Biltmore Winery Welcomes Chihuly Chandelier

Beginning in early February 2023, Biltmore Winery welcomes you to be among the first to marvel at the newly commissioned, blown-glass Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier created by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

Inspiration for the Chihuly Chandelier

Portrait of George Vanderbilt and three bottles of wine
George Vanderbilt (left; portrait by John Singer Sargent) was a thoughtful collector of wines whose legacy continues to inspire our handcrafted Biltmore wines today.

“We are thrilled to share the acquisition of the Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier by Dale Chihuly,” said Bill Cecil, President and CEO of Biltmore and great-grandson of George Vanderbilt.

“We know that George Vanderbilt was a thoughtful collector of art and wine who enjoyed bringing beautiful objects to fill his home and sharing excellent vintages at his table,” Bill said, “so our family commissioned this piece to represent the importance of wine in our history, from the Vanderbilt era to our modern-day winemaking philosophy.”

The stunning chandelier draws inspiration from the vibrant hues found in Biltmore’s red, white, and rosé wines.

Creating the intricate composition

Travis Tatham (center), Biltmore’s Director of Destination Entertainment and Events, looks at the plans for the new Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier with members of Team Chihuly.
Travis Tatham explores color options for the new Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier
Travis Tatham participates in glassblowing with Team Chihuly in The Hotshop.

Chihuly’s Chandeliers are composed of hundreds of blown glass elements that together make up elaborate, intricate compositions. Chihuly began the Chandelier series in 1992 and has since created them for locations all around the world.

Detail of Chihuly Chandelier at Biltmore
Dale Chihuly, Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier (detail). ©2023 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

“What makes the Chandeliers work for me is the massing of color. If you take hundreds of blown pieces of one color, put them together, and then shine light through them, now that’s going to be something to look at. Hang it in a space and it becomes mysterious, defying gravity or seemingly out of place, like something you have never seen before.” — Dale Chihuly

A welcome addition to Biltmore’s collection

Stained glass La Farge windows
George Vanderbilt’s father commissioned artist and interior designer John La Farge to create several stained glass panels that represent “The Fruits of Prosperity”.

“While we have decorative glass objects in Biltmore’s private collection, such as a Tiffany vase and the La Farge stained glass windows, this commissioned Chihuly Chandelier is both the first fine-art glass sculpture and the first contemporary work of art to be added to Biltmore’s private collection,” said Ellen Rickman, Director of Museum Services.

Tiffany vase
Part of the Biltmore collection, this handblown vase by famed art glass maker Louis Comfort Tiffany features different layers of glass in different colors, with a gold metallic surface and woven sterling silver overlay.

Dale Chihuly is recognized for having a significant impact on the art world, just as artists like Paul Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet did in their time. We are honored to welcome this work of art into our collection alongside important works by other great artists.

Savor and share Biltmore Winery’s new Chihuly Chandelier

Couple on a romantic date entering the Winery at Biltmore
Biltmore’s Winery offers wonderful ways to savor and share all year round, including the new Chandelier by Chihuly.

As soon as installation is complete in early February, all Biltmore guests with estate admission, Annual Pass membership, or an overnight stay are welcome to view the Chihuly Chandelier inside the Wine Shop of our estate Winery in Antler Hill Village. For current hours of operation, visit biltmore.com/hours.

For those who enjoy sharing their memories on social media, we invite you to use our official tags:

  • Handles: @biltmoreestate @biltmorewines @chihulystudio
  • Location tag: Biltmore, 1 Lodge Street
  • Hashtag: #ChihulyatBiltmore #Chihuly #Biltmore

Featured image: Dale Chihuly, Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier (detail). ©2023 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

Plan A Romantic Date or Getaway at Biltmore

Now is the perfect time to plan a romantic date or getaway at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, and we’ve got plenty of ways to inspire you!

Couple holds hands at Biltmore
Biltmore has been a romantic destination for couples since it first opened in 1895.

Romantic escape

When you’re longing for time away with your beloved, Biltmore serves up the ultimate romantic escape whether you’re seeking a private retreat for renewed connections or fun-filled adventures in the great outdoors.

