Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius

The wonders of Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius await you at Biltmore now through February 20, 2023.

Five centuries after his death, Leonardo da Vinci still captivates our imagination with his remarkable discoveries and creations.

Learn more about the man, the mysteries, and his masterpieces with this immersive exhibition created and produced by Grande Experiences and hosted on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

An Enigmatic Life

Details of Da Vinci's Madonna with Carnation painting
The Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius exhibition includes stunning projections of his artwork like the details of “Madonna with Carnation” show here.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Leonardo, son of ser Piero from Vinci) was born out of wedlock in Vinci, Italy, 20 miles outside of Florence.

He would change the world, becoming an artist, scientist, inventor, musician, philosopher, and more. Beyond his astonishing body of work, however, existed a fascinating person who remains enigmatic to this day. Despite the more than 7,000 pages of sketches, notes, and lists he left behind, the personal life of Leonardo da Vinci is shadowed by mystery.  

An Artistic Legend

Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, painted in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy

Da Vinci’s artistic talents first emerged in childhood. After receiving a basic education in reading, writing, and mathematics, at 14 years old he began an apprenticeship with the famous Florentine painter and sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio. By the age of 20, Da Vinci joined other notable artists in the guild of Saint Luke.

A constant tinkerer, Da Vinci experimented with different mediums and techniques such as using his palm and fingers along with a brush to create three-dimensional effects. Prolific even into middle age, in his mid-forties to early fifties Da Vinci painted Last Supper and Mona Lisa. The former became one of the most reproduced works of art in the world; the latter, one of the most iconic. 

A Scientific Trailblazer

A model of a tank created by Leonardo da Vinci
Replicas of the machine models created by Leonardo da Vinci are included in the exhibit at Biltmore, “Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius.” Now on display at Amherst at Deerpark. Photo credit: The Biltmore Company.

Insatiably inquisitive, there seemed to be no area of study in which Da Vinci did not maintain an interest. Skilled in left-brain talents as well as right, the artist pursued projects in botany, geology, architecture, aviation, physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, zoology, anatomy, and more.

Centuries ahead of their time and written in precise detail, Da Vinci’s sketches depict inventions such as the helicopter, an armored tank, a calculator, a lifebelt, and various bridge designs.

Replica of Da Vinci's paddle boat design
This replica of a paddle boat design by Da Vincie is included in the immersive, multi-sensory exhibition hosted at Biltmore now through February 20, 2023.

His notes contain theoretical suppositions describing plate tectonics, hydrodynamics, and industrial machinery. Da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man, based upon the work of the Roman architect Vitruvius, bridged art and science by illustrating the proportions of the human body with blueprint-like clarity.

Leonardo da Vinci and George Vanderbilt: Kindred Spirits

Immersive aspects of the Da Vinci exhibition hosted at Biltmore
Now through February 20, 2023, immerse yourself in the wonders of “Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius”, created and produced by Grande Experiences and hosted on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

One could say that George Vanderbilt and Leonardo da Vinci would have enjoyed each other’s company had they not been born more than 400 years apart.

Both possessed a love of learning, boundless curiosity, a dedication to art, a commitment to innovation–even a shared love of wine, with Da Vinci accepting a vineyard near Milan as payment for his masterpiece Last Supper, and Vanderbilt known as a thoughtful collector of wine.

Now, the two remarkable men come together at Biltmore during the one-of-a-kind immersive, multi-sensory experience, Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius, the third installment in the well-received Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore series.

Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius

Leonardo da Vinci -- 500 Years of Genius
Guests enjoying aspects of the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius, hosted at Biltmore.

Set to a Renaissance-inspired soundtrack of classical music, Leonardo da Vinci – 500 years of Genius will envelop you in more than 3,000 images of the Italian polymath’s masterpieces, inventions, notes, sketches, and personal reflections.

You’ll also see replicas of some of Da Vinci’s amazing machines and models. Don’t miss this must-see exhibition hosted at Biltmore’s Amherst at Deerpark® venue now–February 20, 2023.

Plan a Blue Ridge Mountain Escape at Biltmore!

Couple hiking in Biltmore's 8,000-acre backyard
Plan your Blue Ridge Mountain escape at Biltmore today!

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Biltmore and extend your visit with a reservation at one of our hotels or private historic cottages. In addition to discovering Da Vinci, you can enhance your stay with a complimentary wine tasting at the Winery in Antler Hill Village, a wide range of outdoor activities, shopping, dining, and so much more!


Featured image: Images of Mona Lisa as part of Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius

Biltmore Wines: Cheers for Each Tier!

All Biltmore wines are cheers-worthy, from our fine American Series and Limited Release options to our exceptional Reserve tiers and Antler Hill® vintages.

Discover what makes our wines worth cheering about with an overview of each collection.

Biltmore Estate® American Series Collection

Biltmore Estate wines with chocolate desserts
Our classic Biltmore Estate® American Series wines are approachable and feature classic varietal character. Look for the “Biltmore burgundy” capsule and a line drawing of Biltmore House on the label.

Grapes for this collection are selected from leading growing regions across the nation and handcrafted at our estate winery in Asheville, NC. Each wine captures the true character of the varietal, resulting in an outstanding taste that provides a perfect pairing for any occasion.

Example: Biltmore Estate® Cabernet Sauvignon is a great option in our American Series collection. This smooth wine featuring lush cherry flavors and soft, lingering tannins was awarded 95 points in the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition.


Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Collection

Bottles of Biltmore Estate Limited Release wines
Biltmore Estate® Limited Release wines, distinguished by a matte black capsule and black-and-gold label, are perfect for sipping by the glass or in craft cocktails.

