Discover Biltmore Wines From Grape to Glass

How do we select the finest fruit for Biltmore wines? Here’s an overview of the process, from grape to glass!

Sourcing fine North Carolina vintages

In his book Lady On The Hill, George Vanderbilt’s grandson William A.V. Cecil noted that “Asheville was about the same latitude as Gibraltar in the Mediterranean, and with an altitude between 2,100 and 2,500 feet, the fields of the estate would enjoy warm days and cool nights in the summer.”

While the climate of Western North Carolina is not nearly as predictable as that of the Mediterranean or other major grape-growing regions, when conditions are right, the fruit produced in our estate vineyards is exceptional and earns the Biltmore Reserve label for our finest North Carolina vintages.

To ensure we can meet the growing demand for Biltmore wines, however, we also look to our local vineyard partners in Polk County—a lower-elevation region just south of Asheville that experiences slightly warmer temperatures with less danger of late season frost damage.

Guests enjoying a visit to Biltmore's vineyards on the west side of the estate
Guests enjoying a visit to Biltmore’s vineyards on the west side of the estate

Beyond Biltmore

We also look to our west coast partners for the quality and consistency of grapes needed to handcraft our award-winning wines. Several times each year, Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak schedules extended visits to California to meet with our growing partners and select outstanding vintages for Biltmore wines. 

“Some of the finest American wine grapes come from the vineyards of coastal California,” Sharon said. “The terroir—the different combinations of weather and soil in each hill and valley—translate into the distinctive flavors and qualities that characterize the wines of that region.”

View of one of our partner vineyards in California
View of one of our partner vineyards in California

California’s Northern Coast

This large wine grape-growing region is located north of San Francisco, with a maritime climate that is affected by cool fogs and breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Some of California’s best-known American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), including Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Lake County, Napa, and Russian River Valley, are located here. 

“This AVA is an important one for our Vanderbilt Reserve series,” said Sharon. “We select grapes from outstanding partner vineyards for some of our most distinctive wines, including our Vanderbilt Reserve Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, Vanderbilt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, Vanderbilt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley 2016, and The Hunt Red Blend Sonoma County.” 

The Hunt label features the finely wrought engraving on an August Francotte shotgun in Biltmore's original collection
The Hunt label features the finely wrought engraving on an August Francotte shotgun in Biltmore’s original collection

California’s Central Coast

Stretching from San Francisco Bay south to Santa Barbara County, this region offers a warmer climate that still benefits from the cooling influences of the Pacific Ocean. We partner with vineyards from such prestigious AVAs as Arroyo Seco, Cienega Valley, Monterey, and Paso Robles.

“Some of the more unusual varietals we choose from partner vineyards here include Barbera, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Rousanne, and Tempranillo,” Sharon noted.

Washington

A wide range of grapes are now being grown in the fertile valleys of Washington, making the state an important producer of outstanding wine varietals. Vineyards are found primarily in the eastern half of the state that benefits from a dryer shrub-steppe ecosystem and the rain shadow of the Cascade Range. The state experiences long hours of daylight—approximately two more hours per day during the growing season than California—and milder, more consistent temperatures. 

“We are excited to be working with some great partner vineyards in Washington,” said Sharon. “We’re selecting a lot of excellent grapes for our American Series and Limited Release Series wines.”

Handcrafting our award-winning wines

While Sharon and her team handcraft the majority of our wines from start to finish at Biltmore’s Winery in Asheville, North Carolina, our Vanderbilt Reserve wines and Antler Hill wines are created in the particular region where they were grown. This painstaking process is overseen—from selecting the vintage and expressing the varietal character to aging the wine—by Sharon during her visits to California. 

“All our wines represent the Vanderbilt family’s legacy of gracious hospitality on which Biltmore was founded,” Sharon said, “and as Biltmore’s winemaker, I am committed to handcrafting our wines with the philosophy of keeping each one true to varietal character and consistent from vintage to vintage. Whether I’m at work in North Carolina or California or Washington, I’m focused on creating wines that reflect the quality of this family-owned estate and Winery.”

Just a few of the more than 50 Biltmore wine selections available at the estate or online
Just a few of the more than 50 Biltmore wine selections available at the estate or online

Discover our exceptional wines for yourself

Visit Biltmore’s Winery, purchase online, or find them close to home with our Retailer Locator.

Featured image: Ripe grapes being harvested in Biltmore’s vineyard

Spice Up Your Wine Selections with Unique Varietals

From classic favorites to special blends, Biltmore handcrafts a wide range of award-winning wines.