Explore the estate together

Nothing is more romantic than a private carriage ride with views of Biltmore House along the way.
Enjoy the great outdoors together on your next romantic date or getaway at Biltmore!
Choose wellness activities such as yoga and meditation to help reconnect with each other during your romantic getaway at Biltmore.
Enjoy outdoor activities such as bike riding together at Biltmore.

Create new memories by enjoying the outdoors together while exploring the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre Blue Ridge Mountain estate.

“I can’t think of anything much more romantic than a private carriage ride for two,” said Heather Brannan, Outdoor Adventure Center Supervisor, “but Biltmore offers so many activities that you’re sure to find something that delights both of you.”

  • Carriage and trail rides
    • Enjoy Biltmore’s property from a different perspective with a carriage or trail ride. Choose guided or private options to suit your style and abilities.
  • Biking and hiking
    • Delight in Frederick Law Olmsted’s distinctive landscape design as you explore the trails at Biltmore. Walk, hike, rent a bike, or pedal your own to get a firsthand view of the estate.
  • Wellness activities
    • Indulge in some self-care as a couple with thoughtful options that quiet your mind and refresh your spirits, such as Morning Yoga or our deliciously relaxing Chocolate Meditation.

Adventure awaits

In addition to learning a new skill, your Land Rover® Experience at Biltmore will take you to areas of the estate many guests never see.
Explore the thrilling art of falconry at Biltmore
Learning a new skill together–like negotiating rough terrain in a Land Rover®–makes a romantic getaway at Biltmore unforgettable.
Although the sport is called falconry, other raptors, including hawks and owls, are part of the program at Biltmore.

Team up with your significant other for an adventure that may take you out of your comfort zone, but will also bring you closer together as you learn new skills with the help of our expert guides.

  • Land Rover® Experience at Biltmore
    • Go off-roading in luxury when you engage in a Land Rover® Experience at Biltmore. Book a one- or two-hour session and receive expert training to maneuver on unfamiliar terrain.
    • Extend the adventure with a full-day’s excursion that includes a mid-day break for a private picnic lunch–now that’s romantic! 
  • Falconry
    • Let romance take flight as you experience the ancient art of falconry together. Learn about these fascinating birds of prey as well as hawks and barn owls, and receive expert training on handling and interacting with these captivating raptors.

Rise and shine

Rise and shine at Biltmore when you stay overnight on the property at one of our distinctive hotels or private cottages.
Make a morning reservation for Biltmore House and feel like a guest of the Vanderbilts.
With so much to see and do at Biltmore during your getaway, stay overnight at The Inn (above), Village Hotel (below), or one of our private historic cottages to ensure you have time to experience it all.
Our historic cottages offer privacy to relax and enjoy your stay at Biltmore.
Enjoy Biltmore House from a new perspective with our breathtaking Rooftop Tour.

Beth Poslusny, Vice President of Destination Guest Experience, suggests making it a truly romantic getaway with accommodations and special packages at The Inn on Biltmore Estate®, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate® or one of our private historic cottages.

“You’ll have the unique opportunity to awaken on the estate,” said Beth, “and there’s no better way to start a special day together!”

Make your date or getaway more romantic with the addition of a Behind-the-Scenes Guided Tour:

  • The Biltmore House Backstairs Tour offers enthralling stories of domestic staff while exploring their lives and the areas where they worked.
  • Our Rooftop Tour offers a bird’s eye view of the house, with fascinating little-known details about the construction and design of the 175,000-square-foot home. 

Table for two

Biltmore’s Winery offers wonderful ways to savor and share all year round, including the new Chandelier by Chihuly.
Enjoy our Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting featuring premium Biltmore wines and artisan chocolate truffles from French Broad Chocolates.
Whether you’re in the Tasting Room or the Wine Bar, our knowledgeable wine experts are on hand to guide your selections.
Sometimes the smallest details are the most romantic, like enjoying ice cream or hot chocolate together!

