Facebook Fans Help Create Our Christmas Wine Labels

For 2021, our Facebook fans helped create the labels for our Christmas at Biltmore Red and White Wines.

Facebook Fans helped create our Christmas wine labels
Facebook fans voting online chose the elements for both of our 2021 Christmas at Biltmore wine labels

“This is the fourth year that we’ve used this crowdsourcing process,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Wine Marketing Manager. “By voting for their favorite holiday styles and themes, our Facebook fans really help us capture the spirit of our annual Christmas at Biltmore celebration on our Christmas wine labels.”

Local artist chosen to create our Christmas wine labels

Biltmore employee by Biltmore House column
Local artist and Biltmore employee Craig Sponsellor

The Biltmore wine marketing team selected artist Craig Sponseller of Asheville, North Carolina, to create two original paintings that would incorporate the holiday images and elements selected by Biltmore’s Facebook followers for our 2021 Christmas wine labels.

According to Craig, this project was especially meaningful because in addition to being an artist, he has also been a Biltmore employee for the past 10 years.

“I work in Mail Services,” said Craig, “and my days are filled with routines related to ensuring that mail is picked up and delivered. This opportunity to develop the artwork for the 2021 Christmas at Biltmore wine labels allowed me to tap into my creative side while focusing on all the beauty of the season here at the estate.”

Facebook fans select two distinct themes

Facebook fans helped choose the labels on Biltmore Christmas wine
The 2021 Christmas at Biltmore wines makes a perfect gift for someone special

After two rounds of online voting, some distinct themes emerged: our fans wanted both a wintry outdoor scene featuring the iconic architecture of Biltmore House, and a warm and wonderful tribute to the towering Banquet Hall Christmas tree inside America’s Largest Home®.

Capturing the exterior of Biltmore House

Sketch for the Christmas at Biltmore White Wine label
Part of Craig’s creative process is the creation of sketches like this that help him refine the details he’ll include in a painting

Craig began the process of creating the Christmas at Biltmore White Wine label by sketching the exterior elements of Biltmore House. He started with a pencil sketch, then refined the details with pen and ink.

“I’m a watercolor artist,” Craig explained, “and it is a very unforgiving medium. If you make a mistake or need to move something around, it’s impossible. That’s why I do the preliminary sketches and refinements so I can be sure I’m on the right track.”

Craig chose to showcase the familiar view from the wall at the end of the Front Lawn. To further the holiday mood, he added a touch of snow to give the painting a frosty feel.

Exterior pencil sketch of Biltmore House with touches of watercolor
Craig refined his initial sketches before adding layers of color washes to the final painting

As for the cheerful red cardinal on the rail, that’s the state bird of North Carolina, and a familiar sight around the estate during this time of year.

“The cardinal was a very specific element that Biltmore’s Facebook fans voted to include on both labels,” Craig said. “It was a challenge to portray a small bird in front of such a large house, but I placed it on the Rampe Douce railing so the cardinal would appear larger in the foreground.”

Creating the Banquet Hall view

Our Facebook fans also voted to see the beauty of the season inside Biltmore House, and Craig was happy to oblige.

Orange tree centerpieces in the Banquet Hall
Inspiration for Facebook fans included this Banquet Hall scene with iconic orange tree centerpieces i

For the Christmas at Biltmore Red Wine label, Craig was able to include many of the wonders in the Banquet Hall, from the grand Fraser fir that dominates the scene during the holidays to a grouping of festive orange tree centerpieces atop the massive dining table.

Pencil sketch for Biltmore Christmas wine label
One of Craig’s early pencil sketches for the Christmas at Biltmore Red Wine label includes the cardinal ornament on the tree in the foreground

“The real challenge here was how to include a cardinal in an indoor scene,” said Craig, “but I was able to work it in as an ornament!”

Stock up for the season on our Christmas wines and more!

Christmas at Biltmore Red and White Wines with Facebook fans labels
Make sure your holiday is seasoned with cheer when you choose Biltmore wines!

Whether you’re in the mood for a fragrant, semi-sweet white wine or a soft, fruit-forward red, our Christmas at Biltmore Wines offer a classic complement to your favorite flavors at the holiday buffet or dessert table. As an added bonus, the lovely labels make both wines a charming gift of the season for someone special.

Find our Christmas at Biltmore Red and White Wines and all your other handcrafted favorites in estate shops, online, or with our Retail Locator.

5 Reasons to “Fall” in Love with Rosé Wine

With five great reasons to “fall” in love with rosé wines this fall, they’re not just for spring and summer sipping any more!

1. Rosé wines are very versatile

Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé in the Walled Garden
Nothing could be finer than sipping our Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé with all your favorite flavors!

