Chris Blanken

Chris Blanken, originally from Charlotte, North Carolina and a 2008 Graduate of Western Carolina University with B.S. Business Administration has been living in the Highlands-Cashiers area since 2004.


Since his early college days, Chris was immersed into the world of high-end private country clubs.  Chris worked in all facets of private club industry before finding his passion in food and wine.  It led Chris to a successful 10 year career as a Food and Beverage Director, Clubhouse Manager, and Wine Director-Sommelier traveling the world with a luxury developer.


Chris split his time between Highlands-Cashiers and properties in premier destinations such as; La Quinta, California, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, and Big Sky, Montana to name a few.  In early 2017, Chris moved from Country Club operations to his current wholesale position with Tryon Distributing


In July of 2015, Chris passed his Certified Sommelier exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers.  Chris is active in the local wine and Sommelier community.  In April of 2017, Chris sat the Advanced Sommelier course and is currently pursing his studies as a candidate for the Advanced Sommelier exam for early 2018.


Chris brings his years of fine service and hospitality, as well as his love for well-made wines and delicious cuisine.  When not selling wine, you will find Chris traveling to a famous wine region, on the Golf Course, out hiking our beautiful region with his two hound-dogs, or enjoying one of our great local restaurants with friends.