As part of your romantic date or getaway, make time to wine and dine on the estate with your special someone.

Winery
“Surprise your significant other by booking a Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting and learn why the flavors are a match made in heaven–just like the two of you!” suggested Tyler Hejl, Director of Winery Experience.

Round out the romance with the following options:

  • Reserve time for a complimentary tasting where you’ll learn about Biltmore’s winemaking heritage.
  • Unwind at the indoor-outdoor Wine Bar to enjoy Biltmore wines with charcuterie, cheese, and chocolates, then stock up on favorite vintages and accessories at the Wine Shop.
  • Rekindle your memories at home with a membership in our Vanderbilt Wine Club®.

Delicious Dining
“From fine dining to casual, quick-service options and sweet treats, Biltmore offers fabulous flavors to suit every taste,” said Estate Executive Chef Mark DeMarco. “Something as simple as sipping hot chocolate from The Creamery while you stroll around Antler Hill Village can make any date more memorable.”

For the ultimate romantic dinner, Chef DeMarco suggests reserving a table for two in The Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate–both the restaurant and The Inn have earned a prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star rating for world-class service and gracious hospitality.

Plan your next romantic date or getaway now

Cheers to your next romantic date or getaway at Biltmore!
Plan a special romantic activity at Biltmore, or just enjoy time well spent together.
Each season offers beautiful and romantic reasons to plan a date at Biltmore, like a stroll through the Azalea Garden during spring.
From America’s Largest Home with its breathtaking gardens and grounds to amazing exhibitions, including the upcoming Italian Renaissance Alive, Biltmore remains the perfect location for romance!

 No matter what activities light your fire, the variety of things to do at Biltmore will provide the perfect spark for your next romantic date or getaway.

Featured image: This young couple’s romantic date included a selfie in front of Biltmore House!

Discover Biltmore’s Working Winery

Discover Biltmore’s working winery and learn how we handcraft our award-winning Biltmore wines.

Biltmore’s Wine History

George Vanderbilt was known as a thoughtful collector of wines who wove an appreciation for fine wines into the fabric of the Biltmore experience, making it part of his legacy for gracious living.

While Mr. Vanderbilt introduced the pleasures of wine to Biltmore, it was his grandson, William A.V. Cecil, who had the vision and determination to develop vineyards and a winery at his family’s estate in the early 1970s.

Creating Biltmore’s working winery

Biltmore Winery Clock Tower at sunset
A Blue Ridge Mountain sunset behind Biltmore Winery’s iconic clock tower

In 1983, renovation began on the estate’s original dairy barn to convert it into a state-of-the-art winery, complete with production facilities, a tasting room, and a wine shop.

Bill Cecil, Jr., son of William A.V. Cecil and great-grandson of George Vanderbilt, assumed a leadership role in overseeing the project. “It wasn’t easy to turn an old barn into a new working winery,” said Bill, “but we knew it was important to keep the integrity of the original structure, and that helped us make each decision along the way.”

Sharon Fenchak, Biltmore Winemaker, with a syphon
Winemaker Sharon Fenchak draws wine from a barrel with a type of syphon called a wine thief in the Barrel Room at the Winery

Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak

Since the Biltmore Winery opened in 1985, we attribute much of our success to our talented winemakers: Philippe Jourdain, Bernard Delille, and Sharon Fenchak, who joined the Winery team as assistant winemaker in 1999 and was promoted to winemaker in 2003.

Sharon now oversees Biltmore Wines as winemaker and vice president. Just like her predecessors, Sharon remains committed to handcrafting Biltmore Wines with the philosophy of keeping each wine true to varietal character, food-friendly, and consistent from vintage to vintage.

Steel tanks in Biltmore's working winery
Steel tanks used in the winemaking process at Biltmore

“Tastes change over time,” said Sharon. “Our wines are crafted in a classic style, but we keep our production facility up-to-date and we take advantage of technology and trends that help us improve our skills. It’s very important that we constantly learn more about what our guests enjoy so we can continue to produce wines they seek out here at the estate or savor in their own homes.”