“Rosé wines are more versatile than you think,” said Sharon Fenchak, Biltmore’s winemaker. “They pair well with cooler weather and the heartier dishes that accompany the season.

A perfect example is our Biltmore® Reserve Rosé North Carolina–an exceptional wine handcrafted from outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc vines in our estate vineyard as well as local grapes grown at a lower elevation. This lovely wine features a delicate sweetness, hints of spice and white pepper, plus roundness and good mouthfeel.

Approachable and easy to drink, the style is reminiscent of classic old-world rosés. Enjoy it year-round with charcuterie, mustard-glazed salmon, pesto pizza, smoked gouda cheese, and serve it with holiday favorites like glazed ham.

2. A dynamic hybrid wine

Toasting with glasses of rosé
Rosé wines are a dynamic hybrid between red and white wines

Rosé wine is a dynamic hybrid of tannic reds and fruity white wines, which enhances its versatility.

“Rosés offer the best of both worlds,” Sharon said. “To create a rosé, you begin by crushing red grapes, but you don’t leave the juice in contact with the skins as long as you would for a red wine. This process imparts the classic rosy color and also allows the juice to keep some of the natural tannins in red grapes, but keeps the wine crisp and fruity–more like a white wine.”

3. Rosé wine is an affordable option

Woman pouring wine into a glass
Rosés are not only crisp and refreshing, they can also be more affordable than some other options

As we head into the holiday season, we often focus on heartier red wines for cool weather and finer wines for gift-giving occasions and special celebrations. Since distinguished reds and gift-worthy wines tend to be pricier than others, rosés can be a more affordable option.

“Even though rosés are becoming more and more popular year-round, there are some very affordable wines to consider, like our Biltmore Estate® Zinfandel Blanc de Noir,” said Sharon.

“Blanc de noir refers to a rosé or blush style wine created by pressing a red grape such as Zinfandel,” Sharon explained. “I handcraft ours to offer tropical fruit aromas and bright berry flavors that pair well with casual fare including chicken, pasta with cream or red sauce, pizza, and spicy cuisine.”

4. Transition the season with rosé wines

Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir wine being poured in glasses
Add some sparkle to any season with our Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir!

According to Sharon, rosé makes an excellent transitional wine between seasons.

“If you’re used to sipping rosés in spring and summer, keep enjoying them during the warmer days of fall,” said Sharon. “They’re just as crisp and refreshing on a sunny afternoon in October as they are in April. I personally recommend our Biltmore Estate® Blanc de Noir, handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise to create fine, tiny bubbles!”

With delicious fruit-forward flavors of cherries and strawberries, this pretty-in-pink Biltmore bubbly pairs well with turkey (hello, Thanksgiving!), mahi-mahi, pound cake, brie cheese, and fresh fruit.

5. Fall flavor profile

Refreshing and crisp, rosé wines mirror the essence of the fall season, making them perfect for autumnal sipping.

Couple biking through fall leaves
Be sure to pack some Biltmore Estate Dry Rose for your favorite fall activities

“Fall brings tailgating at football games, hiking to take in scenic views, and cool evenings when you gather around the fire pit,” said Sharon, “so you’ll want to have plenty of Biltmore rosé wines on hand to complement all the casual activities that characterize the season.

Our Biltmore Estate® Dry Rosé as the perfect pick for all your favorite fall functions. Bright, fruity layers of berry flavor make this wine an outstanding partner for chicken, pork, salmon, and sausage–especially when your fire up the grill and gather your friends together to enjoy it with you!

Fall for all your favorite Biltmore wines today!

Biltmore wines in an ice bucket
Stock up on all your favorite Biltmore wines for fall

Find our outstanding rosés and other award-winning Biltmore wines now in estate shops, online, and with our Retail Locator.

Halloween How-to: Pairing Biltmore Wine with Candy

Take spooky-season fun to the next level with our special Halloween how-to on pairing Biltmore wine with classic candies.

“There’s nothing scary about enjoying Biltmore wines with your favorite sweets,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Marketing Manager, Biltmore Wines.

“The same principles that apply to successful food-and-wine pairings also work with candy,” Jill said. “For desserts, you’d normally choose a wine that’s sweeter than the dish you’re serving, but this Halloween how-to focuses on pairings that add a little sophistication and a lot of fun to the mix.”

To make it even easier to enjoy Biltmore wines with Halloween treats, consider the following classic wine-and-candy pairings detailed below.

Candy corn complement

Halloween How-to: Pairing Biltmore wine with candy corn
Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling pairs perfectly with tri-colored candy corn

For those who love the seasonal stripes and sugary sweetness of old-fashioned candy corn, it’s twice as nice with a glass of Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling.

