The Asheville Wine Scene…2024

As of early 2024, when I penned this article, the wine scene in Asheville continues to be ever expanding and as one would expect, uniquely Asheville. The city has always marched to the beat of its own drum (Friday drum circle aside) which, not to get off on a tangent, is one of the things I truly love about Asheville – it’s uniqueness. I wish more cities were independently unique to the extent that Asheville is. I don’t know about you, but I dislike “Generica”. I want the vibe of a city to reflect what actually makes it different. There are so many quirky charms that make Asheville, well, Asheville! Now that I have gotten that off my mind, where was I? Oh yes, we were discussing one of my favorite subjects – wine. Actually, two of my favorite subjects – wine and Asheville.

Pleb - The Urban Winery
Pleb – The Urban Winery

The Ever Expanding Asheville Wine Scene…

As of early 2024 there are now well over 30 wine related sites of interest inside and around Asheville for the wine aficionado. This includes wineries/vineyards, wine shops (that offer tastings), hotels and restaurants with extensive wine lists and food pairings as well as wine themed bars. Note, when I mention “around Asheville”, I cast the net fairly wide and includes places within an hours drive of the city, places like Leicester, Black Mountain, Old Fort, Hendersonville, Tryon and even Nebo. While this writing is focused on “wine made from grapes”, we could have easily expanded the post to include ciders as well. Technically all ciders are wine, making the number of establishments in and around the Asheville wine scene area even larger. Once again, not to get off on a tangent, but have you explored the cider industry around Asheville? It is amazing! Check out our article Asheville Cider Tours. And now, back to the topic of wine…

There are a few notable new comers to the wine scene in Asheville along with some potential news we hope to see confirmed and share at some point during 2024. First and foremost, there is another new winery that has opened in the area, Euda Wine, located in Old Fort, is about 30 minutes east of Asheville and is worth checking out. It is off in the same direction as a few other wineries that are further east (South Creek Winery and Silver Fork Winery) so you could make these part of an Asheville Wine Tour. There was also the opening of Gourmand in downtown Asheville. This French themed eatery and wine shop opened inside the S&W Market on Patton Ave. and is currently in the process of relocating to the River Arts District (RAD). We can’t wait for them to open their doors again. They definitely have a unique wine and food offering.

The Tryon Foothills
The Tryon Foothills

The exciting potential news we hope to share this year is that the Tryon Foothills will hopefully be designated as a unique American Viticulture Area (AVA). What is an AVA? It’s a specific type of appellation of origin, meaning there is something specific about the geographic location, the elevation, soil or climate that affects how grapes are grown. An AVA distinguishes the grape growing area from its surrounding regions. It is a federally recognized region so you can imagine how long it takes to establish the designation (think years!). Once a recognized AVA, the vineyard can label their wine with that specific Appellation of Origin. In 2019, the Hendersonville area received their AVA designation as “Crest of the Blue Ridge Henderson County“. There are currently seven vineyards that make up the AVA. Combined together, these two AVA’s represent the major concentration of vineyards in the Asheville region. Having two AVAs will certainly be a big deal for the area, as well as the state, so I hope it happens this year! North Carolina currently has six registered AVA’s (Appalachian High Country, Crest of the Blue Ridge, Haw River, Swan Creek, Upper Hiwassee Highlands, and Yadkin Valley) and growing.

Uniquely Asheville

Earlier I eluded to the fact that the wine scene in Asheville is different. Or, to be more specific, uniquely Asheville. Like Asheville, somehow the wine scene is a little different here than anywhere else in the state. How can that be? Wine is wine, right? Well, kind of but not really. Wine, purely from a physical perspective, is just a fermented beverage that is produced all over the world. At a very high level most wines are made in the same fashion but there are a million variables that make the physical end product of wine unique to each area where it is produced. These differences could be very noticeable even if you were talking about two vineyards located right across the street from one another that are producing the same grape varietal. But wine is more than just the physical product and this is where the Asheville Wine Experience is unique to Asheville when compared to other wine regions in the state. For example, most other wineries in North Carolina have very limited hours that are typically Noon-5pm. You might have a few that open up an hour earlier or stay open an hour later but generally vineyard hours are Noon-5pm. Asheville on the other hand has wineries that stay open later than most, specifically on Friday’s and Saturday’s. Many vineyards remain open until 9pm in the summer so you can enjoy your wine with an unbelievable sunset view. Watching the sun set behind the Blue Ridge Mountains is spectacular! These later hours of operation just show the mindset and/or culture that permeates from Asheville and the surrounding area; there’s a laid back vibe that comes from this mountain region. As I stated earlier; Asheville marches to the beat of their own drum and this spills into the areas surrounding Asheville. In this case, this would be the wine regions to the south of Asheville – Hendersonville and Tryon.

Keep Asheville Weird
Asheville is unique – Keep it that way!

I am absolutely certain that if you have visited Asheville you will agree that there is something unique about this city! Most people will cite the beer, food, arts or music scene but the wine scene and vineyards are just one small example of how the unique Asheville vibes pour out into everything surrounding the city. Just visit the area and it will be clear to you that Asheville is wonderfully unique.

Experience It!

If you are going to be visiting Asheville sometime during 2024 I invite you to experience the Asheville Wine Scene first hand. There is plenty to see and do; you could spend days checking out all of the different wine related experiences. If you want to visit the wine region and not have the stress or worry that comes with driving, then Van in Black is your best option for a high end wine experience. We have certified and credentialed wine experts on staff that can help plan your next Asheville Wine Experience. We can also setup elevated wine experiences at some of the areas best vineyards. Whatever level your wine journey, we can help set up something that will be uniquely Asheville and exceed your expectations. All tours are custom. We would love to work with you on curating your own unique experience. Book your tour now!

Avatar for Ryan Watts

I am the founder and owner of Van in Black. I also started HD Carolina (the first Carolina themed channel on Roku and Amazon Fire TV) and several other service based companies located in North Carolina. I am also a musician, photographer, wine geek (WSET Level 3 in Wines Certified with merit and Level 1 with the Court of Master Sommeliers), computer nerd, and lover of all things cool. Most importantly, however, I am a husband, father, and very proud (newly minted) grandfather.

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