Glasses of red and white wines in Biltmore's vineyardEnjoy our award-winning Biltmore wines

Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon tend to be the best-selling white and red varietals around the world—and we create excellent versions of each at our estate winery—but what lies beyond these household names? Let’s take a look at some of the more unique varietals we offer.

Viognier

Although its roots are firmly planted in southern France, this white varietal is now grown around the globe—as long as the climate offers warm weather for growing and cool nights to protect Viognier’s moderate acidity.

Biltmore wine glass with white wineTry a complimentary tasting of Viognier at Biltmore’s Winery

“As soon as you uncork our Viognier, you can almost imagine that it’s a delicate perfume,” said Jill Whitfield, senior marketing manager for Biltmore Wines. “It offers top notes of tangerine, peach, and honeysuckle.”

Based on variables ranging from the terroir of a vineyard to production and aging, Viognier can be lighter with more hints of fruits and flowers, or it can become deeper and creamier with flavors of vanilla and spice.

Viognier offers a definite aromatic sweetness,” Jill said, “but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a sweet wine. Our Biltmore Reserve Viognier 2017, handcrafted from North Carolina-grown grapes, adds a bright twist of white pepper to its overall bouquet. Good balance and acidity make it an excellent choice with seafood.”

Biltmore Estate Limited Release Tempranillo being poured into a glassEnjoy a glass of Biltmore Estate Limited Release Tempranillo

Tempranillo

Most of the world’s Tempranillo is grown in Spain where it is believed to have originated, but this earthy red wine is rapidly gaining a following around the globe.

Tempranillo has a lot of personality,” said Jill. “Ours is full-bodied and fruit-forward with earthy aromas, rich dried fig flavors, and lingering tannins—just what you’d expect in a classic barrel-aged version.”

Winemaker Sharon Fenchak carefully crafts the Biltmore Estate Limited Release Tempranillo with grapes sourced from our partner vineyards in California.

“When I discover exceptional grapes from one of our west coast growers, it inspires me to create distinctive wines for our Limited Release series,” Sharon said. “It’s usually a smaller amount of fruit, and that gives my production team an opportunity to really bring out the qualities of the varietal.”

Because of its fuller body and savory qualities, our Limited Release Tempranillo is a hearty match for beef, lamb curry, and pork. It was recently rated “Exceptional” and awarded a gold medal and 91 points by Tastings.com, an online publication of the Beverage Testing Institute.

White wine and picnic basketPack Biltmore Estate Chenin Blanc for your next picnic

Chenin Blanc

One of our guests’ favorites and a best-seller at Biltmore’s Winery, Chenin Blanc is a versatile white wine that can range from lightly sweet to quite dry, depending on the vintage and the style of winemaking.

“We handcraft our Chenin Blanc in two different styles,” said Jill. “Our Limited Release Biltmore Estate Chenin Blanc reflects the sweetness of the grape, which is very popular in the Winery’s Tasting Room. With floral aromas and a lingering sweet finish, guests can easily imagine sipping at home on a warm evening.”

Although our Biltmore Estate Chenin Blanc also features the classic floral aromas you’d expect in this varietal, it’s a bit more crisp than the Limited Release version and offers flavors of wild strawberry and bright hints of lime.

“Both styles are delicious,” noted Jill, “and I call them my ‘secret weapons’ when it comes to pairing wine with sweet-and-sour dishes and Asian cuisine! Those are not easy flavors to complement, but our Chenin Blanc and our Limited Release Chenin Blanc have enough acidity and sweetness to make it work.”

Friends toasting with Biltmore wineEnjoy Biltmore wines at home

Stock up soon

Join us at Biltmore’s Winery for complimentary tastings of more than 20 of our wines, or indulge in special tastings of our reserve wines at the Wine Bar. Whether you stick to your favorites or explore any of our unique varietals, you can stock up on our award-winning wines at the estate, find them close to home through our Retailer Locator, or shop online.

Getting to Know Your Glassware

Ancient origins

The material has ancient origins and was probably first developed by the Egyptians sometime after 2000 BC. It can also occur naturally, as in the case of obsidian and basalt glass produced as a result of volcanic eruptions. 

The form and function of glass have continually been refined throughout the centuries, making it suitable for anything from art to everyday needs such as drinking wine. 

