Wine Tunnel opens while Wine Guy and Sante are up for sale

Wall-to-wall wine: Wine Tunnel brings a curated collection of wines to Tunnel Road. Photo by Max Cooper.

Tunnel Road gets terroir with a new wine store, Wine Tunnel. The shop will host a grand opening celebration on Friday, Nov. 9 beginning at 3 p.m. General manager Robert Braswell promises samples from winery representatives with light snacks and live music.

The store stocks a variety of wines and local and craft beers, as well as cigars and wine accessories. The space itself features a full-service bar with wines by the glass and beers by the bottle.

The Wine Tunnel, 148 Tunnel Road, opens Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 254–0504 or visit

The Wine Guy at 555 Merrimon Ave. will also host a celebration this month, although of different tidings. The business is for sale. Co-owner Dorsey Fenner says she's relocating to Georgia to be closer to her family, and she plans to leave Asheville in December. There is a “for rent” sign in the building's window, the landlord's fallback plan in case the business doesn't sell by the end of the year, Fenner explains.

On Saturday, Nov. 17, Fenner will celebrate The Wine Guy’s 13th anniversary. A free wine tasting will take place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and there will be a big sale, she says.

Downtown in the Grove Arcade, Santé Wine Bar and Tap Room is also for sale. The small-bite eatery and bar sells wine on tap by the glass in addition to traditional pours and to-go bottles. Owner Carla Baden opened the venue in 2006, but now she’s looking to pass it on. She plans to continue to open daily at 4 p.m. as usual. “My intention is to operate until the buyer aligns,” she says. “Obviously, we’re coming into winter, and that’s about all I want to say about that.”

The business shifts at Santé and The Wine Guy follow on The Wine Studio’s September closing. “I think it’s coincidence,” Baden says. “Is there a lot more competition in the wine world than there was when Santé opened in 2006? Well, heck yeah. Is Santé still holding its own? Yes.”


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