  She quickly changed it back to closed and then she nicely told us it would have to be a quick one as they were hosting a wedding reception. Hence we had a very nice tasting, Pam didn't rush it at all and we even got to meet the bride and groom. Okay...It was more like we bumped into the bride and groom. Just as we were leaving the limo pulled up and yes, we could be in a few of their wedding pictures as we couldn't get out the door while the wedding party was coming in.

Stayed tuned for Part 2....


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Debra's Take

Hi there!  I am Debra and my first experience with wine tasting was at the Biltmore Estate about 21 years ago.  At the time I thought it was pretty cool but I had no idea what this would turn into.  I am not a wine connoisseur. I just like, what I like and weirdly that can change from one day to the next.  Maybe even one minute to the next.  If you want to read about the character of wine, food pairings etc. don't read this blog.  If you want to know what NC winery has cool people, funny stories, fantastic views and memorable happenings, this is just for you. 
This really is an obsession.  Not mine, but my hubby Murray and his buddy Rob started all this.  They determined that visiting every winery in the state of North Carolina was an all important, life changing mission.  Who wouldn't want over 100 monogrammed wine glasses?  As a matter of fact, I am sure friends have whispered behind our backs, those people are crazy…  After a few months of starting the winery trek we brought in our great friend Cindy and more recently we are indoctrinating Rob's girlfriend Brenda.

I am going to start with some stories from the past and believe me, I have some pretty good ones but the trek will never be over.  New wineries are opening up every day making Murray and Rob ragged keeping the all important "spreadsheet" up to date (more later). I will do my best to be accurate but please don't hold it against me if I mess up a name or miss-spell a wine.  After all things can get a little fuzzy after the 4th or 5th winery.  I also have to give you a heads up that we don't love Muscadine wine but I will do my best to give you an impartial view.  The wine is only part of the experience.  Hey, I warned you that I'm not a wine connoisseur

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Adventure Begins!

I suppose the best place to start is the beginning.  My name is Murray Catton and along with my wife Debra and Rob Nixon embarked on a quest to visit all the wineries in the State of North Carolina.  Alon
g the way, we picked up Cindy Thomas and Brenda Brawn who have become as dedicated to the challenge as we have.

My wife and I visited a few wineries early in the 2000's and as one can imagine we were "Sunday Driving" along the Blue Ridge Parkway and discovered Chateau Morrisette.  We decided I guess that this was fun and a nice respite on a beautiful afternoon to stop and enjoy the scenery and take in a little libation.  We told some friends how nice it was there and a group of us went back and went to dinner there.  The restaurant was great but just a little too far for a nice evening out as we live in the Triad area of the Piedmont.

We should have started this 5 years ago but I suppose at the time, we never knew what would become our passion.