“Our Dry Riesling opens with scents of bright citrus and hints of spice that that make you think of fall,” Jill said, “while the taste recalls sun-warmed plums, nectarines, and other stone fruits. The wine’s flavor and dryer style provide a pleasant balance for the pure sweetness and soft, waxy texture of candy corn.”

Mint madness

Biltmore Estate Limited Release Mourvedre with peppermint patty candies
Savor the dark side by pairing Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Mourvédre with peppermint patties

For a minty match made in heaven this Halloween, don’t put all the classic goodies out for the kids–save some of them for pairing with our lush Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Mourvédre.

“The Mourvédre is bold with dark notes of fruit and herbs to complement the bittersweet chocolate exterior of peppermint patties, plus flavors of chocolate, blueberry, vanilla, and subtle hints of cedar that offer a nice counterpoint to the brisk mint filling,” said Jill. “In addition, it’s a medium- to full-bodied wine, which is a good partner for the easy-melting texture of this type of candy.”

Peanut butter perfection

Halloween How-to: Pairing Biltmore wine with peanut butter cups
For a special Halloween treat, savor smooth, creamy peanut butter cups with our approachable Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay

If your Halloween traditions include snagging all the chocolate-covered peanut butter cups out of the treat bags to savor later, we suggest you consider complementing the dynamic duo with our approachable Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay.

“This is a pairing that surprises people,” Jill admits, “because you don’t normally pair peanut butter with wine. But if you think about it, what’s more perfect with peanut butter than grape jelly, which gives you a point of reference.”

According to Jill, our Chardonnay works well because it’s a delightfully smooth wine with fruit flavors and hints of oak that enhance most food flavors. It’s also crisp and offers good acidity to balance the higher fat content and rich mouthfeel of peanut butter.

Sweet-and-sour surprise

Biltmore Estate Sauvignon Blanc with Halloween candy
Create a sweet-and-sour surprise by pairing Biltmore Estate® Sauvignon Blanc with sour gummy candy!

This is another surprising pairing,” said Jill, “mostly because nobody thinks about trying sweet-and-sour Halloween candy with wine–especially an elegant white varietal like Sauvignon Blanc!”

The pairing works on two levels, Jill said, beginning with the bright citrus aromas of Biltmore Estate® Sauvignon Blanc that complement the playful scent of the candy.

“Give them both a good sniff,” said Jill, “and you’ll start to understand how they can work together. The Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, with refreshing flavors of peach and a touch of minerality that keeps the candy from being overly sweet as you enjoy them together.”

Halloween how-to with Biltmore wine

Halloween how-to: pairing Biltmore wines with classic candy
Halloween how-to: pairing Biltmore wines with classic candy

Ready to try our Halloween how-to and savor Biltmore wine with your favorite candies? In addition to the four pairings noted above, you can find any of our award-winning wines at estate shops, online, or close to home with our Retail Locator.

New Exhibition Series: Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore

Immerse yourself in our new exhibition series, Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore—featuring three different large-scale, multi-sensory experiences—hosted at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate.

Created and produced by Grande Experiences, each individual component of this must-see series uses the very latest in immersive technology to illuminate the remarkable lives of Van Gogh, Monet, and Da Vinci and their timeless masterpieces of art and design.

In addition, each of the three events offers fascinating ties to George Vanderbilt’s collection of treasures on display in Biltmore House, his magnificent family home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Van Gogh Alive
November 5, 2021–March 5, 2022

Van Gogh Alive multi-sensory experience
A guest explores Van Gogh Alive, created and produced by Grande Experiences

The masterworks of Vincent van Gogh have been displayed around the world for over a century, but never like this.

Described as “an unforgettable multi-sensory experience,” Van Gogh Alive is a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, color, sound, and scent that compels you to leave the world behind and immerse yourself the masterful paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.

Simultaneously enchanting, entertaining, and educational, Van Gogh Alive stimulates all the senses and opens the mind.

Van Gogh and Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt share a Dutch heritage that will be highlighted at the estate during this period.

Monet & Friends — Life, Light & Color
March 9–July 10, 2022

Monet & Friends multi-sensory exhibition
Explore Monet’s masterpieces throughout the Monet & Friends experience

An homage to Claude Monet and the Impressionist painters of the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, this multi-sensory experience explores not only the paintings themselves but the history of the Impressionist movement amid the social and political turbulence of the era.

It transports you back to a time when European art was poised to change forever, and immerses you in the Impressionists’ masterworks as they come to life in a rich display of light, color, and sound.

Breathtaking paintings are projected on an enormous scale, illuminating the bold brushstrokes of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and more.

While Monet & Friends Life, Light & Color is on display at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate, two original Monet paintings from George Vanderbilt’s personal collection will be displayed inside America’s Largest Home®.

Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius
July 14, 2022–January 8, 2023

Leonardo da Vinci -- 500 Years of Genius experience
Discover marvels of art and invention with Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius

Inventor, artist, scientist, engineer, sculptor, anatomist, musician, architect, philosopher—Leonardo da Vinci was all of these things.

His brilliance and many extraordinary achievements are brought to vivid life in Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius, the world’s most comprehensive and thrilling Leonardo da Vinci experience.

Biltmore will be showcasing links to estate architecture and artwork in our collection that are influenced by da Vinci’s designs.

Don’t miss our Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore exhibition series!

Van Gogh Alive exhibition
Explore our Van Gogh Alive exhibition now–March 5, 2022

Each of the three Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore multi-sensory experiences will be hosted at Amherst at Deerpark®, our event center on the grounds of the estate.

Plan your visit to Van Gogh Alive, Monet & Friends and Leonardo da Vinci now, and enhance your experience with special overnight offers at our distinctive hotels and historic cottages.

Providing Gracious Hospitality, One Bite at a Time

Cloreitha Fenton, Biltmore House Food & Beverage Outlets General Manager, has 23 years of providing gracious hospitality, one bite at a time.

Providing gracious hospitality at Biltmore
Cloreitha Fenton provides gracious hospitality with a smile

“I’ve been working here half my life,” said Clo, as she’s know by her friends and coworkers. “I like to tell people I’m ‘Biltmore-grown’.”

As General Manager, Clo oversees a department of all the employees who operate the food and beverage outlets for Biltmore House & Gardens, including The Bake Shop, Biltmore Dairy Bar®, and Courtyard Market in the Stable Courtyard, Conservatory Café located behind the Conservatory, and all the satellite food carts that pop up for special dates and events.

Guests entering Biltmore Dairy Bar®
Located in the Stable Courtyard adjacent to Biltmore House, Biltmore Dairy Bar® serves a wide range of sweet treats

In the past two decades, Clo has served in a variety of different roles at Biltmore. She joined the estate as a cook at Stable Café, then moved to Deerpark Restaurant. In 2000 she switched her focus to work in purchasing for Food & Beverage, but eventually returned to the Stable Complex as a supervisor for the outlets there.

In 2003 she became assistant manager of all estate food outlets, eventually helping open both The Creamery and Smokehouse for the launch of Antler Hill Village in 2010.

Guests enjoying gracious hospitality at The Creamery
Guests enjoy ice cream and other delicious treats and snacks at The Creamery in Antler Hill Village

Clo became a general manager in 2014 and is responsible for overseeing a team of supervisors, daily operations for the outlets, financials, and ensuring that her dedicated team of employees have everything they need to provide excellent service to guests.

Biltmore staff members provide gracious hospitality one bite at a time
Clo offers a training moment to a member of her team

“We’re in the mix every day, and we’re very hands-on. Sometimes we have to make decisions on the fly and make things happen,” she said. “In addition to the day-to-day work, my focus is to grow my team, make sure we’re profitable, and make sure my employees are taken care of.”

Clo embraces all the values Biltmore represents, but there is one that resonates with her in particular.

Family enjoying ice cream and treats at Biltmore
Biltmore Dairy Bar® offers something special for everyone, including vanilla ice cream inspired by an original Biltmore recipe

“I was raised to be gracious, to say ‘ma’am’ and ‘thank you’ and to be kind, and I make sure I maintain that sense of gracious hospitality. I try my best to help all my employees succeed and focus on those who want to grow,” she said. “I want to come in every day and give 100 percent, to give all I can.”

Join our gracious hospitality team today!

Culinary staff holds career sign in front of Biltmore House
Apply now to become a member of the Biltmore team

Biltmore is interested in people who strive for excellence; who are committed to working together, supporting each other, and sharing a sense of stewardship to protect this special place. Our employees shape and enrich extraordinary experiences for guests, using judgment and skills based on our Vanderbilt-inspired legacy of hospitality.

In addition, Biltmore has been recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies To Work For® in 2021. We invite you to consider joining our dedicated team by viewing careers and applying online.

Featured image: Clo Fenton showcases a Winky Bar Sundae in a waffle bowl–a delightful creation inspired by a treat served at the original Biltmore Dairy Bar®.

Getting to know Albariño–an intriguing white wine

Getting to know Albariño–an intriguing white wine–is a great way to explore a less well-known varietal that is definitely worth discovering!

Biltmore Estate Albariño with oysters on the half shell
Known as vin de mar or “wine of the sea,” Albariño is a perfect partner with oysters and other seafood

Origins of the wine

Prized for its bright acidity and characteristic hints of coastal brine, Albariño is white varietal that probably originated in Galicia on the Iberian Peninsula of northwestern Spain, where some still refer to it as vino del mar or “wine of the sea.”

