Biltmore Red Wines Are Father’s Day Favorites

If you’re looking for a special way to celebrate your dad, Biltmore red wines are Father’s Day favorites!

Biltmore red wines are Father's Day favorites
Biltmore red wines are Father’s Day favorites!

Any of our award-winning Biltmore wines make a thoughtful gift, but here are some special ways to pair your father’s favorite fare with our distinctive red wines:

Host a hearty breakfast or brunch

Charcuterie and wine

Is your dad always first in line at the breakfast buffet? This year, start the day with a new tradition: a sharp-dressed charcuterie board that’s more tempting than pastries or pancakes.

“Charcuterie incorporates many of the same elements as a standard breakfast, but it’s a fresh way to enjoy a special morning meal,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Marketing Manager for Biltmore Wines.

“Set up a spread with several different meats such as thin slices of prosciutto and jamon, rounds of salami and spicy chorizo, and a savory spread like salmon rillettes or smoked trout dip,” Jill said.

In addition, Jill suggests adding hard and soft cheeses to the mix, plus herbed nuts and dried fruit for texture.

Biltmore honey, spreads, and wine
Add honey for drizzling and pepper jelly for a hint of spice

“Last but not least, keep the breakfast theme going with toast points and tea biscuits instead of the usual baguette and crackers,” Jill said. “Round out your board with honey for drizzling and pepper jelly for spice, and voila! A breakfast or brunch that’s sure to delight Dad!”

Wine Tips: If you’re serving charcuterie before noon, uncork our Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir sparkling–its warm coral color and hints of cherries will pair perfectly with the all the rich meats and cheeses.

Later in the day? Try our Biltmore Estate Pinot Noir or Pinoette–a smoky duet of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunierre–with the charcuterie board.

Liven up lunch with Father’s Day favorites

Three bottles of Biltmore Estate Limited Release wine on a chair
Biltmore Estate Limited Releases red wines are perfect for Father’s Day

For a special lunch on Father’s Day, repeat after us: grill it and chill it! That takes care of the main course and the wine, and you can ask family and friends to bring sides and dessert.

Wine Tips: for gourmet grilled burgers and brats, chill bottles of Biltmore Estate Limited Release Malbec or Limited Release Mourvédre for about 20 minutes before you serve lunch–that brings the temperature down to a perfect level without getting too cold.

Pulled pork barbecue plate
Grilled burgers or smoky barbecue give Dad a reason to celebrate

If Dad prefers a backyard barbecue, pair his smoky chopped, pulled, or grilled favorites with Biltmore Estate Limited Release Barbera.

King of cocktails

Negroni cocktails with Mariporta Red Dessert Wine
Shake up a classic cocktail for Father’s Day, like a Negroni made with Mariporta

Somewhere between lunch and dinner, Father’s Day naturally flows into happy hour. Declare your dad “king of cocktails” with an old-school Negroni, updated with the addition of our Mariporta Red Dessert Wine.

Dig in to dinner with Dad

Biltmore red wines are Father's Day favorites
Show Dad how much you appreciate him with a bottle of our finest wine!

Nothing tells Dad it’s Father’s Day like an exceptional steak paired with a premium red wine such as our Vanderbilt Reserve Merlot Dry Creek Valley, The Hunt Red Blend Sonoma County, or Antler Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.

Handcrafted with precision and aged to perfection, each of these wines tells your father he’s special and you know it.

Steak with a glass of red wine
Celebrate Father’s Day with a great meal and a glass of Biltmore wine

Wine Tip: When choosing any of these wines for dinner, get your father an extra bottle just for himself. Each of these rich, complex reds have excellent aging potential–just like Dad!

Stock up on Father’s Day favorites now

Biltmore red wines are Father's Day favorites
Make Father’s Day extra special with Biltmore red wines

Biltmore red wines are Father’s Day favorites, and you can stock up on any of our award-winning wines–red, white,  rosé, and sparkling–at estate shops, with our Retail Locator, or online.

Ready to take Father’s Day gift giving to the next level? Give your dad a membership to our Vanderbilt Wine Club. He’ll thank you every time his seasonal wine shipments arrive!

Say “Happy Anniversary!” with Biltmore Wines

Celebrating special anniversaries with Biltmore wines

Savor summer with white wines
Enjoy all our Limited Release wines, including Roussanne, this summer!

