Discover Biltmore White Wines
All Things Biltmore • 04/27/13
Written By Sharon Fenchak
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.