In neighboring Portugal, the grape is known as Alvarinho. Both names are a reference to the grape’s white color.

Growing conditions

California partner vineyard
Partner vineyards in California

Although some Albariño vines in Europe are estimated to be as much as 300 years old, the varietal is a relative newcomer to North America, with only about 300 acres in cultivation in California’s Central Coast region.

It’s also grown in Australia and South America, but it thrives in cool, foggy climates similar to the Iberian coast that experiences frequent Atlantic storms. While its characteristic sturdy stems and thick skin offer protection from the elements, Albariño vines are usually trained on an overhead trellis that allows better air circulation around the grapes and leaves.

Biltmore Estate Albariño

Biltmore Estate Albariño white wine
Our new Biltmore Estate Albariño is an intriguing white wine that pairs especially well with seafood dishes

“For our new Biltmore Estate Albariño, I selected grapes from our California vineyard partners who are producing excellent fruit,” said Sharon Fenchak, Biltmore winemaker.

“Albariño is an intriguing white wine, and I was interested in getting to the heart of what makes it so distinctive,” Sharon said. “Plus, I wanted to give our Biltmore wine enthusiasts the delightful discovery of a wine that’s not as familiar to them.”

Sharon handcrafted a bright straw-colored wine that features fresh aromas of spice and tropical fruit. In addition to notes of ruby red grapefruit and pepper, this crisp and refreshing light-bodied Albariño offers a round creaminess with good mouthfeel.

Getting to know Albariño

Biltmore Estate white wine with pesto shrimp
Savor our new Albariño with your favorite seafood dishes like this delicious shrimp with pesto sauce

“It’s more complex than you might suspect at first,” noted Sharon. “I think it’s the slight hint of salinity that elevates the other flavors, and makes you want to taste it again and again to really understand the subtleties of Albariño.”

To make the most of its coastal complexities, Sharon suggests savoring our new Biltmore Estate Albariño with seafood dishes such as bacon-wrapped scallops, fried grouper, and classic Spanish-style paella. For vegetarian pairings, consider baked butternut squash and pesto pasta.

The following recipe showcases Biltmore Estate Albariño as both an ingredient and a perfect pairing for this simple yet sophisticated dish!

Biltmore Estate Albariño with grilled oysters
Biltmore Estate Albariño paired with grilled oysters

Grilled Oysters with Albariño Garlic Butter

2 dozen oysters on the half shell
6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
3 large garlic cloves, grated
½ cup Biltmore Estate Albariño
1½ teaspoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
Lemon wedges for serving

Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate of grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400°F to 450°F. Place top grate on grill. (If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high [400°F to 450°F].)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium-high. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Carefully add Albariño and champagne vinegar; cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, stirring until butter melts. Stir in parsley.

Arrange oysters on a rimmed baking sheet; top each oyster with a scant 1 teaspoon butter mixture. Place oysters on unoiled grates. Grill, covered, just until oyster juices begin to bubble vigorously, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm with parsley and lemon.

Find Biltmore Estate Albariño close to home

Friends toasting with Biltmore wine
Our new Biltmore Estate Albariño makes any occasion seem special!

Our easy-drinking Albariño is perfect for sipping at brunch, on picnics, and around the fire pit on cool fall evenings, but don’t look for it on the estate or in our online store–it’s only available for purchase with local retailers. Find it in your area with our Retail Locator.

Woven in Wonder: Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Woven in wonder, Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty is a fascinating outdoor sculpture created exclusively for Biltmore.

Stickwork is a one-of-a-kind installation

“Each of Patrick’s sculptures are one-of-a-kind,” said Travis Tatham, Director of Entertaining and Event Programming, “and that makes his work a perfect fit for Biltmore, which is a one-of-a-kind destination.”

Weaving with willows

Patrick Dougherty with his Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Patrick Dougherty with his Stickwork creation for Biltmore

Working with willow branches, Patrick creates large-scale installations that reflect the beauty and character of the site that hosts them.

Patrick and son Sam Dougherty arrived at Biltmore in mid-March to begin work on the installation in Antler Hill Village along with a truckload of willow branches grown in New York.

Patrick Dougherty with his Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Patrick Dougherty weaves willow branches into his Stickwork sculpture

“Given the large crowds that Biltmore draws, we wanted something palatial and roomy, with walking areas to accommodate large numbers of visitors,” said Patrick. “We aimed for a free-wheeling sculpture to occupy the site with flowing energy.”

Free as a Bird

Mockingbird atop Patrick Dougherty's Stickwork creation for Biltmore
A curious mockingbird checks the progress on the Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village

While working at Biltmore, Patrick and Sam noticed a pair of mockingbirds that came from a nearby holly bush every day to serenade the creation.