If you’d like to say “happy anniversary!” with Biltmore wines, we have perfect pairings for many milestone years.

People have been giving special gifts to commemorate special wedding anniversaries since the Middle Ages, including the giving of silver wreaths for the 25th and gold wreaths for the 50th.

Couple drinking winter wines while they savor in place at home
Include Biltmore wines in your Valentine’s Day celebration!

In 1922, Emily Post’s Etiquette, the ultimate book on good manners and proper social behavior, suggested gifts for a couple’s first wedding anniversary, then moved on in five-year increments.

Miss Post’s list is still considered the traditional standard for wedding gifts, so we’ve assembled a Biltmore-inspired gift list featuring some pivotal celebration ideas:


One Year: PAPER

Women with Vanderbilt Wine Club shipment
Give someone special the gift of membership in our Vanderbilt Wine Club®
  • Give a gift membership to our Vanderbilt Wine Club! Although the real gift is wine, your recipients will receive a special insert with a letter from our winemaker, wine notes, recipes, and more with each shipment.

5 Years: WOOD

two hands toasting with wine
Savor award-winning Biltmore wines

10 Years: TIN / ALUMINUM

Couple with sparkling wine by a fireplace
Celebrate your romantic occasions at Biltmore

20 Years: CHINA 

Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina
There’s nothing finer than our Biltmore Reserve wines like this Chardonnay

25 Years: SILVER

Couple drinking Biltmore wine
Enjoy Biltmore wine on the estate and at home

50 Years: GOLD

Biltmore sparkling wine in an ice bucket
Add sparkle to your celebrations with Biltmore sparkling wines

Say “Happy Anniversary!” with Biltmore Wines

Biltmore wines with cake and holiday lights
Look for all Biltmore wines online

When you’re ready to say “Happy Anniversary!” to someone special, choose the perfect gift that shows how much you care with our award-winning Biltmore wines.

Biltmore Winery Celebrates 35 Years of Cheers!

As Biltmore Winery celebrates 35 years of cheers this May, we invite you to raise a glass in honor of our anniversary and in honor of NC Wine Month!

Biltmore Winery celbrates 35 years with a special Chardonnay
Our 35th Anniversary Chardonnay was handcrafted to celebrate the Winery

And what’s in that glass you’re raising? Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak has created something truly special for the Winery’s anniversary–a barrel fermented, barrel aged Chardonnay handcrafted from grapes grown in the estate’s own vineyards.

Crafting a special wine for the occasion

“I selected the fruit for our 35th Anniversary Chardonnay from a very special group of clones that I’ve been helping nurture for nearly 20 years in Biltmore’s vineyard,” said Sharon.

Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak in the vineyard
In addition to her other winemaking responsibilities, Sharon oversees the estate’s vineyard

“The term ‘clone’ refers to a cutting or bud from an original varietal,” Sharon said, “and these clones are from old-world Chardonnay vines in Dijon, France.

According to Sharon, these clones produce smaller, looser clusters of grapes with more intense flavors and aromatics that result in a unique and distinctive style of Chardonnay.

The winemaking process

Wine barrels in Biltmore's Barrel Room

In addition to the careful selection of the varietal, Sharon chose to ferment the 35th Anniversary Chardonnay in barrels rather than steel tanks because the exothermic reaction of fermentation helps incorporate more of the barrel flavor and aromas into the wine.

“From its opening bouquet of butter, creamy vanilla, and a bit of green apple, you immediately know this isn’t your average Chardonnay,” said Sharon. “And as you sip, you’ll taste delightful flavors of Meyer lemon and a hint of creamy custard. This barrel-fermented and barrel-aged wine is soft, smooth, and features a subtle acidity.”

Perfect pairings

Fresh chilled seafood
Pair our 35th Anniversary Chardonnay with fresh seafood and other flavorful fare

Sharon recommends savoring the Chardonnay with shrimp Alfredo, tuna Niçoise, Caesar salad, and classic southern seven-layer salad. For a delightful dessert pairing, serve some zesty lemon bars that echo the wine’s classic citrus notes.

“Consider enjoying the Chardonnay during dinner alfresco with friends,” Sharon said, “and be sure to raise a glass to the past and present of Biltmore’s Winery!”