Biltmore wine in glassesDifferent glassware options for tasting Biltmore wines

Type and shape

When it comes to serving wine, the quality of the glass and the shape of the vessel both play an important role in the tasting experience

Wine enthusiasts have long known that the shape of the wine glass affects the taste of the wine,” said Jill Whitfield, Wine Marketing Manager for Biltmore. “It’s important to educate wine drinkers on this fact, because it can change how you experience wine from the tasting room to your own home.”

Server with glasses of red and white Biltmore wine on a tray

A server with red and white Biltmore wines

Standard glassware

A standard tasting glass usually offers a slightly wider base in proportion to a narrower rim, with a stem to keep the heat of your hand from warming the wine. 

“This combination allows you to aerate the wine by swirling it in the bowl, but it doesn’t allow the aromas—a vital component of the tasting process—to escape too quickly,” Jill said. 

  • White Wines
    White wine glasses tend to have smaller bowls to help preserve the floral aromas typical of white wines. The smaller style also helps maintain cooler temperatures, and allows more of the aromatic qualities to be enjoyed since the wine is closer to your nose. Our Biltmore Estate Pinot Grigio is a great example of a lighter-bodied white wine that would benefit from a glass with a smaller bowl design.

    Full-bodied whites such as our Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina may utilize a slightly larger bowl to showcase the smooth, creamy texture that is characteristic of the varietal.
     

  • Red Wines
    Red wine glasses typically have larger bowls to allow some of the wine’s ethanol to burn off before it reaches your nose, allowing more aromas to be expressed. A wider opening allows the wine to flow more smoothly, which enhances the overall experience. 

    Glasses for serving light-bodied reds such as our Vanderbilt Reserve Pinot Noir Russian River Valley are typically wider and shorter than glasses for full-bodied, heavily tannic reds that include our classic Vanderbilt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley.

    Flute glasses with Biltmore Estate sparkling wine

Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine served in flute glasses

Let it sparkle

According to Jill, sparkling wines are often served in a distinctive flute with a stem. 

“The tall, narrow flute shape keeps the bubbles from escaping as quickly while the stem prevents the chilled wine from coming in contact with your warm hands,” said Jill. 

She notes that aged sparkling wines and those that are especially aromatic may benefit from a tulip glass, which resembles a flute but widens at the waist before narrowing at the rim. As for wide, shallow coupe glasses—they allow the bubbles to fly away, allowing the softer, fruiter aspects of sparkling wines to become more noticeable. 

Biltmore wine being poured into glasses

Pouring Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé into glasses 

Glass or crystal?

“Another important point to consider is the difference between glass and crystal,” Jill said. “The fine, thin texture of crystal is less interactive than glass, meaning that you’ll taste the wine and its specific characteristics more clearly, but glass is more durable and less expensive, so there are benefits to both materials.”

If tasting and understanding the complexities of wine is your goal, definitely invest in the proper equipment to help you succeed. 

Pouring Biltmore wine outdoors at the vineyardGuests enjoy a wine event in Biltmore's vineyard

“In the meantime,” said Jill, “whether you’re sipping from a plastic festival cup or the tiny crystal cordial glasses passed down through your family, we encourage you to enjoy wine in many forms!”

Learn more

Purchase our award-winning Biltmore wines online, at the estate, or from your local retailer

Saving Wines to Savor Later

Many wines are ready to drink when released, but some taste even better if they are correctly stored and allowed to age. 

Chooseing a bottle from Biltmore's wine cellarWhy age a wine?

We asked Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak for tips on why and how to age a wine.

“The reason to store a wine is because you believe it will improve with age. At first tasting, if the wine dries and coats your mouth then it’s obvious you should hold it to drink later. I call it ‘pucker power,’” she said.

Sharon notes that some wines, primarily reds, have more initial tannins at bottling. Aging softens those tannins, creating a more balanced and pleasurable wine experience. As the tannins soften, sediment often settles at the bottom, so don’t be surprised to find sediment in aged wines. With proper decanting, the sediment can be removed, allowing the wine to be more easily enjoyed.

Antler Hill wines suitable for agingSuccessful aging tips

Wines age most successfully if you store them in the coolest, most temperaturecontrolled place in your home, and allow for some humidity. Place the bottles upside down to keep the cork from drying out, and keep the wine away from vibrations.

Sharon recommends select red wines from our Vanderbilt Reserve or Antler Hill® series for cellaring (as the experts refer to the process) for up to five years.

Ladies enjoying a glass of red wineDeciding how long to store a wine is literally a matter of taste. “If you really like a wine, buy a case and in two years try a bottle and take notes,” she said. “If you think it will benefit from more aging, try another bottle in two more years. If you feel it needs more time, open another bottle the following year,” Sharon advised.