“They seemed to be staking a claim to the work,” Patrick said, “so we decided to name the sculpture Free as a Bird in their honor.”

In the past three decades, Patrick has built more than 300 of these large-scale environmental works worldwide, from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.

Sam Dougherty works on Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Sam Dougherty adds his signature woven edges to the Stickwork creation for Biltmore

Sam, Patrick’s full-time construction assistant since June 2016, has developed into an expert stickworker. His signature can be found on every sculpture, especially in the rolled top edges.

Stickwork is fun for all ages!

Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Some Biltmore staff members had an opportunity to assist Patrick and Sam Dougherty in the creation of the Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village

According to one Biltmore team member who had an opportunity to work with Sam and Patrick as they wove the whimsical sculpture, “Adults have asked ‘what is this?’ but kids walk up and know exactly what to do with it. They say ‘it’s a stickhouse and I need to run through it and play!'”

Discover Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Child explores Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village
The new Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village is fun for all ages!

Now through September 30, discover Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty, located in Antler Hill Village near the Outdoor Adventure Center.

This delightful sculpture entitled Free as a Bird invites excitement and exploration for all ages, and is included with estate admission.

Free as a Bird is lit at night, further enlivening the space, especially for those who are enjoying a stay at either of our distinctive hotels or our two private historic cottages.

Craft Incredible Cocktails with Biltmore Wines!

Craft incredible cocktails with Biltmore wines and enjoy a refreshing new way to savor summer sipping on the porch, patio, or by the pool!

Switch up the spirits

“Summer is the perfect time to craft incredible cocktails featuring wines handcrafted here at Biltmore’s Winery in Asheville, North Carolina,” said Chris Price, Wine Marketing Manager. “‘And if you are looking for a lower-proof version of your favorites, simply switch out the spirit for a similar style of Biltmore wine,”

In the case of the white wine mojito below, we swapped the traditional rum for Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon. It makes a perfect “shady afternoon sipper” to enjoy while reading in the hammock (naps optional!).

White Wine Mojito Cocktail*

White wine mojito made with Biltmore Estate Limited Release Semillon
Craft this White Wine Mojito Cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate Limited Release Sémillon for summer sipping all season long

• 2 ounces Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon
• 2 ounces Italian lemon soda
• ¾ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
• ¼ ounce simple syrup
• 4 mint leaves

Craft the cocktail: Muddle 4 mint leaves thoroughly in 2 ounces of Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon using a rough edge muddler. Add lime juice, simple syrup, and shake briefly on ice in a Boston shaker. Double strain into a martini glass and top with Italian lemon soda.

Serve straight up with a floating mint leaf as a garnish so ice does not overly dilute the cocktail. (Muddle different types of fruit to bring new flavors to this recipe—we give you a license to be creative!) Serves 1.

Wine: Recognized for its notably smooth texture and significant palate weight, our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon, handcrafted at our estate winery, is a full-bodied, dry white wine. The rich, silky texture complements the fresh melon flavors and zesty citrus aromas. An exciting wine for any occasion, it pairs well with chicken, halibut, pork, turkey, and salads.

Summer Riesling & Tonic Cocktail*

Wine and tonic cocktail with Biltmore Estate Limited Release Riesling
Savor the flavor of your favorite fruits in this Summer Riesling and Tonic cocktail

“Fresh fruit and wine pair beautifully together, and warmer weather is the perfect time to experiment with your favorites and share the delicious results,” Chris said.

Whether you’re serving craft cocktails on the patio, porch, or poolside, outdoor entertaining takes on a new meaning when you invite a special guest like rum. Yum!

• 1 bottle Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling
• 8 ounces white rum
• 1 cup blackberries
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves (reserve some for garnish)
• 2 lemons (sliced into thin wheels and halved)
• Elderflower tonic

Craft the cocktails: The day before you want to serve these cocktails, pour Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling and your choice of white rum into a pretty pitcher. Submerge several basil leaves and blackberries in the mixture and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, use your favorite glassware and build each drink with ice, blackberries, basil leaves, and a couple of lemon wheels. Fill glasses a quarter of the way with elderflower tonic, and the rest of the way with the chilled wine and rum mixture. Enjoy! Serves 6.

Wine: Discover the drier side of Rieslings with our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling. It is quite enchanting, with bright citrus and spice aromas followed by flavors of stone-fruit. However, it is the dryness that makes this Riesling so extraordinary, and different than most types of this varietal you will experience. You can pair our Dry Riesling with rabbit, crab, oysters, and shrimp for delightful dining.