Biltmore Winery celebrates 35 years of cheers

Biltmore Winery 35th Anniversary Chardonnay on a table with glasses
Celebrate Biltmore Winery’s 35th anniversary with our special 35th Anniversary Chardonnay

Along with our limited release 35th Anniversary Chardonnay, you can find all our handcrafted Biltmore wines online.

Thank you for making the last three-and-a-half decades so successful for Biltmore’s Winery, and cheers to the next 35 years!

“Cupid’s Richest Captive”— George Vanderbilt’s engagement

“Cupid’s Richest Captive” was the headline that accompanied the April 1898 announcement of George Vanderbilt’s engagement to Edith Stuyvesant Dresser.

Cupid’s richest captive: George Vanderbilt

Photographic portrait of George Vanderbilt, labeled
Photographic portrait of George Vanderbilt, ca. 1898

At age 36 and the only unmarried son of William Henry Vanderbilt, George was considered America’s most eligible bachelor. Termed “Cupid’s richest captive” by the popular press, the engagement was a leading topic in newspapers of the era.

Edith Dresser Stuyvesant

Edith Dresser's formal engagement photo, 1898
Edith Dresser’s formal engagement photo, 1898

In comparison, his bride-to-be was a virtual unknown, although her ancestry included Peter Stuyvesant, the first Dutch governor of New York. Edith and her three sisters were popular members of Newport and New York society, and the “Dresser Girls” had lived in Paris after the death of their parents and grandparents. 

Ten years younger than her fiancé, Edith was friends with one of George’s sisters and several of his nieces. While reporters speculated the couple became acquainted when she attended Vanderbilt’s 1897 London party for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, it’s more likely the pair met through match-making family members.

Congratulatory correspondence for “Cupid’s richest captive” and his fiancée

Cupid's richest captive: newspaper clipping of the wedding service
Newspaper clipping of the 1898 Dresser-Vanderbilt wedding program; illustrations were probably made from photographs of the couple.

News of the springtime engagement brought letters of congratulations from Vanderbilt’s friends, and we are fortunate to have some of the correspondence in our archives.

Author Paul Leicester Ford, who stayed at Biltmore several times and dedicated one of his most popular novels to George Vanderbilt, penned the following:

“My dear George,
I am very glad. Marriage is quite good enough for you, and is one of the few really fine things you haven’t had in your life. I wish I knew Miss Dresser better, but the mere glimpse I had of her was enough to make me like her, and time will perhaps fulfill my wish. That you both have my every felicitation, and hope for your happiness, need not be said…..It is a pleasure to me to think of you as having this great happiness added to your life. But in the big love, save a little if you can, for your affectionate friend
Paul.”


Portrait of George Vanderbilt by John Singer Sargent, ca. 1890
Portrait of George Vanderbilt by John Singer Sargent, ca. 1890; on display above the entrance to the Biltmore House Library.

Artist John Singer Sargent, considered the most successful portrait painter of his era, was one of Vanderbilt’s favorite artists. Six of his works are in Biltmore House, including a portrait of George that hangs above the Library door. On April 28, 1898, he wrote:


“My dear Vanderbilt
Please accept my warmest congratulations and best wishes for your engagement, and offer my hommages to the lady…I hope to see you on my way back from Venice…
Yours sincerely,
John S. Sargent”


Chauncey M. Depew, who served as New York Secretary of State and president of the New York Central Railway, was a family friend who had known George Vanderbilt all his life. On May 13, 1898, he wrote:


“My Dear George,
Accept my cordial congratulations on your engagement. Possessing as you do every thing to make a happy home, and Miss Dresser so charmingly forming the complement. Surely the future is (illegible) secure for married life as the fates have arranged it for you…
Faithfully yours,
Chauncey M. Depew”


On May 19, 1898, David H. Greer sent a letter to George Vanderbilt, who was already in Paris where his June 1 wedding would take place. Greer served as the rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York, from 1888–1904.


“Dear Mr. Vanderbilt —
I am sorry I cannot be present to offer my congratulations in person in connection with the happy event which is about to take place in your life; but the steamer that takes your sisters over will hopefully carry this note and enable you to receive it before the wedding.

I have thought of you so long in a state of “single blessedness” that it is a little difficult to imagine you in the double blessedness of matrimony. But it is double blessedness, as I know from my own experience, and I am sure you will find in yours.

