Biltmore wines blend in to stand out
All Things Biltmore • 08/08/16
Written By Jean Sexton
If you ask Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak why some grape varietals are blended into different wines, she’ll tell you there are many reasons, but one of her favorites is to create something special that she thinks Biltmore wine drinkers will enjoy.
“Blending varietals is a combination of art and science,” Sharon says, “and the final blend should ultimately be more delicious and complex than any of single varietals by themselves. That’s not to say that most varietals can’t stand on their own, but when you’re blending, you’re doing it to enhance the final product.”
History of blending
Historically speaking, the practice of blending is as old as winemaking itself. While there’s some sense that old world wines are more often blends and new world wines tend to be separate varietals, this may have more to do with the fact that European wines are typically associated with a particular region such as Bordeaux, Rhone, and Champagne while North and South American and southern hemisphere wines are more likely to be noted by the specific type of grape.
At Biltmore, our best-selling blend is our Century Sweet Red created from a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel. One reviewer notes:
“I'm not a red wine drinker AT ALL, but this bottle has me ordering again and again…I LOVE this wine, especially with ribs. It's light, sweet and honestly, the PERFECT…”
For white wine drinkers, our Biltmore Estate White Blend features a blend of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc which one review characterizes as:
“Spectacular blend. Very good nose with hints of vanilla and honeysuckle. Very drinkable and smooth. Delicious.”
The Hunt, one of our finest wines, is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grown in California’s Sonoma County. Aged for 18 months in French and American oak barrels, The Hunt offers good aging potential along with richly refined layers of taste.
• Biltmore Century Sweet White
• Biltmore Estate Cardinal’s Crest
• Biltmore Estate Red Blend
• Seasonal releases during spring and at Christmas
We also blend some of our sparkling wines, like our Biltmore Estate Brut and our special seasonal releases for summer and the winter holidays.