We have to admit that when Asheville’s first olive oil-and-vinegar tasting room, Olive & Kickin’, opened earlier this year, we were perplexed by the novelty of the business. Then we tasted the products and took note of reportedly brisk online sales and thought, OK, sure. When another one opened in Biltmore Village (The Tree and Vine) we were surprised. When the third opened in Biltmore Park in late August, we realized that we had a certifiable trend on our hands.
We’ve heard that WNC is becoming something like a Napa of the Southeast — and now we’re starting to believe it. Oil and vinegar “galleries” like these are big in the land of vineyards and proprietary wine tastings (and even more popular in Europe). The concept is beginning to pick up elsewhere throughout the U.S., but with three such galleries opening in quick succession in the rather small Asheville area, we wonder if demand will support all three.
To better understand this apparent oil movement, Xpress spoke to the three proprietors of the three different oil-and-vinegar joints — and found that all have different concepts (and quite a bit of passion about just how unique their concept really is).