When William A.V. Cecil decided to start making wine at Biltmore in 1971, he started close to home. The first vines were planted yards from the house, and the first wine was bottled in the Conservatory. Not satisfied with his first bottling, Mr. Cecil traveled to France in the mid-1970s and brought back Philippe Jourdain to be Biltmore's first winemaker.
Under Jourdain's supervision, the Biltmore Vineyards were moved to their current location on the west side of the estate and planted with vitis vinifera grapes—the traditional species used in winemaking.
Grapes grown on the estate today include cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot for red varietals, and Riesling, chardonnay, and viognier for white varietals. Other varietals and additional grapes are sourced from some of the nation's finest vineyards in North Carolina, California and Washington State. These partners allow us to ensure that we craft consistently available, high-quality wines like those George Vanderbilt chose for his family and friends over 100 years ago.