Crafted in smaller lots, these exceptional wines include some of our most intriguing varietals and blends that showcase our winemaker’s skillful artistry in each bottle. Limited Release wines are exclusively available on the estate, online, or through the Vanderbilt Wine Club®.

Example: Our highly aromatic Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Orange Muscat balances lightly sweet flavors of honey and tropical fruit with a clean, lightly tart finish that is surprisingly zesty.


Biltmore® Reserve Collection

Biltmore Reserve wines on an outdoor table
Our Biltmore® Reserve label honors fine vintages handcrafted with grapes from the estate’s vineyard in Asheville, NC. The collection is distinguished by blue foil capsules and a label showcasing elements of the Vanderbilt family’s table linens and place settings.

An invitation to dine with the Vanderbilts at their magnificent home in Asheville, North Carolina, assured you of enjoying gracious hospitality paired with fine wines. Today, their enduring legacy inspires our winemaker to handcraft each wine in our Biltmore® Reserve Collection from grapes grown at the estate’s own vineyard or from local partners in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Example: We handcraft our lovely Biltmore® Reserve Rosé North Carolina 2020 to offer delicate sweetness with hints of spice and white pepper. Approachable and easy to drink, the style is reminiscent of classic old-world rosés.


Vanderbilt Reserve® collection

Vanderbilt Reserve wine bottles on an elegant table
Each outstanding Vanderbilt Reserve® wine bears the appellation and vintage of its origin. This collection is distinguished by red foil capsules and a label design based on George Vanderbilt’s monogramed china and table linens.

These distinguished vintages reflect George Vanderbilt’s interest in collecting fine wines from around the world to share with his friends and family at Biltmore. For Vanderbilt Reserve® wines, our winemaker selects outstanding fruit from partner vineyards in some of the nation’s finest growing regions and oversees the process of handcrafting each one. Each of these wines bears the appellation and vintage of its origin.

Example: Our Vanderbilt Reserve® Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2018 showcases its versatile, food-friendly character with good acidity, flavors of strawberry, red raspberry, and cherry, and slight hints of minerality, enhanced by aging 14–16 months in French and American oak barrels.


Antler Hill® Collection

Antler Hill wines with plates and glasses
Handcrafted with premium vintages from the finest growing regions, Antler Hill® wines offer extraordinary taste and excellent aging potential. The handsome label is reproduced from a sporting print in George Vanderbilt’s collection.

Antler Hill® wines pair the passion of Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak with the premium harvests and vintages from our small partner vineyards with whom we’ve cultivated long-standing relationships in the nation’s finest wine regions. Each wine is handcrafted with exceptional skill to showcase the varietal, the vintage, and to honor the Vanderbilt family’s heritage of gracious hospitality.

Example: From smooth tropical notes to a bright citrus finish, our exceptional Antler Hill® Chardonnay Carneros 2019 offers crisp layers of refreshing un-oaked flavor achieved by careful aging for 12–24 months in stainless steel tanks under the direction of our estate winemaker.


Biltmore Estate® Sparkling Collection

Biltmore Estate® Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs with two flutes
Each of our sparkling wines is carefully handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise, including our exceptional Biltmore Estate® Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs created with estate-grown Chardonnay grapes.

At Biltmore’s Winery in Asheville, NC, we craft both still and sparkling wines. It’s unusual to offer both—most wineries specialize in one or the other—but Biltmore has a long history of doing the unexpected.

All our sparkling wines are handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise, a process that requires a secondary fermentation in the bottle, and is vital for developing the delicate bubbles that characterize outstanding sparkling wines.

Example: Dry and delicate with tiny mousse-like bubbles, Biltmore Estate® Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs North Carolina 2019 is our finest sparkling wine–and it’s handcrafted from our own estate-grown Chardonnay grapes!

Learn more about Biltmore wines

Three bottles of Biltmore wine
Learn more about Biltmore wines with a complimentary tasting at the Winery, then enjoy your favorites by the glass or bottle at the adjacent Wine Bar.

We invite you to learn more about Biltmore wines by visiting our Winery in Asheville, NC, to taste them for yourself! Your Biltmore Estate admission includes access to Antler Hill Village & Winery, and we encourage you to reserve a complimentary tasting at the Winery on the day of your visit.

Want another great way to discover our wines? Become a member of the Vanderbilt Wine Club® and enjoy seasonal shipments of our handcrafted wines delivered directly to your door.


Plan a Friends’ Getaway at Biltmore

Ready to plan your next friends’ getaway? Look no further than Biltmore Estate, located in Asheville, North Carolina!

View of Biltmore House from French Board River in Asheville, NC
With 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain beauty to explore, there’s no better destination for your next friend’s getaway than Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

“Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want uninterrupted time to reconnect with someone special, anytime is a perfect time to plan a friends’ getaway with us,” said Beth Poslusny, General Manager of Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate®.

“We’ve hosted girls’ getaways, guys’ getaways, bachelor and bachelorette parties, retreats for sororities and fraternities, reunions with high school classmates, and long weekends with multi-generational family members reconnecting, and everything in between,” Beth said. “There is never a shortage of activities to help you enjoy your time together here at Biltmore!”

Stay at Biltmore for your friends’ getaway

The Inn and Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate
With so much to see and do at Biltmore during your getaway, stay overnight at The Inn (above), Village Hotel (below), or one of our private historic cottages to ensure you have time to experience it all.

A friends’ gathering just wouldn’t be the same without late-night reminiscing and storytelling. Book a room at any of Biltmore’s distinctive lodging properties so the good times can continue!