Biltmore’s vineyard

According to Philip Oglesby, Vineyard Supervisor, Biltmore’s harvest season begins in late August with early-ripening white varietals such as Chardonnay. Vineyard crews pick grapes by hand throughout September and into October, giving the red varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc more time to mature.

Workers pick Chardonnay grapes in Biltmore's vineyard
Vineyard crews picking grapes by hand in Biltmore’s vineyard on the west side of the estate

“Within hours of being harvested, the grapes grown in our own vineyard on the west side of the estate are brought to the crush dock behind the Winery,” said Philip. “As the next phase of the winemaking process begins, we look forward to learning which wines will be created—especially those that earn the Biltmore® Reserve label that honors exceptional North Carolina vintages from Biltmore and our local growing partners.” 

Although most wineries specialize in either still or sparkling wines, we handcraft both here at the estate—just another distinction that sets Biltmore’s working winery apart.

Hand holding glass of Biltmore wine at our working winery
Make a reservation for your complimentary tasting at Biltmore’s working winery!

Cheers to our working winery and our handcrafted wines!

Join us at the Winery to enjoy the fruits of our labor! Make reservations to savor complimentary tastings of our wines in the Tasting Room, take a deeper dive into our working winery with a Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting, or simply relax at the Wine Bar with any of our wines by the glass or bottle. 

Purchase Biltmore wines at the estate and online—or become a member of the Vanderbilt Wine Club and enjoy having our wines shipped directly to your door each season.

Featured image: Biltmore Winery entrance in Antler Hill Village
 

Craft Incredible Cocktails with Biltmore Wines!

Craft incredible cocktails with Biltmore wines and enjoy a refreshing new way to savor summer sipping on the porch, patio, or by the pool!

Switch up the spirits

“Summer is the perfect time to craft incredible cocktails featuring wines handcrafted here at Biltmore’s Winery in Asheville, North Carolina,” said Chris Price, Wine Marketing Manager. “‘And if you are looking for a lower-proof version of your favorites, simply switch out the spirit for a similar style of Biltmore wine,”

In the case of the white wine mojito below, we swapped the traditional rum for Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon. It makes a perfect “shady afternoon sipper” to enjoy while reading in the hammock (naps optional!).

White Wine Mojito Cocktail*

White wine mojito made with Biltmore Estate Limited Release Semillon
Craft this White Wine Mojito Cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate Limited Release Sémillon for summer sipping all season long

• 2 ounces Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon
• 2 ounces Italian lemon soda
• ¾ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
• ¼ ounce simple syrup
• 4 mint leaves

Craft the cocktail: Muddle 4 mint leaves thoroughly in 2 ounces of Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon using a rough edge muddler. Add lime juice, simple syrup, and shake briefly on ice in a Boston shaker. Double strain into a martini glass and top with Italian lemon soda.

Serve straight up with a floating mint leaf as a garnish so ice does not overly dilute the cocktail. (Muddle different types of fruit to bring new flavors to this recipe—we give you a license to be creative!) Serves 1.

Wine: Recognized for its notably smooth texture and significant palate weight, our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sémillon, handcrafted at our estate winery, is a full-bodied, dry white wine. The rich, silky texture complements the fresh melon flavors and zesty citrus aromas. An exciting wine for any occasion, it pairs well with chicken, halibut, pork, turkey, and salads.

Summer Riesling & Tonic Cocktail*

Wine and tonic cocktail with Biltmore Estate Limited Release Riesling
Savor the flavor of your favorite fruits in this Summer Riesling and Tonic cocktail

“Fresh fruit and wine pair beautifully together, and warmer weather is the perfect time to experiment with your favorites and share the delicious results,” Chris said.

Whether you’re serving craft cocktails on the patio, porch, or poolside, outdoor entertaining takes on a new meaning when you invite a special guest like rum. Yum!