Chenin Blanc Pineapple Slushies*

“This craft cocktail is a fun way to liven up a summer gathering,” Chris said. “There’s a bit of nostalgia to any slushie drink, but this is definitely a grown-up version of the ones you remember from childhood!”

Pineapple slushie cocktail with Biltmore Estate Limited Release Chenin Blanc
Treasure the tropical taste of our Pineapple Slushie Cocktail!

• 8 ounces of chilled Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Chenin Blanc
— Tip: put wine in the freezer 30 minutes prior to mixing these cocktails
• 4 ounces chilled Plantation Pineapple Rum (used as a float)
• 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
• 1 cup frozen mango chunks
• 6 ounces pineapple juice
• 3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
• 2 ounces ginger syrup (recipe below)
• 4 dashes Bittermen’s Tiki Bitters (or your favorite brand)
• Ice

Ginger Syrup
• 1 cup of water
• 1½ cups organic sugar
• 1 medium ginger root, sliced

Place all ginger syrup ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 1 hour while it cools. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes 1½ cups of syrup.

Craft the cocktails: Place all ingredients except rum in a blender. Blend until you have obtained a super slushy consistency. Pour into a glass, leaving room to float 1 ounce of Plantation Pineapple Rum on top, then garnish with extreme creativity! Serves 4.

Wine: An estate and online exclusive, our handcrafted Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Chenin Blanc is a rarity among its kind. Enjoy the balanced and fruity introduction, with a lingering, sweet finish accented by floral aromas and citrus flavors. The rich notes make it a wine that can stand firmly on its own, but it does pair well with Asian cuisine, crème brûlée, fresh fruit, fruity desserts, and tiramisu.

Purchase award-winning Biltmore wines!

Bottles of Biltmore white wines
Biltmore white wines are perfect for summer sipping by the glass or in craft cocktails

While the three delicious Biltmore Estate Limited Reserve wines featured in the craft cocktails above are available only in estate shops or online, you can find many of our wines close to home with our Retail Locator.

*Special thanks to The Urban Gastronome for creating the recipes for the craft cocktails featured in the post!

Your Private Oasis Awaits at Biltmore

Your private oasis awaits at Biltmore when you reserve a getaway at our Market Gardener’s Cottage on Biltmore Estate.

When visiting the estate, you may have noticed this beautiful cottage facing the river along the exit road.

Built in 1896, this original private home is now available as one of the estate’s lodging properties which also includes The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, and our newest offering, the Dairy Foreman’s Cottage.

Your private oasis

Guests relaxing on the porch of a private oasis--the Market Gardener's Cottage on Biltmore Estate
Inside or outdoors, the Market Gardener’s Cottage offers privacy to relax and enjoy your stay at Biltmore

“The Market Gardener’s Cottage really is a private oasis and our most luxurious retreat,” said Jeanne Gualano, Lodging Director of Revenue.

“This beautifully appointed home features quaint porches, lush gardens, and the opportunity to customize your stay with concierge service and a private chef,” Jeanne said.

“You’ll enjoy access to estate gardens, grounds, and Antler Hill Village & Winery for your length of stay, plus access to amenities at our four-star Inn, including The Spa Biltmore, fitness center, and outdoor heated pool and hot tub that are open seasonally,” said Jeanne.

Cottage history

Archival image of agricultural workers and estate residents at the Market Garden, photographed in front of an elaborate display of estate-raised produce.

Designed by Richard Howland Hunt, son of Biltmore House architect Richard Morris Hunt, the Market Gardener’s Cottage originally anchored the Market Garden, also known as the Truck Farm.

This garden was considered the most important vegetable growing site on the property, where many seasons of vegetables and fruits were harvested to serve the estate. The staff always employed the latest scientific farming techniques and machinery, not surprisingly since George Vanderbilt often was thought of as an innovator.

It may be hard to imagine now, but the estate’s first vegetables were intended to grow in the Walled Garden near Biltmore House. After a short time, however, Mr. Vanderbilt wanted the gardens closest to Biltmore House to thrive with ornamental plants and flowers.

Archival image of Walled Garden
The Vegetable and Flower Garden (now the Walled Garden), circa 1895

Fruits and vegetable production was relocated to the site of the Market Gardener’s Cottage, on fertile bottomland along the Swannanoa River near its juncture with the French Broad.

Biltmore’s first market gardener

George Stevenson Arthur (1861-1945), a native of Scotland, came to Biltmore in 1897 to manage the estate’s gardens and greenhouse. For the next 17 years, he and his wife, Isabella, lived and raised nine children in the cottage. Following George Vanderbilt’s death in 1914, the family moved to Biltmore Village.

