Meet the Maker: Highland Gourmet

Highland Gourmet is featured in the Balsam gift box

Scott Waldrop was born and raised in the mountains of western North Carolina. An NC State fan from birth, he attended NCSU before moving to Salt Lake City to complete his studies at the University of Utah. After many years living in the American Southwest he returned to North Carolina with plans for a new venture in Asheville’s burgeoning food scene.

With a background in chemistry, Scott developed a process to produce balsamic vinegar using the ‘Tradizionale’ method employed in Modena and Regia Emilia for centuries. A descendant of Italian Waldensian immigrants, a tradition of viticulture was well ingrained in his cultural heritage. Combining modern chemical engineering practices with ancient methods of fermentation and ‘solera’ aging, he has developed a cold-process balsamic vinegar with qualities remarkably similar to the finest balsamicos of Italy.

Scott’s business, Highland Gourmet, is located in Valdese, NC. Situated on the banks of the Catawba River just south of Grandfather Mountain, Valdese is one of North America’s oldest Italian enclaves, and the home of the American Waldensians. The proud Italian heritage of viticulture and fine food is evident in every bottle of Highland Gourmet balsamic vinegar.

You can find him at the West Asheville and River Arts District Tailgate Markets.