The Winery Experience

The Winery Experience

The French have a word that is used to explain, in a single word, the complete environment that is involved in the making of a specific wine. It is very deep in its meaning and is used to describe everything from the physical aspects like climate, soil, and terrain to even non-physical aspects like the …

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Asheville Urban Wineries

Marked Tree Urban Tasting Room

There are a number of great wineries available to visit from the Asheville area. These are wineries with attached vineyards (the traditional “winery experience”) and we have written about them here. But what if you want to stay inside the city or don’t have time for a full day excursion? You will be happy to …

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A Complete AVA Tour

Marked Tree Vineyard

Western North Carolina currently has a unique opportunity for a wine tour and the Van in Black can deliver on it.  With the introduction of the latest American Viticultural Area (AVA) in North Carolina, which occurred in the Summer of 2019, the “Crest of the Blue Ridge” AVA currently has six wineries around Hendersonville, NC that can technically be visited on a single wine tour.  We fully acknowledge that visiting six wineries in a single day is a lofty goal, but with the hours that the wineries are open during the busier months, it is entirely possible for the responsible drinker.  How you say?  We are glad you asked!

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Here We Grow!

Van in Black (14 passenger van)

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.

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Greenville Wine Tours

Elevation 966 Winery

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.

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Welcome to the New Hendersonville Wineries!

Stone Ashe Vineyards

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.

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Van in Black Receives Small Business Relief Grant

Van in Black

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:

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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…

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Food Options on Tours

The Humble Food Truck

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.

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