• 1 bottle Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling
• 8 ounces white rum
• 1 cup blackberries
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves (reserve some for garnish)
• 2 lemons (sliced into thin wheels and halved)
• Elderflower tonic

Craft the cocktails: The day before you want to serve these cocktails, pour Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling and your choice of white rum into a pretty pitcher. Submerge several basil leaves and blackberries in the mixture and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, use your favorite glassware and build each drink with ice, blackberries, basil leaves, and a couple of lemon wheels. Fill glasses a quarter of the way with elderflower tonic, and the rest of the way with the chilled wine and rum mixture. Enjoy! Serves 6.

Wine: Discover the drier side of Rieslings with our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Dry Riesling. It is quite enchanting, with bright citrus and spice aromas followed by flavors of stone-fruit. However, it is the dryness that makes this Riesling so extraordinary, and different than most types of this varietal you will experience. You can pair our Dry Riesling with rabbit, crab, oysters, and shrimp for delightful dining.

Chenin Blanc Pineapple Slushies*

“This craft cocktail is a fun way to liven up a summer gathering,” Chris said. “There’s a bit of nostalgia to any slushie drink, but this is definitely a grown-up version of the ones you remember from childhood!”

Pineapple slushie cocktail with Biltmore Estate Limited Release Chenin Blanc
Treasure the tropical taste of our Pineapple Slushie Cocktail!

• 8 ounces of chilled Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Chenin Blanc
— Tip: put wine in the freezer 30 minutes prior to mixing these cocktails
• 4 ounces chilled Plantation Pineapple Rum (used as a float)
• 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
• 1 cup frozen mango chunks
• 6 ounces pineapple juice
• 3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
• 2 ounces ginger syrup (recipe below)
• 4 dashes Bittermen’s Tiki Bitters (or your favorite brand)
• Ice

Ginger Syrup
• 1 cup of water
• 1½ cups organic sugar
• 1 medium ginger root, sliced

Place all ginger syrup ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so sugar doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 1 hour while it cools. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes 1½ cups of syrup.

Craft the cocktails: Place all ingredients except rum in a blender. Blend until you have obtained a super slushy consistency. Pour into a glass, leaving room to float 1 ounce of Plantation Pineapple Rum on top, then garnish with extreme creativity! Serves 4.

Wine: An estate and online exclusive, our handcrafted Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Chenin Blanc is a rarity among its kind. Enjoy the balanced and fruity introduction, with a lingering, sweet finish accented by floral aromas and citrus flavors. The rich notes make it a wine that can stand firmly on its own, but it does pair well with Asian cuisine, crème brûlée, fresh fruit, fruity desserts, and tiramisu.

Purchase award-winning Biltmore wines!

Bottles of Biltmore Estate Limited Release wines
Biltmore Estate® Limited Release wines, distinguished by a matte black capsule and black-and-gold label, are perfect for sipping by the glass or in craft cocktails.

While the three delicious Biltmore Estate Limited Reserve wines featured in the craft cocktails above are available only in estate shops or online, you can find many of our wines close to home with our Retail Locator.

*Special thanks to The Urban Gastronome for creating the recipes for the craft cocktails featured in the post!

Perfect Pairings: Red Wine and Chocolate at Biltmore

If you’re looking for a match made in heaven, look no farther than the Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting offered daily at Biltmore’s Winery.

How it works

“Pairing red wines with chocolates is an exciting way to discover nuances in both flavors,” said Les Norman, one of several knowledgeable Winery hosts who guide guests through the tasting.

Biltmore host for Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting
Biltmore Winery host Les Norman guides guests through the Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting

“Biltmore has partnered with French Broad Chocolates to provide several different delectable chocolates to pair with some of our premium Biltmore wines,” Les said. “In some cases, this local artisan chocolate company that specializes in bean-to-bar products has created a new flavor to match specific characteristics in a certain wine.”

Pouring red wines for the Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting
Pouring Biltmore red wines for the Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting

Getting started

Les likes to begin the tasting with a bit of background about Biltmore Winery and the award-winning wines handcrafted there. He offers guests a fascinating glimpse into the estate’s vineyards, production methods, and winemaking philosophy under the direction of Winemaker Sharon Fenchak.