Discover our award-winning wines at your local retailers or online.

Featured image: Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak
First image: Choosing a bottle from Biltmore's wine cellar
Second image: Antler Hill red wines suitable for aging
Third image: Friends enjoy a glass of well-aged red wine

Biltmore wines blend in to stand out

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.

Ladies drinking Biltmore wine“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.

Biltmore blends

Biltmore Estate White Blend

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 Vivescent Sparkling Sec with picnic

Other Biltmore blends:

• 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.

Buy any of our wines online or learn where you can buy them locally.

Everything’s Coming Up Rosés!

Have you ever wondered how rosé wines are created? 

Known as rosé in French, rosado in Spanish, and rosato in Italian, rosé is one of the oldest styles of winemaking because—in its simplest form—it involves leaving crushed red grapes together with their skins for a certain amount of time. 

Rosés can range from palest pink to deep red, depending on the varietal and how long it stayed in contact with the skin.Rose wine being poured into a glass

3 main ways to create rosés:

• Saignée
  When a red varietal is crushed, the first juice is drawn off and aged separately as a rosé. This process results in very fine rosés and also serves to intensify the flavor of the original red varietal.
Maceration
  A red varietal is crushed and the skins are left in contact with the fruit for up to 24 hours, depending on the desired color and flavor of the final product. This is the most common production technique for rosés and produces excellent wines, including our Biltmore rosés.
Blending
   Red and white juices are blended to create a rosé. This process is used mainly for lower-quality wines, although some outstanding sparkling rosés are created in this manner.

Where did rosés originate?

The world’s earliest red wines were probably closer to rosé than modern red wines because it was not considered desirable to leave the grapes in contact with the skins for more than a day. 

Over time, Europe would become the primary producers of rosé wines, but that changed in the early 1950s as rosés were successfully introduced into American markets and emerging California wineries began creating their own versions.

By the 1970s, rosé was often referred to as “blush” wine in the U.S., and though wildly popular, the style gradually became associated with sweeter, less-desirable blended wines. Enthusiasm for rosé began to wane.

Biltmore Estate Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc de Noir

Rosé renaissance

Today, rosé wines are enjoying a renaissance as winemakers and consumers explore a range of options from traditional dryer varietals such as Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah to semi-sweet offerings including White Zinfandel and sparkling Moscato versions.

Designed to be served chilled, modern rosés are excellent for sipping on their own and they also partner surprisingly well with eclectic fare such as spicy Asian cuisine and pizza.

Biltmore rosés

At Biltmore, we continue to explore new styles of rosés as our consumers’ palates evolve and new trends arise.

New for 2019, try our Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé. Pale salmon in color, it features a delightful aroma with notes of strawberry, watermelon, honey, and lime. Semi-sweet and refreshing with flavors of kiwi and honeydew, it pairs well with spicy sausage, blackened chicken, and black bean burgers. 

In addition, savor delicious options like our long-time favorite Biltmore Estate Zinfandel Blanc de Noir, which is vibrant and crisp with sweet tropical fruit aromas and delicate berry flavors, or our elegant and refreshing Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé with a subtle, fruit-forward bouquet followed by layers of delicate berry flavors.

For a sparkling wine as delicious as it is beautiful, try our coral-hued Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir crafted from Pinot Noir grapes in the traditional méthode champenoise

Top Tips for Traveling with Wine

From road trips to air travel, the words “summer vacation” are ones we dream of all year long—there’s just something about warm weather that puts us in the mood to take time off and enjoy ourselves!

Wherever your travels take you, be sure to take along your favorite Biltmore Wines, or bring them back with you if the estate is your destination. To help prevent mishaps, here are some of our top tips for transporting wine:

Airline etiquette wine tips

  1. Bring bubble wrap! Swathe wine bottles in bubble wrap to protect them from breaking in-flight and throughout your travels. If you don’t have bubble wrap, use heavy clothing. Note: to bring wine on an airline, you MUST check your bag (wine bottles cannot be stowed in your carry-on luggage).
  2. Checking your wine: Currently, you may take up to five liters of alcohol with alcohol content between 24% and 70% per person as checked luggage if it’s packaged in a sealable bottle or flask. Before you fly, be sure to verify all rules at the TSA site here.
  3. If you’re buying a lot of wine, it’s probably easier to have the winery ship it directly to you.  Shipping can be expensive, but at least you’ll know the wine has been packed carefully, and you can even have it shipped via climate controlled transport if the summer weather is extremely hot. Be sure to check the winery’s shipping rules as details can vary state-by-state.
  4. To avoid anxiety around broken bottles and leakage in your luggage, wrap an absorbent cloth around the bottle first before wrapping bubble wrap or clothes around it. Diapers come in handy for this purpose!