Visit Tip: Try Village Hotel for convenient access to Antler Hill Village & Winery, The Inn on Biltmore Estate® for a luxurious, four-star experience, and for groups of four to five friends or family members, consider one of our private historic Cottages on Biltmore Estate™—the ultimate way to experience our 8,000 acres like a guest of the Vanderbilts.

Sample some of these friends’ getaway ideas!

Gather your group together for a round of drinks at Cedric’s Tavern® in Antler Hill Village.
There’s no better place to enjoy a girls’ getaway your way than at Biltmore in Asheville, NC!
Include relaxing activities like yoga in your friends’ getaway at Biltmore.
There’s no better time for a getaway than Christmas at Biltmore–especially when you include a reservation for a Candlelight Christmas Evenings visit!
Located at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, the Spa Biltmore is available to all overnight guests–and we won’t tell if you schedule some self care in the midst of your friends’ getaway!
Bring everyone along for a view of Biltmore House from the comfort of horse-drawn surrey.

Sip award-winning vino

Girlfriends' getaway with wine
Cheers to any girls’ getaway or gathering of friends that includes Biltmore wines!

Wake up your taste buds with your best buds during a visit to Biltmore’s state-of-the-art Winery. Reserve a complimentary wine tasting in our Tasting Room, then linger at the adjacent Wine Bar to sip something special together—perhaps one of our handcrafted sparkling wines.

Before you go, visit the Wine Shop to stock up on the vintages that pleased your palate most so you can enjoy your favorites at home.

Visit Tip: If you missed snagging the perfect wine, find it online at biltmoreshop.com, or consider joining the Vanderbilt Wine Club® so you’ll receive seasonal shipments all year round to remind you of your fabulous friends’ getaway!

Capture moments that matter

Mother and daughter enjoy a friends' getaway moment in front of the Conservatory at Biltmore
Biltmore is the perfect place for a friends’ getaway, a family reunion, or a long mother-and-daughter weekend to reconnect with each other in a beautiful setting.

Don’t forget to capture photos together for a special way to document the smiles that only a special getaway together can bring.

Picturesque locations abound at Biltmore for the most casual or frame-worthy images. Have a Biltmore team member snap a picture for you, or use Frederick Law Olmsted’s majestic landscape designs as a breathtaking backdrop.

Our historic gardens and grounds offer stunning photo opportunities in every season, and the Conservatory features year-round tropical treasures under its grand glass roof.

Sunflowers blooming at Biiltmore
Enjoy a later-summer getaway with a sea of sunflowers blooming at Biltmore!

Visit Tip: To capture memorable pics with your besties in late summer and early fall, look for swathes of glorious golden sunflowers along the road to Antler Hill Village.

Plan your friends’ getaway at Biltmore today!

A group of men and women enjoy a friends' getaway at Biltmore
Gather your friends together at Biltmore and celebrate time well spent at this magnificent mountain destination!

Uninterrupted escapes with the special people in your life lead to laughter-filled hours, story-worthy scenarios, and closer relationships. There is no better location than Biltmore when you’re ready to hit the “pause” button on life and make meaningful memories with those you love most.

“Check Biltmore’s website for special offers such as the Morning at Biltmore package at Village Hotel,” Beth said. “It comes with a fascinating pre-opening tour of Biltmore House, plus admission to Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius, which is the final experience in our Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore series.”

Visit Tip: Planning to spend multiple days at the estate? Consider becoming a Biltmore Annual Passholder to take advantage of the exclusive benefits we reserve just for Passholders, like bringing your children 16 and younger with you for free, plus special discounts on shopping, dining, activities, and overnight stays at our two hotels!

Scene from Leonardo da Vinci -- 500 Years of Genius at Biltmore
Now through February 20, 2023, include a visit to Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius, created and produced by Grande Experiences, in your friend’s getaway plans at Biltmore.

With everything there is to see and do at Biltmore, we invite you to make a long weekend of your friends’ getaway so you’ll have plenty of time to explore, discover, and reconnect here in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Visit Tip: Whether you’re driving or flying into the Asheville area, we generally enjoy good weather most of the year with colorful springs, warm summers, cool autumns, and mild winters, so don’t hesitate to plan your friends’ getaway at Biltmore Estate in any season!

Asheville Artist Reproduces Biltmore Sculpture

Asheville artist Alex Irvine has reproduced a Biltmore sculpture, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the wonderful results!

Biltmore sculpture removed for preservation

Known as Woman Reading with Dog, this charming depiction of a young woman reading a book with her canine companion at her knees was originally installed on the Library Terrace at Biltmore House.

Asheville artist reproduces Biltmore sculpture
Artist Alex Irvine worked from the original Biltmore sculpture in his Asheville-area studio to create two new versions for display at the estate.

Like many of the other sculptures found throughout Biltmore’s historic gardens, Woman Reading with Dog was French in origin. It was produced by Gossin Frères of Paris, a firm well known for their ornamental terra cotta fabrications.

After many years of exposure to the elements, Biltmore’s original sculpture had become unstable due to heavy deterioration, and was removed from the Library Terrace for preservation purposes.

Asheville artist commissioned to create new Biltmore sculpture

“We commissioned a replica from Asheville artist Alex Irvine after he worked with Biltmore’s conservation team on a project that involved recreating a missing arm and floral garland for a terra cotta sculpture located on the South Terrace of Biltmore House,” said Kara Warren, Preventive Conservation Specialist. “We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such an exceptionally skilled ceramic artist who is located just miles from Biltmore Estate.”

