According to the Travel Channel, Asheville is now the #1 New Wine City in the United States. Part of that designation is due to groups like French Broad Vignerons, who see themselves as a service and support organization for vineyards, orchards, and wine makers in Western North Carolina. Through all they do, the organization wants the Asheville area to be the first place people think of when they think of truly great wine.
In order to achieve this goal, members of the organization support each other through the entire wine-making process, whether it’s designing vineyards, selecting grapes, or upgrading equipment. Their Board consisted of seven officers and two at large members. All members are welcome at monthly meetings – meetings based around vineyard tours, tasting training, winery sanitation, grape vine propagation, and other topics meant to increase vintner knowledge and improve the wine that is produced. What members of French Broad Vignerons have in common is an interest in making and consuming the best wines possible.
The group sponsors a Best of the Appalachians Programs (BOTA) – an easy way to differentiate grapes and other orchard products that have been created in the area. Before a wine can display a BOTA seal it must go through a stringent series of tests, including blind tasting evaluations. Once wine or cider has earned the seal it is announced to the public and publicized through the organization’s website. For that reason, it is the goal of every vintner to produce a product good enough to earn this special recognition.
Finally, French Broad Vignerons sponsors and promotes winery tours. Given the fact that their membership features the finest wineries the region, there are plenty of tours to choose from.
The wineries in this organization are so unique, so diverse, that we wanted to give you a sneak peek at what you’ll find if you visit:
Hidden away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Adagio (a musical term meaning “slowly with passion”) perfectly describes the vintner’s love of both fine music and wine. In fact, the wines are musically themed and the winery features classical music performances.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the world-famous Biltmore, now is your chance. By visiting you will learn how the original dairy barn was converted into a winery and learn about Biltmore’s winemaking philosophy. You will also enjoy tasting more than 20 handcrafted wines.
Named for the quaint treehouses placed around the vineyard, this is a place where a sense of peace washes over you. Against the backdrop of mountains, the verdant vineyards look like a picture post card. Inside, you’ll taste award winning native muscadine wines and have your choice of ciders, gifts, and gourmet treats for purchase.
This small sampling includes only three of the 14 wineries that make up French Broad Vignerons. Your tour is likely to take you to other – equally impressive – vineyards. It all depends upon the tour you choose.
A few of our favorite tour packages include:
Catawba Valley Tour
You and your group will have the opportunity to taste 20 different wines and are sure to come away with several favorites.
Bon Appetite (or the Wine and Dine Tour)
A chance to enjoy a French lunch or dinner while trying out new, complementary wines.
Vino Al Fresco Tour
This tour has it all – pizza, antipasto, and 15 different wines to try.
Sunday in the Vineyards
Offers the opportunity to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon visiting two wineries and trying a diverse group of wines. You’ll also tour production facilities and learn more about how the wines you enjoy are made.
-Tours are scheduled by contacting The Trolley Company of Hendersonville at (828) 606-8606.
-Bus tours require a minimum of eight passengers.
-If you are traveling with a group, consider planning a specialty tour. Not only can you custom design the regional wineries you will visit, but can also come up with a time that works for your group.