With best wishes of a bright future for both of you, believe me,
Very sincerely yours,
David H. Greer”

Learn more about the Vanderbilts

George and Edith Vanderbilt at buckspring Lodge
George and Edith Vanderbilt sitting on the front steps of Buckspring Lodge, their rustic retreat on Mt. Pisgah

After the wedding and a four-month Italian honeymoon, the newlyweds returned to Biltmore to begin their lives together. Learn more about them by visiting The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad exhibition at The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village, included with your estate admission.

Featured photo: Place de Chalelet and Seine River, Paris, circa 1898. George Vanderbilt and Edith Stuyvesant Dresser were engaged in Paris in April 1898.

Savor in Place with Biltmore Wines

Spring 2020 has certainly brought some unprecedented challenges, but we invite you to savor in place with Biltmore wines.

“With the temporary closure of Biltmore and the Winery, we wanted to make sure our guests are still able to enjoy their favorite varietals at home,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Marketing Manager for Biltmore Wines.

Couple drinking winter wines while they savor in place at home
Include Biltmore wines in your Valentine’s Day celebration!

“That’s the whole idea behind our ‘savor in place with Biltmore wines’ initiative,” Jill said. “How can we be most helpful–and give you tips and ideas you can use at home–until we’re able to welcome you back to the estate and the Winery?”

Host a virtual wine tasting

Biltmore wines and spring gift ideas
Biltmore wines make perfect gifts for spring

Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak suggests hosting a virtual wine tasting while you savor in place at home.

“You’d normally gather your friends together in person for a great evening of wine tasting,” said Sharon, “but you can still “gather” everyone via a video conferencing app and let the fun begin!”

Here are Sharon’s picks for an easy virtual wine tasting that highlights some unique varietals from both our American Series and our Biltmore Estate Limited Release wines:

Have everyone select the same three bottles of wine: 1 approachable white wine like our Biltmore Estate Limited Release Marsanne, 1 rosé or light-bodied red such as our Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé or Biltmore Estate Pinot Noir, and 1 full-bodied red–perhaps our Biltmore Estate Limited Release Malbec that recently earned 96 points and Double Gold in the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition.

“Begin the tasting with the white wine and progress through to the most robust red,” Sharon advised. “Sip, savor, and celebrate your discoveries!”

Savor in place with Biltmore wines and our custom playlist

Biltmore wines in front of a fireplace
Find inspiration for virtual gift giving and entertaining with our 2020 Holiday Wine Guide

If a glass of wine and a smooth groove help you relax, John Justice, Regional Sales Manager for Biltmore Wines, offers the following advice:

“In these uncertain times, our kitchens are becoming a refuge for comfort and a way to calm our wanderlust,” said John.

Savor in place with Biltmore wines and charcuterie
Pair Biltmore wines with your favorite comfort foods!

“My culinary philosophy is that the two most important ingredients of cooking are the marination of the chef and good music,” John said.

“Both enhance smells, tastes, and the cooking process. I reach for Biltmore wines because they were created to be food-friendly, satisfying, and to pair well with your favorite flavors.”

John curated the following playlist specifically to match the pace of enjoying a bottle of Biltmore wine:

Get into the groove with your favorite Biltmore wines and John’s custom playlist!

“It’s smooth, lively, and reflective,” John noted, “so you won’t even need to shuffle. Cheers!”

Craft your own cocktails

Mix up refreshing cocktails
Enjoy cocktails crafted with Biltmore wines on the porch or by the pool!

“Now that we’re all sticking a little closer to home, let’s take our favorite Biltmore wines to the next level by crafting cocktails with them,” said Jeff Plack, Senior Director of Wine Production Operations.

“This is practically the perfect way to help you savor in place,” Jeff said. “You can sip your favorite Biltmore wines on their own, or transform them into handcrafted cocktails!”

Summer sipping with a Blackberry Basil Bellini
Savor in place with a Blackberry Basil Bellini featuring our sparkling Pas de Deux Moscato wine

Jeff shared the following picks to help kick off your next cocktail hour:

Uncork more refreshing cocktails with Biltmore wines here!

