Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mugs & Motors - Spodie-Odie Edition

SABCC's own NEWSLETTER editor, Robb Ogletree arranged the monthly club activity for September in the form of a tour and wine tasting at Pedido Vineyards, Alabama's oldest winery. 

As we are known to do, we included a Mugs & Motors gathering at a purveyor of coffee and breakfast treats convenient to the destination. We chose the Panera Bread location in Spanish Fort as an ideal meeting point since they (A) had coffee and (B) had breakfast goodies along with lots of table tops for us to gather around. 

The weather was a bit unpredictable with calls for the rain chance to be around 30% for the day. An overcast sky also added to the mix meant that the number of British cars making the event was a bit low, but we had quality over quantity for sure.

Robb found out at the last minute that he was going to be scheduled to work and had to bow out, but his better half, Elisabeth, graciously stepped in to be the organizer for the day. Oh, by the way, she was also piloting Robb's lovely MGA, so the duty had its rewards, too.

We welcomed around 20 SABCC'ers to the Mugs & Motors portion of the day, with a few particpants begging off the trip to Perdido Vineyards do to other errands and commitments for the day. I think a few were a bit concerned that they may not be home in time to watch a certain college football team play their second game of the season. 

As always, we enjoyed the company of our fellow British car enthusiasts while we had breakfast. There is never a quiet moment when we get the gang together and we had no shortage of story sharing. 

A few of the wines available
Promptly at 9:00AM (as advertised), Elisabeth rounded up the crew going on the 30-or-so mile drive to Perdido, Alabama and got them out the door an into their cars. We bid adieu to our compatriots who chose the pass on the trip. Although she came equipped with a map, Elisabeth agreed that I could lead the pack since I knew most of the roads. We set out and within twenty minutes, we were experiencing the 30% chance of rain that had been predicted. Jack and Linda Ross in an E-Type roadster, Sam and Sandy Walter in their TR4 and Elisabeth and her guest in the MGA both got a bit damp, but there was not enough rain to summon the required Boy Scout troop to raise the folding tops.
Some of those at the tasting

We pressed on northwards to and through the Baldwin County seat of Bay Minette and on up US Highway 31 where we peeled off for Perdido. A short ride through some back roads brought us to our destination.

Since most of us had not been to Perdido Vineyards, we didn't know what to expect.

Their logo would lead one to believe that there would be an arched building with a couple wings on either side. One would be wrong to believe that, however. The facility was quite basic with a couple of concrete block buildings serving as the winery operation.

Jim Eddins
As we parked, were greeted by two very friendly staff members who showed around the site and set up chairs for the wine tasting that would take place. Once we were comfortably seated, we were introduced to Jim Eddins, owner, winemaker, raconteur - basically a force of nature. Jim launched into the story of his struggle against those in government that worked to to prevent him from obtaining his dream of making wine from Alabama's native grape, the muscadine, in the early 1970s. He relished in relating how he outmaneuvered the state's Alcohol Control Board to obtain Alabama Winery License number 1. 

As Jim spoke to our group, the staff members quietly poured samples of the of the wines set our for us. We sampled very sweet muscadine wines, wines from blends of fruits grown in the area and one wine named Bodega Mauvilla - a thirty-year-old muscadine wine that reminded more than one of the samplers of Jagermeister.

Lined up for wine
We sampled white and red muscadine grape juice and their selection of award-winning (yes, apparently there are awards) vinegars. The vinegars, sold under the name of Casa Perdido, include products derived from cucumber wine, blueberry wine, apple wine and white muscadine wine. 

A number of SABCC'ers took the opportunity to buy supplies of both the wines and vinegars in the shop attached to the winery. 

We sincerely thank the kind people of Perdido Vineyards for their hospitality and Robb Ogletree for planning the day.      

Click the photos for larger images 

1 comment:

  1. As one of the beg-offers, I'm glad ya'll had a good time. Becky and I were had to go help lower the inventory at Rocky Creek Catfish House with the Mustang Club.


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