The estate’s agricultural heritage

Archival image of estate workers during harvest season at Biltmore, ca. 1900

Archival documents tell us that Biltmore sold excess vegetables and fruit to the public at wholesale rates. An Asheville Daily Citizen article alerted its readers “and housekeepers [to] have their attention attracted to the new advertisement of the Biltmore Farms …” An article later that year predicted that, because “Mr. Vanderbilt … has both brains and science at his command,” the Biltmore Market Garden could easily compete with the long-established farms of the northeastern U.S.

Archives also show that in 1897, estate superintendent Charles McNamee placed an ad in the Asheville Daily Citizen for cabbage and three kinds of sweet potatoes for sale from the garden.

The courtyard by the cottage also served as a vegetable packinghouse and wholesale outlet for local merchants who could access the estate from Victoria Bridge on the Swannanoa River.

Creating a modern private oasis

One of two bedrooms in the Market Gardener's Cottage
One of two comfortable, well-appointed guest bedrooms in the Market Gardener’s Cottage

In the early 1980s, the cottage was renovated to provide accommodations for VIPs and individuals from out of town who had business with the estate.

The courtyard was used as an outdoor set during the 1992 production of Last of the Mohicans, filmed on the grounds of Biltmore and at other locations in Western North Carolina.

“The Market Gardener’s Cottage was renovated again in the last few years,” said Jeanne. “This time, it was reimagined to feel like a private home, as if you are a guest of the Vanderbilts with your own address!”

The cottage, which features exceptional Biltmore For Your Home furnishings and décor, offers an oasis for those who desire a private and luxurious setting as a home base for enjoying their Biltmore experience.

Your private oasis awaits!

Your private oasis awaits at Biltmore with a stay at the Market Gardener's Cottage
The Market Gardener’s Cottage features a courtyard as part of its private oasis charm

Beautifully updated to offer a unique experience of Biltmore, each of the Cottages on Biltmore Estate™ is a private oasis of service, style, and charm that harkens back to the Vanderbilt era—classic homes wrapped in history and refined with modern touches.

Discover your private oasis with our Market Gardener’s Cottage or plan a stay at the newly renovated Dairy Foreman’s Cottage in a charming wooded setting within walking distance of The Inn and Antler Hill Village & Winery.

Create a spring centerpiece inspired by Biltmore

Fresh for spring, you can create a spring centerpiece inspired by the glorious floral arrangements in Biltmore House during our annual Biltmore Blooms celebration!

Spring is a favorite season at Biltmore

Spring centerpiece in Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom at Biltmore
See stunning spring arrangements like this in Biltmore House during Biltmore Blooms

“I think spring is a favorite season for many of us at Biltmore,” said Lizzie Borchers, Floral Manager.

“We love to celebrate the season by creating arrangements that harmonize with the décor in Biltmore House,” Lizzie said, “and we also love to highlight special features with our designs.”

Spring centerpiece in the Library at Biltmore House
Lovely blooms, including early spring branches, add interest to any spring centerpiece

This year during Biltmore Blooms, Lizzie and her team will be delighting guests with an “Art in Bloom” theme that showcases some of the priceless portraits and fantastic furnishings in America’s Largest Home.

Create your own stunning spring centerpiece

Blue and white spring blooms
Create a stunning centerpiece that’s perfect for spring!

Ready to create your own spring centerpiece inspired by Biltmore?

With some helpful suggestions from our floral team, you can create a stunning design that evokes the fresh feeling of spring with a classic blue-and-white theme.

“Although we’re used to making arrangements on a grand scale that suits Biltmore House, you can use our techniques to achieve a centerpiece that works for your space,” said Lizzie. “Just choose a smaller container as your starting point!”

In addition to the blue-and-white blooms recommended below, try adding pretty pops of color with unexpected touches like peacock feathers and a decorative egg-filled bird’s nest as a special nod to spring.

Suggested Materials
Neutral-colored container
Floral oasis
Blue spring Dutch iris
Caspia
Cream stock
Pittosporum (potted version used in this arrangement)
White roses
White hydrangea
Peacock feathers (optional)
Decorative bird nest with eggs (optional)

Begin by cutting a piece of floral oasis foam to fit snugly inside your container. Soak it well, then begin adding flowers and greenery.

Tips: you can create an equally pretty arrangement by using small potted plants (or even permanent botanicals) rather than freshly cut flowers.

Choose green and flowering plants of different heights for texture and interest, and add pieces of Styrofoam to lift some pots higher than others.

Plan your Biltmore Blooms visit

Family activities for spring at Biltmore
Explore our glorious gardens and grounds during Biltmore Blooms this spring

Make plans now to celebrate spring during Biltmore Blooms, April 1 – May 27, 2021.

In addition to the wonders of Biltmore Blooms, you’ll be able to enjoy Biltmore Gardens Railway in the Conservatory, Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty in Antler Hill Village, and much more!