Stock up and savor in place with Biltmore wines

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

Until we can welcome you back to Biltmore’s Winery in person, we invite you to stock up on your favorite Biltmore wines online or locally with the help of our Retail Locator.

Want to ensure that you stay stocked up each season? Become a member of the Vanderbilt Wine Club now and enjoy Biltmore wines delivered to your door each season, exclusive discounts on wines, invitations to members-only events, and more!

Take Virtual Tours of Biltmore House and Gardens

Ready to experience virtual tours of Biltmore House and Gardens?

From the comfort of your own home, discover the timeless architecture of America’s Largest Home, renowned landscape design, breathtaking views, and storied history of this National Historic Landmark in Asheville, North Carolina.

Experience Biltmore virtual tours now

Like a jewel crowning the Blue Ridge Mountains, Biltmore House–an American castle–was completed in 1895. It is still owned and operated by descendants of founder George Vanderbilt.

PLEASE NOTE: While each of our brief Biltmore virtual tours last less than two minutes, a typical self-guided Biltmore House visit takes about two hours, spanning three floors and the basement of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s luxurious family home–and you can spend hours discovering the wonders of Biltmore’s historic gardens and grounds!

We hope you enjoy the following brief glimpse at the marvels of this historic place.


Bonus: 360° Blue Ridge Mountain Views from the Loggia

This is an interactive 360° video. Use your finger or cursor to look around*.


Bonus: 360° View Inside the Butler’s Pantry

This is an interactive 360° video. Use your finger or cursor to look around*.

* Some web browsers do not support 360° video. We recommend Google Chrome or Safari.


Virtual tour: Biltmore’s historic Conservatory

Located in the heart of Biltmore’s Walled Garden, this architectural treasure was designed in collaboration between George Vanderbilt, Biltmore House architect Richard Morris Hunt, and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Completed along with the house in 1895, Biltmore’s Conservatory is a year-round tropical oasis with more than 2,000 exotic plants beneath its expansive glass roof.

In the summer months, Biltmore’s expert staff of horticulturalists bring the tropics outdoors by filling the alleyways with exotic and fragrant plants for guests to enjoy.

This brief Biltmore virtual tour video gives you an opportunity to see highlights from the Conservatory:


Virtual tour: Biltmore’s gardens and grounds

When George Vanderbilt first began planning his grand country retreat in 1888, he envisioned a self-sustaining estate that would nurture the land and its resources for years to come.

Vanderbilt selected Frederick Law Olmsted, the founding father of American landscape architecture, to design the gardens and grounds of his estate.

Perhaps best known as the designer of Central Park in New York City, Olmsted envisioned Biltmore to include formal gardens and naturalized areas, a major arboretum and nursery, and acres of systematically managed forest land.

This brief Biltmore virtual video offers a quick overview of Olmsted’s masterpiece:

Plan your Biltmore visit soon

Enjoy Biltmore virtual tours that showcase the house, gardens, and grounds
Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina

We hope you have enjoyed each of these Biltmore virtual tours, as well as the bonus 360° videos of the Loggia and Butler’s Pantry!

Choose Biltmore’s Most Aromatic Wines for Spring

Choose Biltmore wines this spring to experience the essence of the season. 

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

Savor the moment

Spring is the perfect time to choose Biltmore wines, especially if you want to savor the “scent-sations” of our handcrafted varietals that complement the fresh and fragrant aromas of the season.

From soft floral notes like those of a vintage perfume to bright hints of fruit and spice, these wonderful wines will take your senses on an aromatic adventure!

Choose aromatic wines for spring

Let’s focus on those Biltmore wines that most closely mirror the scent characteristics we associate with spring:

Biltmore Spring Release White Wine with food
Our 2020 Seasonal Release White Wine makes a great gift

Biltmore Seasonal Release White Wine

Nothing could be finer than our annual Biltmore Seasonal Release White Wine, handcrafted to capture the essence of the season.

This year’s release is an aromatic, lightly sweet white blend of Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Viognier that opens with fragrances of coconut, pineapple, vanilla, and clove, and delicious flavors of rich tropical fruit.

It’s available in a keepsake bottle featuring original artwork by artist Denise Nelson of Sherrils Ford, North Carolina. 

PAIRING TIP: Savor our Seasonal Release White Wine with a wide range of options including creamy Thai and Indian curries, spicy Asian dishes, strawberry quinoa salad, and cheesecake.

