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Van in Black (14 passenger van)

Here We Grow!

Van in Black is pleased to announce the addition of a brand new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van to our fleet. The additional van is a little larger than our previous Sprinter van and has a seating capacity of 14 passengers. It also adds some nice features to the back of the van like reclining leatherette seats, multiple USB connections in all rows that can be used for charging phones or connecting external speakers, etc., as well as the all important feature; more cup holders! This 2020 Sprinter is a nice addition to our fleet offering and as we hope to continue the standard “5 star” rated service the Van in Black has become known for.

Elevation 966 Winery

Greenville Wine Tours

Greenville South Carolina is such a charming town to visit with so much to do both inside and outside the city.  It is arguably the perfect city, growing to become a large metropolitan area, but not loosing any of the flavor or uniqueness that a smaller town enjoys.  If you have ever spent any time in downtown Greenville then you know what we are talking about.  It is a special place in the Carolinas and we hope that it stays that way forever.   What if you are living or are visiting Greenville and you want to check out some of the wineries in the area….A Greenville wine tour?  Greenville has that too!  There are lots of options for you to checkout and enjoy.

Stone Ashe Vineyards

Welcome to the New Hendersonville Wineries!

The Hendersonville wine region of North Carolina, also known by the American Viticultural Area (AVA) designation of “Crest of the Blue Ridge”, recently welcomed two new wineries to the region: Marked Tree Vineyard and Stone Ashe Vineyards.  As of the Summer of 2020, this makes a total of 5 active wineries in the immediate Hendersonville area.  It increases the number of active wineries in or around the Asheville area to about 15 depending on which areas you want to include.  However you count them, whether “in or around Asheville”, the number of wineries in the area are growing making an Asheville wine tour or Hendersonville wine tour both significant and respectable! With the recent growth, a winery tour in the area may take two days.

Van in Black

Van in Black Receives Small Business Relief Grant

We were pleasantly surprised this week to learn that Van in Black was a recipient of the Small Business Relief Grant that was provided by Facebook.  This was a program put together by Facebook where they offered up 100 million dollars to support small businesses who have experienced operating challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.  To be eligible, a company had to operate in or near a location where Facebook operates.  Luckily for us, this happens to be the case since Facebook maintains a data center in our home county of Rutherford, NC.  There were some other restrictions as well:

Asheville Spring Adventures

Asheville Spring Adventures

The adventure season in and around Asheville will soon be kicking into high-gear since Spring is just around the corner. While Spring officially starts on March 19th of 2020 in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather usually tends to start warming up around the end of February (although we have seen snow as late as May in North Carolina!). It also doesn’t hurt that daylight savings time kicks in around the same time (Sunday, March 8th if you are wondering) providing more daylight late into the evening hours. With the additional daylight and warmer weather comes adventure, as more and more people, locals and visitors alike, take advantage of many things to see and do in and around Asheville and Western North Carolina. So what are some of our favorite springtime adventures? The options are definitely numerous…

The Humble Food Truck

Food Options on Tours

On most of our tours; whether it is a winery tour, pub crawl, or scenic tour, eventually the same question usually comes up: What are the food options…Where can we eat?  A perfectly reasonable and understandable question; especially if you have been out drinking for awhile on a winery or brewery tour.  On these types of tours food is definitely a good thing!  Stopping to enjoy a good meal helps to slow the pace and intake of alcohol (since you are eating and not drinking) and makes the overall experience much more enjoyable.  It is true that variety is the spice of life and if you are going to enjoy a bunch of different wines or beers, you need to pace yourself and enjoy some food too along the way.

Asheville Wine Tours

Asheville Wine Tours

Asheville is quite possibly the quintessential city for Western North Carolina experiences.  The location is perfectly situated in the mountains and is either the direct host of the experience or the perfect gateway to it.  When it comes to wineries, Asheville is both!  While it doesn’t host too many wineries, and none of them have vineyards attached to them, Asheville does directly host two wineries inside the city limits; one which has the unique distinction of being the most visited winery in America (more on this later).  Asheville is also the gateway to a number a quality wineries and vineyards that are all less than an hours drive from the city.  At the time of this writing, late 2019, there are at least ten quality wineries that are viable options for any Asheville wine tours.  So if you are in Asheville and want to checkout the winery scene, here are some options to definitely consider:

Forest City Lights

Holiday Lights and Wine Tour!

As the holiday season approaches and you’re looking for fun festive things to do with your family and friends, why not consider a chauffeured holiday lights tour?  For some, viewing the extravagant light displays put on by small towns has become an annual tradition. There are so many great locations to choose from!  You could load up the family car as usual or this year, try something different, hire a transportation service, the Van in Black, to drive your group to and through any number of these great locations.  A few of our favorites include:

Piccione Vineyards

Yadkin Valley Overview Trail

The winery industry in North Carolina is large and still growing!  There are so many high quality wineries and vineyards in the state that as a transportation company that provides winery tours as a service, it can make it very difficult to come up with suggestions when asked by clients – “What do you recommend?”.  When faced with this question the first thing that needs to be determined is the region that the customer would like to visit.  Sometimes this decision can make the job in answering this question easy as there may be a limited number of wineries in that specific region.  That is NOT the case with the Yadkin Valley.  There are a ton a wineries!  And they are all great places!  Furthermore, one gets to know a lot of the owners and people that work at each of the wineries.  The Van In Black would like to visit all of them with every tour but unfortunately one has to choose and unfortunately some get left off the list.  The list, however, does change with each tour and we try to mix it up a bit.  If people have already visited one area or some of the wineries suggested, we can easily recommend others.  So, with all of that being said, this list is by no means the definitive “Yadkin Valley Trail”.  It is just one of the many options and varieties of trails that can be put together for a custom tour of the area.  There are so many other great winery trails that we will also be describing in future posts.  For now, though, we will go with what we are calling the “Yadkin Valley Overview Trail“.

Hendersonville Winery Tours

Another great wine trail that is primarily associated with the Asheville and Greenville/Spartanburg areas is located in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  This “Hendersonville Wine Trail” is host to three quality wineries along with with a companion cidery.  Cider is just apple wine….right?  This region is conveniently located less then an hour from Asheville, North Carolina and Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina making it a great option for anyone looking for a winery tours departing from these regions.  The wineries are relatively close to one another as they are all located in Hendersonville East of Interstate 26.  Once you arrive in the area the commute time between wineries isn’t too long which makes for a fun day.  This is an important benefit of a winery tour that many people don’t think about, but having a short commute between wineries makes for a fun day!  So, which vineyards make up the Hendersonville Wine Trail?