2015 Fall Wine Cruise

Starting on Friday afternoon, we had thirteen Mustangs participate in the 'cruise to Sparta'. There is always a special feeling when you are cruising the highway with your fellow CRMC club member knowing that there is another new adventure waiting for you. We departed the Bob Evans restaurant in north Charlotte at 1:45 and arrived at the Alleghany Inn in Sparta, NC. at 3:30. Bob and Michelle Helm arranged with Becca's Backwoods Beans Coffee House and restaurant, which was a short walk from the Inn, for a beer/wine tasting along with dinner items from their menu. This was something new for this year for Friday night and we had quite a few positive comments about how the night went. Friday night concluded back at the Inn on the back patio for meet and greet with everyone enjoying their favorite adult beverage and playing corn hole toss.
On Saturday morning we rolled out of the parking lot at 10am and headed to the first winery. Bob Helm was the trail boss leading a pack of 21 Mustangs to the first winery. He of course took the scenic route and arrived at Sanders Ridge Winery/Restaurant about 11:20. A few more members joined us there and we had 46 CRMC members treated to a delicious hot lunch and a dessert. After lunch there was time for wine tasting and a tour of their facilities by the owner Neil Sanders. Neil also offered to take a group photo while precariously standing on a ladder in which to get a better angle. Andy Cotton and Mark Hunter took photos and videos of all the members and their Mustangs. Those pictures should end up on our new web site soon.
We departed for the second winery, which was about an hour away, and part of the route was on the Blue Ridge Parkway and with all of the fall colors at their peak, it was a beautiful sight. Thistle Meadow was our second winery and the owner Tom, who is 83 years young, and his staff treated us like family and kept us entertained with stories and jokes. They had a long list of wines for us to choose from, all of them cleverly named and very tasty, which made it hard to decide which ones to buy. The group departed there about 5:15 and headed back to the Inn.
 We barely had time to unwind because the caterer, Box Car Grille had dinner ready for us about 30 minutes sooner than we had planned. We were treated to another fine meal from this caterer, whom we plan on using again in the future.
The highlight of the evening was CRMCs' first ever 'Murder Mystery' written by Steve Hartung with help from his wife Dawn, Mike and Carlene Berg and Bob and Michelle Helm. I had asked for volunteers to be characters for the script and WOW did I get 'characters'. Everyone who had a part did so with lots of energy and emotion. There is not enough space here to describe the entire experience except to say that it will be talked about for a long time to come. To my surprise, no one guessed the 'murderer', so it was either well written or poorly written, I'm going with the well written choice. The Oscars, from here on referred to as 'The Shelby’s', were awarded to Norm Demers and Lorie Williams for best actor/actress.
We already have next year’s fall wine cruise booked for October 21, 22,23rd, at the Alleghany Inn, stayed tuned for updates thru the year. If you missed this year’s fall wine cruise, make sure you don't miss next year’s fall wine cruise.