To reproduce Woman Reading with Dog, Alex employed a multi-step process similar to the one used to create the original sculpture. He began his work by hand building the figure out of clay, scaling it 9% larger than the original to account for shrinkage during the drying and firing of the clay. The entire commission took more than two years to complete.

Original terra cotta sculpture (left); new copy (right) being hand-built around a metal armature that will help support the weight of the clay.
(L-R) The original sculpture and the new clay sculpture that will be used in the plaster mold of the final version. The arms are cast and fired separately.
The original sculpture was created by Gossin Frères of Paris. The re-creation is a perfect copy that includes the firm’s mark.
The mold for the new sculpture included 50 different sections, like this piece for one of the hands.
The sculpture’s arms were cast and fired separately from the rest of the figure and attached with steel pins the day after the sculpture was installed on the Library Terrace.
The newly re-created “Woman Reading with Dog” sculpture out of the kiln after being fired.
A close up of the sculpture reveals her serene expression and the beautiful detailing of her face and features.
Kara Warren, Preventive Conservation Specialist, discusses the sculpture with artist Alex Irvine in his studio. Credit: The Biltmore Company

The next step was the creation of a 50-part plaster mold of the replicated statue. The mold was assembled on the floor of the kiln in stages to allow access for handfuls of clay to be pressed into the mold to produce a hollow cast.

The legs inside the garment and internal structure were hand-built with slabs of clay. Once cast, the surface details were refined again in preparation for firing.

The clay statue was slowly dried over six months and then fired very slowly to 2100ºF in a one-of-a-kind electric kiln built for this commission.

Installation of the new sculpture

The reproduction of Woman Reading with Dog was installed on the Library Terrace, in the same location as the original.

The replica of “Woman Reading with Dog” was carefully crated in Alex Irvine’s studio for its trip to the Library Terrace at Biltmore House. Her arms were attached with steel pins after installation was complete.
Alex Irvine, Kara Warren, and Trip Hudgins, Engineering Operations Manager, assist with the sculpture’s installation on the Library Terrace.
Asheville artist Alex Irvine oversees the prepping of the original limestone plinth on which the sculpture will be installed.
Delicate details like the dog’s tail could easily break during installation, so the artist and members of our Museum Services team handle the project with great care.
The final step of the process was to attach the sculpture’s arms with steel pins once the main installation was complete.
From this angle, you can see some of the wonderful details of the sculpture’s hand and arm, draped fabric, and even the dog’s teeth!

See preservation in action at Biltmore

Biltmore sculpture on the Library Terrace
“Woman Reading with Dog” installed on the Library Terrace of Biltmore House

In addition to viewing Woman Reading with Dog on the Library Terrace of Biltmore House, you can also view a second reproduction of this sculpture that was made as part of the process. The sculpture will be displayed in a niche in the back courtyard of Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate®.



Celebrate Summer with Sensational Sangrias

Celebrate summer with sensational sangrias featuring your favorite Biltmore wines!

Whether you’re a fan of reds, whites, or rosés, there’s a perfect option in the following recipes to help you to create fun and fruity sangrias for solo sipping and friendly gatherings all season long.

Refreshing White Sangria

Fruit-filled pitcher of refreshing white sangria
Enjoy a pitcher of Refreshing White Sangria featuring our Biltmore Masterpiece Collection White Wine

Although traditional sangria recipes tend to feature red wines, this version with our Biltmore Masterpiece Collection White Wine is a cool, refreshing treat for warm weather. Enjoy with friends and, should you have any left over (we doubt you will!), freeze it for a fun take on grown-up popsicles or slushies.

• 1 bottle Biltmore® Masterpiece Collection White Wine
• 4 ounces simple syrup
• 4 ounces brandy
• 2 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice
• 2 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice
• 2 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 limes, sliced in wheels
• 1 lemon, sliced in wheels then halved
• 1 Fuji apple, cubed
• 1 Anjou pear, cubed
• 1 mango, cubed
• Seeds from ½ pomegranate (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until well mixed, adding pomegranate seeds at the end for presentation as they tend to fall to the bottom after stirring. Serve over ice. If sangria sits overnight, add simple syrup to taste as additional juices will come forward the next day. Serves 4-6.


Cardinal’s Crest Red Sangria

Biltmore Cardinal's Crest makes a sensational sangrias
Add some sparkle to warm weather sipping with our Cardinal’s Crest Sangria!

Take time for yourself with a glass of Cardinal’s Crest Red Sangria—the perfect sparkling treat for a leisurely Sunday morning brunch or a long afternoon on the porch.

• 3 ounces Biltmore Estate® Cardinal’s Crest
• ½ ounce Orange Curacao
• ½ ounce St. Remy Brandy
• ¾ ounce orange juice
• ¼ ounce grapefruit juice
• ½ ounce simple syrup
• 1 ounce Biltmore Estate® Brut sparkling wine
• Lime wedge and an orange wedge (optional garnish)

Add first 6 ingredients to a small pitcher or shaker; mix until combined. Pour over ice in a wine glass and top with 1 ounce sparkling wine and garnish with lime and orange wedges. Serves 1.


Celebrate Summer with Peach Sangria

Celebrate summer with Limited Release white wines
Savor summer with our Limited Release white wines, including Orange Muscat

The delicious combination of our fragrant Orange Muscat with apricot brandy, followed by the infusion of peach puree and delicate raspberries for fresh fruit taste and texture, elevates this sangria to new heights! Stir up an icy pitcher to share with friends and family under a shade tree this summer.

