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Facebook Fans Help Create Our Christmas Wine Labels

All Things Biltmore • 10/12/21

Written By Jean Sexton

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 wine labels create a cheerful holiday mood

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.

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6 days ago

Mr. Sponseller’s sketches are spectacular!

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