Road trip wine tips

  1. Extreme heat can ruin wine. The ideal temperature for wine storage is a cool 55–65 degrees F, so on road trips, the air-conditioned interior of your car is a better place for wine than your trunk.
  2. If stopping overnight, we recommend bringing the wine inside with you to ensure a consistent temperature.
  3. When packing wine for travel, store bottles on their sides or upside down to keep wine in contact with the cork. If the cork gets dry, it can let too much air through and oxidize the wine.
  4. A cooler will help your wines remain at an ideal temperature during travel, but opt for ice packs rather than loose ice.

Whether flying or driving, once you arrive at your final destination, let wines rest for at least a week if not more to help them settle. All of the traveling can shake up the wine and cause bottle shock. This does not ruin the wine, but can make it taste slightly “off.” Letting it rest for a few weeks allows the wine to return to its ideal state!

7 Tips for Making Fresh Cut Flowers Last

Cathy Barnhardt, Floral Displays Manager, has spent 35 years at Biltmore and is nationally known for her work. She began her career in the estate’s greenhouse, but now handles everything “Christmas at Biltmore.” With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Cathy shared some tips and tricks she has used over the years to make floral arrangements last as long as possible.

1. Be sure that there is no foliage below the water level of the vase or pushed into a block of floral foam. Soft tissues will decompose quickly and foul the water. Some flowers such as gypsophilia (baby’s breath), or snapdragons decompose very rapidly and require fresh water daily. The water in a vase should be clear, never cloudy, which indicates bacterial growth.

2. Change the water daily if possible for the greatest vase life of your materials. If it is not feasible to change the water daily, then it is important that you check the arrangement frequently and “top off” the water. The woodier stemmed and hollow stemmed materials are generally the heaviest drinkers, and should be checked daily.

3. Direct sunlight and heat or drafts will shorten the life of your arrangement. Place arrangements with this in mind. 

4. Don’t put your arrangement in a heavily air conditioned room to “keep it fresh.” The air conditioning can dehydrate the materials.

5. Do not mist arrangements in place. Misting can cause some flowers to wilt as it draws the moisture from within the petals to the surface where it evaporates. Misting may cause spots on some blossoms and will certainly damage furniture finishes, paint, or woodworking.

6. Pinch off faded or wilted blooms to encourage newer ones to open.

7. If a flower wilts, you may try filling the sink with warm (not hot) water, submerge the entire flower briefly and then re-cut the stems under water.  Leave the flowers standing in the warm water for half an hour, and then rearrange in cool water.

Biltmore Wines Provide Great Summer Sipping

During warmer months, winemaker Bernard Delille recommends focusing on lighter, dryer, acidic wines. These wines refresh your palate in the same way lemonade does when you are hot and thirsty.

“Sweeter wines tend to leave you thirsty, while wines with higher acidity such as Sauvignon Blanc can actually quench your thirst on a hot summer day,” he said.

Bernard’s top summer picks include his favorite varietal, Sauvignon Blanc, a dry, crisp, food-friendly wine that pairs beautifully with salads, chicken, and white fish. He also recommends Biltmore Pinot Grigio with its spicy citrus finish and our semi-sweet and delicately fruity Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Riesling, from grapes grown at the estate. Both are especially nice for sipping outdoors on summer evenings.

Prefer popular Chardonnay? Try a lighter style like Biltmore Chardonnay Sur Lies that is lightly oak aged.

 

A Rosé For Summer

Rosé drinkers will appreciate our Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc de Noir, a semi-sweet rosé with raspberry and citrus flavors and hints of melon. It’s a “laid-back” wine that goes well with sausage, turkey, and Asian cuisine—and while many reds are commonly paired with dark chocolate, give this rosé a try with milk chocolate.

For Red Wine Lovers

Bernard recommends mellow, versatile reds for the summer; one of the best is Cardinal’s Crest—a soft and easy-to-drink blend.  Another is our medium-bodied, fruity Century Red—a Sangiovese and Merlot blend—featuring aromas of red currant and strawberry.

Festive & Fun

Like something bubbly? Sparkling wines like our Pas de Deux crafted with aromatic Muscat Canelli grapes are perfect for warm weather.