• 1 bottle Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Orange Muscat
• 16 ounces Bellini Cipriani White Peach Puree
• 4 ounces vodka
• 4 ounces apricot brandy
• 1 peach, sliced
• 1 cup raspberries
• Fresh mint (optional garnish)

Add first 4 ingredients to a pitcher with enough ice to chill; mix thoroughly. Add white peach slices and raspberries and garnish with mint. Serve over ice in a Collins glass. Serves 4-6.


Strawberry Rosé Sangria Cocktail

Celebrate summer with sensational sangrias
Sweeten the long days of summer with this delightful sangria cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé

Vibrant and robust, this is a cocktail-forward sangria that allows the Dry Rosé to come out on the nose while the strawberry and limoncello are on the finish. The sweetness of the powdered sugar on the lips is the perfect complement to the cocktail, and really adds to the presentation. Serves 1.

• 2½ ounces of Biltmore Estate® Dry Rosé
• 1 ounce Absolut® Juice Strawberry Edition
• ¾ ounce of Caravella Limoncello
• ¼ ounce pomegranate simple syrup
• Strawberries and blueberries rolled in powdered sugar (optional garnish), plus more sugar for dusting

Add ingredients to a mixing glass with a handful of ice and stir gently for about 10 seconds. Dust a Nick and Nora glass with powdered sugar. Strain the sangria cocktail mixture into that glass and garnish.

Purchase Biltmore wines now

Our award-winning wines are available for purchase at estate shops, online, and close to home with our Retail Locator.

Want more options to celebrate summer? Uncork these refreshing summer cocktails featuring Biltmore wines.

Special thanks to Jeremy Hood of The Urban Gastronome in Asheville, North Carolina, for developing these recipes to help us celebrate summer with our sensational sangrias!

Enhance Warm Weather Sipping with Biltmore Wines

Enhance warm weather sipping with Biltmore wines, whether you’re packing a picnic, entertaining friends and family outdoors, or simply relaxing on your porch or patio.

Ladies enjoying a warm weather picnic with wine at Biltmore House
Enjoy warm weather sipping with friends and family!

Refresh your palate

Biltmore Estate winemaker Sharon Fenchak recommends focusing on lighter, dryer, more acidic wines during the warmest months of the year.

According to Sharon, these wines refresh your palate in the same way lemonade does when the weather heats up and you feel more thirst.

Woman enjoying Biltmore Estate Chardonnay
Biltmore wines are perfect for warm weather sipping!

“Sweeter wines tend to leave you thirsty, while wines with higher acidity such as our own crisp Biltmore Estate® Sauvignon Blanc can actually quench your thirst on a warm spring or summer day,” Sharon said.

Crisp white wines for warm weather sipping

Biltmore wines provide great summer sipping
Enjoy Biltmore white wines by the glass or bottle this summer

“Another great choice is Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc. It is refreshing and surprisingly creamy with notes of coconut and key lime,” said Sharon, “and it pairs beautifully with salads, chicken, and grilled fish–the kinds of food you tend to serve in warmer weather.

Sharon also recommends Biltmore Estate® Pinot Grigio with its spicy citrus finish, and our off-dry, approachable Biltmore Estate® Albariño as especially nice options for sipping outdoors on spring and summer evenings.

Prefer a cool, elegant classic white wine for summer sipping? Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay offers crisp fruit flavor and hints of oak to complement everything from grilled vegetables to chicken and seafood.

Pick the perfect rosé for warm weather

Celebrate summer with sensational sangrias
Sweeten the long days of summer with this delightful sangria cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé

Rosé drinkers will appreciate our Biltmore Estate® Dry Rosé, a surprisingly dry wine with delicate layers of berry flavors. It’s perfect with chicken, pork, salmon, and sausage–serve it along with all those smoky grilled favorites at your next backyard barbecue–or enjoy it in our refreshing “Love Never Runs Dry” cocktail.

Warm-weather sippers for red wine lovers

Biltmore Cardinal's Crest makes a sensational sangrias
Add some sparkle to warm weather sipping with our Cardinal’s Crest Sangria!

Sharon recommends mellow, versatile reds for the warm weather sipping; one of the best is Biltmore Estate® Cardinal’s Crest—a smooth, easy-to-drink blend.

“Enjoy it by the glass, or mix up a pitcher of fruity Cardinal’s Crest Sangria to sip in the shade,” Sharon said. “Your friends will thank you!” 

Biltmore bubbles are festive and fun!

Biltmore Estate Brut sparkling wine and glasses
Sparkling wines aren’t just for special occasions–they’re also super for sipping in warm weather!

Like something bubbly? Sparkling wines like our Biltmore Estate® Brut, handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise style, are perfect for warm weather sipping on their own and as the base of mimosas or other cocktails.

Cool down with the 20-minute rule

Bucket full of Biltmore Wines
Put Biltmore wines on your “bucket list” for summer sipping!

“Whatever wine you prefer, make sure you chill it first, even if it’s a red wine,” said Sharon. She suggests that you cool reds for about 20 minutes before you serve them. For white wines, remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to serving so their aromas and flavors can be released.

“The most important rule of wine? Drink what you like, regardless of the time of year!” Sharon said.

Enjoy Biltmore wines for warm weather sipping

Summer sipping outdoors with Biltmore wines
Enjoy summer sipping and entertaining outdoors with your favorite Biltmore wines

Find your favorite Biltmore wines at Biltmore Estate shops and restaurants, our Winery, or purchase them online at biltmoreshop.com/wines.