Man opens wine with corkscrew
Spring is the perfect season to savor Sauvignon Blanc

Biltmore Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Uncork a bottle of this crisp and refreshing white wine and you’ll encounter bright citrus aromas that speak to the return of warmer weather.

PAIRING TIP: With fresh peach flavors and an elegant finish, our Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect partner for light spring and summer fare such as goat cheese, salads, and seafood.

Biltmore wines and spring gift ideas
Biltmore wines make perfect gifts for spring

Biltmore Estate Limited Release Gewürztraminer

Highly expressive aromas reminiscent of spring’s lightly-sweet blooms give way to lush flavors of spice, fruit, and floral notes.

If you’ve ever wondered what to pair with spicier foods, this aromatic wine is surprisingly simpatico with dishes that generate a bit of heat.

PAIRING TIP: pick up your favorite Asian and Indian cuisine and uncork a bottle of our Limited Release Gewürtztraminer.

Biltmore Estate Sangiovese

Aromatic red wine being poured
Red wines like our Sangiovese can be surprisingly aromatic

If you think red wines are too heavy for the season, just breathe in the elegant cherry aromas of our Sangiovese and you’ll imagine you’ve been transported to spring in the Italian countryside!

The taste—full-bodied with ripe berry flavors intertwined with hints of chocolate—will make you glad you thought outside the red-wine-in-winter box.

PAIRING TIP: For spring, serve our Sangiovese with lighter fare inspired by its Italian origins, including mushroom risotto and pasta with red sauce.

Pouring sparkling wine
Sip Pas de Deux Sec with food or create sparkling cocktails

Pas de Deux Moscato

Semi-sweet and bursting with tiny bubbles, this delightfully aromatic sparkling wine features the essence of orange blossom and flavors of wild strawberry and lemon.

It smells and tastes as if we captured a perfect day in spring and bottled it for you to sip and savor.

PAIRING TIP: Serve Pas de Deux Moscato with classic desserts like pound cake and fresh strawberries–or enjoy it in a refreshing Blackberry Basil Bellini

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

Stock up on aromatic spring favorites now!

Although virtual, we hope this aromatic tasting helps you breathe new life into your spring wine adventures!

Find all our award-winning wines online and through your local retailers.

Garden Parties Are a Spring Tradition at Biltmore

Whether you’ve been to Biltmore many times or are just planning your first visit, Biltmore Blooms is an annual celebration of spring you won’t want to miss!

A tradition of outdoor festivities

Spring blooms in Biltmore's shrub garden
Colorful spring blooms in Biltmore’s Shrub Garden

Flowers on parade

Spring was always a special time for the Vanderbilts as they enjoyed the beauty of Biltmore’s grounds awakening from winter. The return of warmer weather also brought the opportunity to spend more time outdoors and to host garden parties and festivities for family and guests.

Cornelia and Edith Vanderbilt in a flower-covered carriage, 1905
Cornelia and Edith Vanderbilt in a carriage decorated with flowers for the 1905 Flower Carriage Parade in Biltmore Village

For several years during Cornelia Vanderbilt’s childhood, her family, along with estate residents and members of the local community, celebrated the season with a parade of flower-decked carriages in Biltmore Village.

Wedding bouquets

On April 29, 1924, as Cornelia Vanderbilt prepared to marry the Honorable John F.A. Cecil, the gardens of Biltmore were called upon to play an important role in her wedding. Luckily, the acres of beautifully-landscaped shrubs and blooms were up to the task!

John and Cornelia Cecil wedding party in 1925
Wedding party of John and Cornelia Cecil in the Tapestry Gallery of Biltmore House, 1925

“The flowers for Cornelia’s bridesmaids were ordered from New York, but they did not arrive on the train in time,” said Lizzie Borchers, Biltmore Floral Displays Manager. “So Biltmore’s gardeners came to the rescue, clipping forsythia, tulips, dogwood, quince, and other flowers and wiring them together. They were quite large compositions, twiggy, open, and very beautiful.”

Cornelia’s garden party

Of course, summer was also a wonderful season for garden parties. In August 1925, Cornelia Cecil celebrated her 25th birthday with an open air ball at 9:30 p.m. in the Italian Garden.

