I began falling in love with Asheville long before I smelled the crisp mountain air, ate some of its local, organic, sustainable food, drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and toured a few of its many vineyards. Once I found out that there is a “community of culinary collaborators” who join together for Foodtopia, I fully realized how food-centric Asheville is, and was utterly smitten.
But initially, we kind of ended up in Asheville on a whim. For one reason or another, since moving to NC, the BF and I both kept saying “we should go to Asheville”, but I’m not sure either of us really knew much about this little mountain city at the time.
Now we know that downtown Asheville holds brick-lined streets full of farm-to-table restaurants, which serve all fresh and local ingredients, a view of the mountains, and one of the most incredible mix of eclectic people I’ve ever seen.
Needless to say, I was ready to dive into this trip and sample a little bit of each restaurant that I could, and the BF was ready to get his adventure on. We definitely did a little bit of both…
Located in Pisgah National Forest is a waterfall that I can now say I’ve rappelled down. This is all thanks to the BF and Pure Vida Adventures.
For those of you who might not know, heights and controlling my fate as I am bouncing down an 85 foot waterfall aren’t really my thing. Drinking wine and eating locally sourced food is much more up my alley (keep reading!), which you probably do know if you’ve been reading along at all. Luckily I was able to reward one with the other.
Two thumbs up for “overcoming” fears and going for it!
Since I survived the rappel, the reward was a day full of my favorite things on the Gourmet Wine Tour.
Here are the three vineyards we stopped at along the tour:
St. Paul Mountain Vineyard – where we also tried an award winning hard cider in addition to the wines. The tour guide had a sampling of cheese from local creameries and crackers from Roots and Branches – an Asheville company.
I’m still all googly-eyed for all this local and sustainable food!
Next stop on the tour was Addison Farms Vineyard, where my expectations were blown out of the water!
First of all, wine tasting takes place in an amazing house with THE BEST wine glasses I’ve ever been given for a tasting. They’re hearty and tall, and not at all like some of the puny little wine tasting glasses you sometimes get. Wine glasses like these make me feel at home.
I may or may not have a thing for wine glasses. Moving on…
Wine glasses aside, the owner’s wife is an amazingly sweet woman who does all of the work on the labels. Each wine label and name has a story focused around the family, which of course made my heart happy; I’m a sucker for all things with special meanings.
My favorite was Five Twenty-Nine – for the owner’s and the owner’s parent’s anniversary – which just so happens to be MY parent’s and grandparent’s anniversary! It was also absolutely delicious. You must go here if you venture out to Asheville!
The last stop of the tour was Fontaine Vineyards, just across the way from Addison Vineyards (you could actually see one from the other’s property).
Fontaine Vineyards is owned by a French couple, which is perfect because I adore all things French – especially when it involves wine and food. We sat on their deck and enjoyed generous tastings of French wine, indulged in an authentically perfect French lunch, and savored a delicious chocolate cake – all from a trained Parisian Chef! Oh la, la!
If you know anything about Asheville, then you probably know that one cannot go to Asheville without seeing the Biltmore. So we did just that. In doing so, we also learned the lesson that you should plan the most touristy attraction on a weekday of your vacation.
One must also head to the Biltmore Winery, because they let you sample however many wines you’d like (and have SO MANY options). You can stomp grapes there, too, and who wouldn’t want to do that!?
Now more photo dumping of some the fabulous food Asheville had to offer at the following restaurants:
Biscuit Head (where the biscuits are the size of a cat’s head – pictured here is about 1/4 of my biscuit)
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
this is Liquid Truffle ^^^ SERIOUSLY.
(In case you were wondering – photos are a mix from my iPhone and DSLR camera.)
Thanks for reliving my travels with me, y’all!