Bachelors, Babies, and Buttons: Biltmore’s Old Rose Room

From bachelors to babies to buttons, the Old Rose Room on the second floor of Biltmore House has a long and interesting history, and has been used in a number of different ways throughout the last century.

From bachelors to babies to Being There

Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil and her husband John Francis Amherst Cecil with their oldest son George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil as an infant, ca. 1925.
Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil and her husband John Francis Amherst Cecil with their oldest son George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil as an infant, ca. 1925.

On the original house plans, the Old Rose Room, located in the Bachelor Wing, is named for its style of décor and noted as one of several guest bedrooms for single gentlemen who visited Biltmore.

In the late 1920s and early 30s, the room was repurposed as a day or night nursery for Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil’s two sons, George and William Cecil.

After the boys grew up, the room became an office for estate employees. In the late 1970s, it was updated with new wallpaper to support filming of the iconic movie Being There.

Repurposing the Old Rose Room for storage

Vintage clothing in the Old Rose Room at Biltmore
Clothing and accessories stored in the Old Rose Room at Biltmore

Today the Old Rose Room has become an important storage area for many of the intricate costumes that have been recreated for estate exhibitions.

“As Museum Services planned for future costume exhibitions, it became clear that existing storage did not support the department’s goals,” said Lenore Hardin, Associate Collections Manager. “Before we created this new system, we had a closet in a bedroom where we kept original costumes. Now we have an amazing space to help us store things properly, including 11-foot shelves.”

Much more than a costume “closet”

Top hats and casual hats stored in the Old Rose Room at Biltmore
A selection of hats stored on shelves in the Old Rose Room; photo by LeeAnn Donnelly

The primary costumes stored in the room now were part of A Vanderbilt House Party: The Gilded Age, displayed in Biltmore House in 2018. That exhibition involved 26 costumes designed specifically for Biltmore from archival photographs and portraits of the Vanderbilt family and their guests.

A total of 59 costumes were on display during A Vanderbilt House Party, with accessories such as hats, socks, shoes, and jewelry sourced for all of them. The grand total? More than 600 separate pieces were included in the exhibition—with storage required for each of them!

A place for everything

Woman in the Old Rose Room at Biltmore
Lenore Hardin at work in the Old Rose Room; photo by LeeAnn Donnelly

According to Lenore, the space resembles a very organized, giant walk-in closet. Each piece of clothing and each accessory is catalogued and placed in its own spot. A large table in the middle of the room offers ample space for viewing items and processing them for storage.

“We designed the storage system around the room, taking advantage of its high ceilings, using textile boxes and building around architectural features in the room, including a unit built around a fireplace mantel,” said Lenore.

Preservation meets storage in the Old Rose Room

Clothing stored in dust bags on padded hangers in the Old Rose Room; photo by LeeAnn Donnelly
Clothing stored in dust bags on padded hangers in the Old Rose Room

Preservation techniques are always incorporated into storage at Biltmore, and costumes are carefully protected for future use. The costumes are placed on padded hangers and placed under dust covers that are waterproof.

Some delicate costumes such as evening dresses are stored flat, in archival-safe, acid-free boxes with the folds carefully padded to prevent wrinkles. Shoes and boots stored on open shelving are filled with acid-free tissue to help keep their shape.

A lengthy process

Woman with gloves handles clothing
Lenore carefully prepares a beaded dress for proper storage; photo by LeeAnn Donnelly

Items in storage range from spectacular beaded dresses and feathered hats to cufflinks, buttons, and jewelry. One of Lenore’s favorite pieces is a reproduction of a lovely Boucheron brooch that George Vanderbilt gave to Edith as an engagement gift.

It took about two years to complete the design and creation of this storage room, from clearing it out and deciding how it should be arranged to building the necessary elements.

Determining what types of archival materials were needed to protect the costumes and getting those materials was another three months, while storing the clothing and materials took nearly a year—and the process continues.

The value of preservation

A collection of goggles and glasses; photo by LeeAnn Donnelly
A collection of goggles and glasses stored in the Old Rose Room

“Preservation has always been something that the George Vanderbilt’s descendants have valued, and as William A.V. Cecil once noted, ‘we don’t preserve Biltmore to make a profit; we make a profit to preserve Biltmore.’ That principle is continued by the family and reflects their vision through the years,” said Lenore.

Every Day is Earth Day at Biltmore

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, but we treat every day as Earth Day at Biltmore.

Vanderbilt’s vision

When George Vanderbilt began planning his grand estate in Asheville, North Carolina, his vision was twofold.

First, he wanted to create a place where he could relax and entertain friends and family. Just as important, however, was his desire to preserve the surrounding beauty.

West view of Biltmore House from Lagoon
The west side of Biltmore House

Second, he envisioned a self-sustaining estate that would nurture the land and its resources for years to come. From this vision came the nation’s first planned forestry program and the beginning of a family focus on the environment.

We continue to honor Vanderbilt’s vision today by acting as good stewards of our land, forest, and livestock resources. Here are some highlights of the best practices we follow at Biltmore:

Helpful hydroponics

Hydroponic lettuces
Hydroponic lettuce in an estate greenhouse

To honor our legacy of agricultural excellence, the benefits of hydroponics are undeniable.

In addition to higher and more consistent yields, the system is more efficient in protecting plants from pests and uses less water than standard field irrigation. In addition to leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, mustard, kale, and collards, herbs and edible flowers are grown in the estate’s hydroponic greenhouses.

Grazing, grass, and goats

Goat for Earth Day at Biltmore
One of Biltmore’s friendly goats that enjoys nibbling invasive plants. Credit: The Biltmore Company

Land is one of Biltmore’s most valuable resources, and to help preserve it more sustainably, larger pastures for livestock are divided into smaller paddocks with animals rotated through them every few days.