At least 300 guests were invited, and party-goers danced to the Charles Freicher Orchestra amidst the splendor of twinkling lights from Japanese lanterns placed in trees and shrubbery and torches flaring in potted plants.

Italian Garden at Biltmore House
The Italian Garden pools shimmer with reflections of Biltmore House. Exotic Victoria water platters, canna lilies, papyrus and lotus thrive here in the summer months.

The Asheville Gazette described this garden party as “among the most elaborate and largest celebrations held at Biltmore House” since the estate was established.

The write-up included details such as “the beautiful array of summer gowns of the many dancers made a scene as beautiful as that of gay moths and fireflies in a fairy garden,” and noted that a buffet supper was served at midnight.

Celebrating Biltmore Blooms

Today, we continue to honor the Vanderbilt traditions of celebrating spring by bringing the outdoors into Biltmore House. Look for special floral arrangements throughout America’s Largest Home® during Biltmore Blooms.

Plan your spring getaway today

Spring picnic in Biltmore's Azalea Garden
Spring picnic in Biltmore’s Azalea Garden

Our restaurants and shops across the estate celebrate spring, too, with delicious seasonal menus and artful arrangements in each venue, plus special packages at The Inn on Biltmore Estate® and Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate® . Plan your special spring getaway today!

Featured image: Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt in a flower-covered carriage for a spring parade in Biltmore Village, May 25, 1905

Biltmore Wines and Spring Gift Ideas

Biltmore wines and spring gift ideas make perfect partners to help you celebrate all the holidays and occasions warmer weather brings.

Spring gift ideas

Biltmore wines and spring gift ideas
Biltmore wines make perfect gifts for spring

From special days for Moms and Dads to wedding registries and graduations, we’ve put together a helpful list for pairing your favorite Biltmore wines with our fresh and fabulous spring gift ideas!

Make Mother’s Day special

Savor summer with white wines
Enjoy all our Limited Release wines, including Roussanne, this summer!

Let Mom know how special she is this Mother’s Day with a gift inspired by the gracious hospitality for which the Vanderbilt family was famous.

Choose an exclusive design from our heirloom-quality Southern Gates® sterling silver jewelry collection to remind your mother how much she means to you.

In addition, our Vanderbilt Service Tea for One, featuring pretty porcelain pieces drawn from the details of an original set used in Biltmore House, gives Mom a relaxing way to make time for herself.

Wine suggestions: Pair these thoughtful spring gift ideas with great wine options like our soft, elegant Biltmore Estate Pinot Noir with wild cherry aromas, delicate raspberry flavors, and smooth tannins, or our delightful, light pink Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir sparkling wine featuring flavors of cherries and strawberries.

Delight your Dad

Perfect pairings with Biltmore wines
Offer a toast to Dad this Father’s Day with his favorite Biltmore wine

Give Dad a gift of distinction with our handsome Lioncrest Bookends. The lifelike detailing makes them the perfect accessory for home or office. Is your father on the go? Treat him to a sophisticated new Biltmore Renaissance Overnighter Bag. Locally made, the entire collection is guaranteed for life. 

For dads who appreciate fine wines, consider our handsome Vanderbilt Wine Chillers featuring George Vanderbilt’s monogram. Available in two sizes and two elegant finishes, the chillers make it easy to serve Dad’s favorite wines in style.

Wine suggestions: Full-bodied with complex aromas, our Antler Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley offers layers of bold fruit plus a lingering finish. Perfect now, it also has excellent aging potential. Also consider our Biltmore Estate Limited Release Sémillon—a dry white wine that is silky and palate-coating with zesty citrus aromas and fresh melon flavors.

Great gifts for graduates

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

As they cross into their next phase of life, nothing says “congratulations, graduate” better than a thoughtful piece of jewelry like our estate-inspired Crossings Necklace and matching Earrings from the elegant Southern Gates® collection for a statement that can be handed down through the generations.

Wine suggestions: Pair these great spring gift ideas for grads with our rich, fruit-forward Biltmore Estate Limited Release Malbec featuring intense spice, blueberry, and plum aromas, our Biltmore Century Sweet White Wine—a semi-sweet blend with aromas of roses and fresh mint, or our elegant and refreshing Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé with a subtle, fruit-forward bouquet followed by layers of delicate berry flavors.