 

Whatever wine you prefer, make sure you chill it first (yes, even red wine). Cool reds for 20–30 minutes before you serve them. For white wines, remove from the refrigerator 20–30 minutes prior to serving so their aromas and flavors can be released.

And remember the most important rule of wine: drink what you like, regardless of the time of year.

 

Shop all Biltmore wines.

Discover Biltmore White Wines

Biltmore White Wines—Perfect Partners for Every Occasion

White wines come in every flavor profile from crisp and dry to juicy and sweet—and everything in between. This guide walks you through the white wines we produce and offers simple tips for making a great choice, every time.


Century White

Our best-selling white blend combines Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Muscat Canelli grapes in a fragrant, semi-sweet wine that refreshes with a tropical twist. Century White is a great introduction to several different white grape varietals, and it pairs surprisingly well with many of your favorite foods such as shrimp and Asian and Vietnamese cuisine. 

Tip: A good sweetness-to-acidity ratio is the secret to pairing semi-sweet wines with surprisingly spicy foods.

Watch a tasting video and learn more about our Century White.


Chardonnay

One of the most familiar white varietals is Chardonnay. Generally well-suited to absorb the vanilla and other characteristic flavors imparted by oak aging, Chardonnays often mature into grand wines with a rich, buttery flavor.

Chardonnay Sur Lies is another option and is produced through careful aging on the wine’s sediments or “lees.” A small percentage has light oak contact, and this style creates a medium-bodied wine with fresh fruit flavors—not as rich and buttery as traditionally oak-aged Chardonnay, but offering more body and complex flavors than un-oaked Chardonnay. 

Tip: Malo-lactic fermentation, a process in which the sharper-tasting malic acid in wine is converted into lactic acid, gives wines a more rounded, buttery taste without necessarily aging the wine in oak barrels. To taste the difference between oaked and unoaked Chardonnay, try both our North Carolina Chardonnay from grapes grown on the estate and our California Unoaked Chardonnay.

Watch a tasting video and learn more about our Biltmore Chardonnay Sur Lies


Chenin Blanc

This varietal originated in the Loire Valley of France and might be considered a “low maintenance” grape that tends to be hearty and not too temperamental as it grows and ripens. A slightly sweeter white varietal, our Chenin Blanc is a great choice for sipping by itself as well as enjoying with goat cheese, fresh fruit, and Asian cuisine. 

Tip: Although delicious on its own as a still or a sparkling wine, because of its fairly consistent acidity, you may find Chenin Blanc added to other white wine blends to improve their taste and character.

Learn more about our Biltmore Chenin Blanc.


Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is generally known as a white varietal, yet the grape itself is actually a dusky, pinkish blue-gray. Some wines produced from it may take on a pinkish tone.

It has become one of the most popular white varietals in recent years because it tends to please most palates and pair well with a wide range of foods. Our winemakers craft Biltmore Pinot Grigio to bring out its slightly spicy, citrusy qualities. Enjoy it with ricotta cheese, pasta with cream sauce, ham, ravioli, crab, oysters, salmon, and shellfish.

Tip: Try sipping a glass of our Pinot Grigio before a seafood meal—its crisp, refreshing taste helps open and prepare your palate to savor those particular flavors.

Watch a tasting video and learn more about our Biltmore Pinot Grigio.


Riesling

Originally from Germany, Riesling is a versatile grape that is crisp yet semi-sweet. Our Biltmore Riesling features nicely balanced fruit flavors with acidity and exotic floral notes.

Tip: Love sushi but can’t imagine pairing anything besides sake with it? Try our North Carolina Riesling made from grapes grown here at the estate.

Watch a tasting video and learn more about our Biltmore Riesling.


Sauvignon Blanc

A dry, crisp wine that suggests elegant pairings and a real appreciation for a wine that can stand up to the complex layers of taste in rich seafood such as crab, oysters, scallops, lobster, and shellfish.

Tip: Sauvignon Blanc (also known as ‘Fume Blanc’) is generally very acidic and is often characterized by hints of grass in the nose and the taste. Our Sauvignon Blanc has been awarded Best of Class in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and received 88 points & Best Buy from the Beverage Testing Institute.

Learn more about our Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc.


Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines are traditionally crafted from white grapes such as Chardonnay, Petite Meunier, and Pinot Noir. Biltmore is one of only a handful of wineries that produce both still and sparkling wines, including our finest Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs.

Tip: Pair our bubbly and festive Biltmore Pas de Deux with a rustic apple tart—you’ll be amazed at the way the flavors come alive! Watch a tasting video and learn more about our Pas de Deux.

See tips on our sparkling wines.