This practice of rotational grazing allows plants more time to regrow and replenish their root systems, increasing the quality and quantity of on-site foraging, reducing the need for labor-intensive harvesting, and increasing soil health for better agricultural outcomes.

In addition to rotational grazing, we are expanding the number of goats on the estate and putting them to work eating invasive plant species such as autumn olive and porcelain berry.

Goats are especially useful in keeping steep slopes trimmed and tidy, allowing maintenance crews to take on other projects and reducing some diesel fuel usage in equipment.

Protecting our pollinators

Monarch butterfly for Earth Day at Biltmore
Monarch butterflies are welcome guests at Biltmore

Continuing George Vanderbilt’s legacy of environmental stewardship, Biltmore has embarked on an effort to support the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) by planting native milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) to provide vital habitat for this threatened species.

Milkweed is the only plant on which monarchs lay their eggs—and it is the only plant that their young caterpillars eat before transforming into beautiful orange and black butterflies.

In becoming a certified monarch waystation, our hope is that as the monarchs’ path of migration takes them through Asheville and the mountains of Western North Carolina on their way to Mexico, we can encourage growth in their waning populations.

Welcoming wildflowers

Wildflowers for Earth Day at Biltmore
Wildflowers are planted to promote beauty and sustainability

By planting pollinator-friendly wildflowers, Biltmore is playing our part in preventing the widespread demise of these important species—including hummingbirds, bees, moths, and more—that is currently happening worldwide.

We cultivate more than 30 varieties of wildflowers across 2.5 acres in order to attract and support these small but vital native animals. This program encourages a more diverse, and thus resilient, ecosystem both on the estate and in the surrounding region.

Corporate Social Responsibility Team

Bluebird on its house at Biltmore
A bluebird sits atop its house in the fields around the estate

In addition to these best practices, Biltmore encourages employees to become members of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Team that focuses on reducing, reusing, and recycling for the estate.

Other CSR projects include working with monarch butterflies, cleaning and monitoring bluebird houses around the property, and a variety of other small-scale efforts that make a big difference in our community.

Sustainable practices at Biltmore

Solar panels at Biltmore
A section of the 9-acre solar field at Biltmore

Along with the initiatives noted above, Biltmore has implemented a 9-acre, 1.7-megawatt solar system with 7,000 solar panels to offset some of our energy usage, and we promote sustainability in our winemaking practices, as well.

Cork recycling barrel at Biltmore
A wine cork recycling barrel at Biltmore

To learn more about how we make every day like Earth Day at Biltmore, visit the Environmental Stewardship section of our website.

Worth Preserving: The Oak Sitting Room at Biltmore

In honor of our ongoing mission of preserving Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, we’ll take a closer look at the restoration of the Oak Sitting Room. Even though the process took nearly 15 years to complete, it was well worth the time and effort.

Lori Garst, Associate Curator, reflects on this massive project that returned the space to its original look and function.

Preserving Biltmore includes restoration of the Oak Sitting Room
The restoration of the Oak Sitting Room helps us interpret the room more accurately as a private apartment for the Vanderbilt family and their closest friends

Preserving Biltmore is a constant process

National Preservation Month is a time when the hard work and dedication of our employees is fully on display,” said Lori, who has worked at the estate for 31 years. “But actually, this is what we do all year long!”

Biltmore’s Museum Services team keeps a running list of projects that are addressed according to budget and need, with worn or deteriorated items receiving top priority.

“We always have a five- to 10-year plan for what needs attention,” said Lori. “We’re not only preserving objects, but also preserving Biltmore’s story. The recently restored Oak Sitting Room is a shining example of both.”

Restoring the Oak Sitting Room

Go behind the ropes to see details of the Oak Sitting Room up close!

A typical room restoration at Biltmore usually takes five to seven years, maybe less. The Oak Sitting Room, however, took a decade and a half to complete.

“We started with a target date,” said Lori, “But in this case we faced several aspects that were interesting and challenging all at the same time.”

The time-consuming process included furniture upholstery that was reproduced by the original manufacturer in France–the company was still in business and had George Vanderbilt’s fabric orders in their archives from more than 100 years before.

Lamps, and accessories were painstakingly cleaned and repaired, and conservators spent five years restoring a 17th-century Boulle-style desk—already an antique when George Vanderbilt purchased it—to its original grandeur.

“The desk was in pieces that were stored in several different places,” said Lori, “but we knew it was something special even in its disassembled state.”

A staff member is preserving and restoring brass inlay to a desk in Biltmore House
A conservator reapplies a section of the delicate brass inlay on the Boulle-style desk in the Oak Sitting Room

Working meticulously to conserve every detail of the room, Museum Services was sometimes diverted by exhibitions and other projects that rose in priority. In the end, however, the project’s extended duration contributed to its success.

Conservation and restoration are not accomplished overnight,” explained Lori. “In 15 years, we had time to pursue leads and make additional discoveries. It sounds like a long time, but what a gift it was.”

Finding clues

Restoration is not only about repairing, restoring, and reproducing rooms and the objects within them, but also discovering how and why they were used. Thorough research was conducted on the Oak Sitting Room to confirm that it functioned as a “private apartment” or more intimate family space within the large home. Clues were gleaned from unexpected sources.