Happily ever-afters

Couple drinking winter wines while they savor in place at home
Include Biltmore wines in your Valentine’s Day celebration!

From proposals and marriage ceremonies to honeymoons, Biltmore has always been a desirable destination for romance. Our exclusive gifts give you a wide range of unique ideas to make any romantic event more special.

For the gift registries and wish-lists of the bride-to-be, newlyweds, or first-time homeowners, consider our estate-inspired lamps and rugs as beautiful options they’ll treasure for years to come.

Wine suggestions: Make any celebration more special with our
finest sparkling wine—Biltmore Estate Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs North Carolina. Crafted from North Carolina Chardonnay grapes and featuring tiny bubbles, this golden wine bursts forth with tropical and citrus flavors.

Another inspired idea? Give the happy couple a gift membership in our Vanderbilt Wine Club, and they’ll think of you every time their seasonal shipments arrive!

Find it all online

Biltmore wines with cake and holiday lights
Look for all Biltmore wines online

From birthdays to baby announcements, find unique treasures online and pair your purchases with our award-winning Biltmore wines–they make perfect gifts for spring occasions (or any time of year)!

Happy Birthday, Frederick Law Olmsted

Happy birthday to Frederick Law Olmsted, born April 26, 1822.

Olmsted is often referred to as the “father of landscape architecture in America,” and is best known for New York’s Central Park, which he co-designed with architect and landscape designer Calvert Vaux.

Frederick Law Olmsted and daughter Marion at Biltmore
Frederick Law Olmsted and daughter Marion Olmsted near the French Broad River at Biltmore, ca. 1895. (Photo courtesy of the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.)

Each April, we honor Olmsted’s work as the designer of the artful landscape surrounding Biltmore House.

Envisioning Biltmore

Olmsted knew William Henry Vanderbilt, George Vanderbilt’s father, when they both lived on Staten Island, and the designer had already worked on several Vanderbilt family projects when George Vanderbilt approached him in 1888 to advise on the first 2,000 acres of North Carolina property he’d already purchased.

Mountain views at Biltmore
Mountain views from Biltmore House

“Now I have brought you here to examine it and tell me if I have been doing anything very foolish,” Vanderbilt reportedly told Olmsted.

After visiting Vanderbilt’s acreage in Asheville, North Carolina, Olmsted gave his young client a frank assessment of the property:

“The soil seems to be generally poor. The woods are miserable, all the good trees having again and again been culled out and only the runts left. The topography is most unsuitable for anything that can properly be called park scenery. My advice would be to make a small park in which you look from your house, make a small pleasure ground and gardens; farm your river bottoms chiefly and…keep and fatten livestock with a view to manure and…make the rest a forest.”

Collaboration with Richard Morris Hunt

Plans for both Biltmore House and its surrounding landscape changed in 1889 when Vanderbilt and architect Richard Morris Hunt toured France together and the scale of Vanderbilt’s new estate expanded.

Archival photo of workers on the Approach Road to Biltmore House
Photo caption: The Biltmore Company.

Olmsted wrote that he was nervous, not sure how to “merge stately architectural work with natural or naturalistic landscape work.” But the architect and landscape designer worked together “without a note of discord,” and Olmsted biographer Witold Rybczynki says that the landscape architect achieved something completely original at Biltmore: the first combination of French and English landscape designs.

Designing a living masterpiece

Transitions between formal and natural gardens were important, as was the use of native plants, small trees and large shrubs, and color and texture year-round.

View of the Approach Road in spring
The Approach Road, which Olmsted designed to achieve a “sensation passing through the remote depths of a deep forest,” only to have “the view of the Residence, with its orderly dependencies, to break suddenly, fully upon one.” Photo credit: The Biltmore Company.

Biltmore would prove to be Olmsted’s last design. As he approached the end of his work on the estate, he said “It is a great work of peace we are engaged in and one of these days we will all be proud of our parts in it.”

He said Biltmore was “the most permanently important public work” of his career. More than 125 years later, we continue to benefit from his vision.

Experience Biltmore Blooms

Spring is a wonderful season to experience the mature landscape that Olmsted envisioned. Plan a visit now during Biltmore Blooms, our annual celebration of spring.


Featured image: Portrait of Frederick Law Olmsted by John Singer Sargent