Bronze statue in the Oak Sitting Room at Biltmore
One of several exceptional bronze sculptures Vanderbilt collected, now displayed in the Oak Sitting Room along with other prized possessions

“We learned some things about the Oak Sitting Room from a letter written by George Vanderbilt’s close friend Joseph Hodges Choate, the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain who had been a guest at the estate in 1902,” said Lori. “Choate mentioned viewing George’s collection of Rembrandt etchings, which showed that the room was furnished with some of Vanderbilt’s most prized possessions.”

Knole-style furnishings and other details

Knole-style furnishings in the Oak Sitting Room at Biltmore
An 1839 portrait of Cornelius Vanderbilt by Charles Loring Elliott hangs in the Oak Sitting Room, emphasizing the importance of family in this private apartment

Research on the Oak Sitting Room also informed its furnishings plan, leading to the restoration of the English Knole-style sofa and chairs that serve as one of the room’s many focal points.

Upholstered in a striking green and gold damask, these unusual pieces of furniture are objects of curiosity to guests, but were appealing in their time for their functional flexibility (with contemporary versions still made today).

“In 1889, before the plans for Biltmore House were completed, George Vanderbilt and architect Richard Morris Hunt visited estates in England and France for inspiration,” said Lori, “and Vanderbilt noted the furniture at Knole House. He loved the articulated arms that could be raised to conserve warmth, or lowered for conversation, air flow, or even a place to rest your arms or a book. We knew the comfortable Oak Sitting Room would have been a likely place for this suite of furniture that had been in storage.”

Visit now to see how we continue preserving Biltmore

Restoration of the Oak Sitting Room in Biltmore House
With the restoration of the Oak Sitting Room, guests can easily imagine the Vanderbilts using this lovely space as a private apartment reserved for family and close friends

“Preservation at Biltmore touches every department at some level,” said Garst. “Teams come together to hang the art, put down the rugs, and arrange the furniture. Even our Floral Designers add their touches with a green palm or a tiny bud vase sitting next to a chair.”

Visit Biltmore to experience the Oak Sitting Room preservation project for yourself. Enjoy the beauty of the estate’s historic gardens and grounds throughout the year, and extend your visit with a stay at one of our distinctive hotels or private historic cottages.

Create Cocktail Chemistry with Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin

Create cocktail chemistry with Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin–a delicious collaboration between two family-led companies in Asheville, North Carolina.

Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin

Chemist Conservatory Rose Gin
Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin crafted is a collaboration with Chemist Spirits in Asheville, NC

Mixed or muddled, handcrafted botanical gins are very much on trend, and none surpass the pure elegance of Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin.

“This is the third time we’ve collaborated with Chemist Spirits to handcraft their limited-edition, small-batch Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin,” said Geoff Campbell, Wine Marketing Manager. “It’s a remarkable way to evoke the classic refinement of Biltmore’s gardens in bloom.”

Barrels at Biltmore's Winery
Oak barrels in the Barrel Room at Biltmore Winery

The 84-proof base gin crafted by Chemist Spirits expresses soft juniper notes bursting with bright citrus. It is then matured for several months in red wine-soaked estate barrels for a rich infusion of warm fruit and toasted oak flavors.

Perfect petals

Pink roses blooming in Biltmore's Rose Garden
Biltmore’s Historic Rose Garden provides perfect pink petals for our collaboration with Chemist Gin

To preserve the peak freshness of this limited-edition small-batch gin, hand-plucked rose petals from Biltmore’s Historic Rose Garden are infused into the barreled, rested spirit just days before it is bottled and released.

The result is a palate-pleasing botanical gin with a subtle pink hue from the wine barrels and sweet nuances of pink and white rose, lemon cream, vanilla, ripe strawberry, and grapefruit peel that finishes with a smooth, velvety note of dry red wine.

Perfect blooms in Biltmore's historic Rose Garden
May to June – Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden takes center stage as multiple species of roses are in full bloom. Petals from our roses were selected for a spirited collaboration with Asheville’s Chemist Spirits that resulted in Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin.

“The rose is symbolic of many powerful emotions, and Chemist Spirits’ Conservatory Rose Gin captures this essence in a bottle that makes for a perfect gift to be enjoyed with friends and family,” said Debbie Word, who founded Chemist Spirits along with her daughter Danielle Donaldson, an accomplished chemist who is also a young mother.

“Chemist Spirits is particularly proud to make this special release available in time for Mother’s Day, when roses are traditionally gifted to celebrate our admiration for and the grace of the women in our lives,” Debbie noted.

“We invite you to enjoy Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin in the ‘spirit’ in which it is intended–as a reminder to slow down and savor those lingering moments that capture the sweeping romance of the estate and inspire us to pause and drink in the roses,” Geoff said.

Create cocktail chemistry

Create cocktail chemistry with Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin
Create cocktail chemistry like this elegant “Vie en Rose” with Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin

To honor this exclusive collaboration in which Chemist Spirits locally distilled gin is carefully aged in Biltmore wine barrels—along with a fragrant profusion of petals from estate roses—we’re shaking things up by pairing our wines with a splash of spirits to create instant cocktail chemistry:

• Sip a sensational Vie en Rose cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate® Syrah and Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin.
• An elegant French Rose 75 cocktail with Biltmore Estate® Brut Sparkling and Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin is a favorite for any occasion.

Find Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin and Biltmore wines

Create instant cocktail chemistry with Biltmore Rose Gin
Enjoy a refreshing French Rose 75 Cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate Brut sparkling wine and Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin

Enjoy signature Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin cocktails at estate restaurants, and find our award-winning wines in Biltmore shops and online.

To purchase Biltmore Conservatory Rose Gin by the bottle (while supplies last), visit or contact Chemist Spirits in downtown Asheville.