Biltmore red wines and chocolates
Enjoy our Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting featuring premium Biltmore wines and artisan chocolate truffles from French Broad Chocolates.

Once he sets the scene, Les describes the process of tasting wines, and has participants take a fun jellybean “test” to better understand how smell and taste affect sensory perceptions.

Pairing red wines and chocolates

“Now we’re ready to pair our red Biltmore wines with chocolates!” Les declares.

Les makes sure guests take time to savor the bouquet of each wine and understand its flavor profile as they taste the possibilities.

He offers interesting details about viscosity and alcohol content, effortlessly blending his extensive knowledge of wines with the delightful pairings.

Glass of Biltmore red wine and a chocolate truffle
A fresh raspberry truffle pairs perfectly with our Antler Hill Zinfandel Rockpile 2017

The tasting continues with amazing pairings of some of our premium red wines with exceptional chocolate truffles crafted by locally owned French Broad Chocolates.

Some truffles work well with several of the wines, so be sure to save a sip or two in each glass!

Discover the delights of red wine and chocolate

Biltmore Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting at the Winery
Biltmore Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting at the Winery

Our Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting is offered daily at the Winery at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. The cost is $55 per person, and capacity is limited to 10 guests for each one-hour event.

Advance reservations are strongly recommended for these popular daily tastings. To reserve, you must have a daytime ticket, a Biltmore Annual Pass, or an overnight stay booked at one of our properties. Guests must be 21 years of age and older with a valid ID to attend this or any other specialty wine experience.

To reserve your spot, call 1800-543-2961 or visit any Guest Services location on the estate.

Biltmore Holiday Wine Guide

To share the warmth and cheer of Biltmore wines, we’ve created our Holiday Wine Guide to help you make the most of this special season.

“The Holiday Wine Guide covers all the different celebrations from Thanksgiving to New Year’s,” said Jill Whitfield, senior wine marketing manager. “There are recommendations for each special occasion, including thanking your hosts and having gifts on-hand for surprise guests.”

Holiday Entertaining with Wines

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

“For general holiday entertaining, Biltmore® Estate Cabernet Sauvignon–awarded 95 points in the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition–and Biltmore Estate® Pinot Grigio, which received 90 points from the Beverage Testing Institute, are a great place to start,” Jill said.

Jill recommends rounding out your selections with our Biltmore® Reserve Rosé North Carolina 2018, Vanderbilt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley 2017, and our bubbly Biltmore Estate® Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine.

Your Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving table with Biltmore wines
Our Thanksgiving Trio brings everyone to the table

Whether you’re adding a leaf to your table to accommodate a crowd or traveling out of town to visit family, Biltmore wines pair perfectly with everything from turkey and dressing to flavorful new “Friendsgiving” favorites.

“Our special Thanksgiving Trio featuring Biltmore® Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina 2018Vanderbilt Reserve Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2017, and Biltmore Estate® Brut makes it easy to pair all your holiday favorites with a fine wine,” said Jill. “If you want to add a bit more variety, Biltmore Estate® Dry Rosé and Biltmore Estate® Merlot are great wines for delighting your guests.”

Wrap-up Gift Giving with Biltmore Wines

Biltmore winter wines with bows
Enjoy the process of stocking and storing Biltmore wines

Simplify holiday shopping by sharing the gift of Biltmore wines. They make a thoughtful gift for anyone on your list or a special thank-you to your hosts for including you in their celebration.

Consider options such as The Hunt Red Blend Sonoma County 2017, which earned 91 points from Critics Challenge, our charming Mariporta Red Dessert Wine, long-time guest favorite Biltmore Estate® Cardinal’s Crest, our lightly sweet Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Chenin Blanc, or our finest sparkling–Biltmore Estate® Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs North Carolina 2017, handcrafted from outstanding locally-grown grapes.

Savor Christmas with Biltmore Wines

Biltmore wines with Christmas tree and desserts
When planning your virtual wine tasting, choose at least three wines to sample together

Showcase your Christmas Eve gathering, Christmas Day Brunch, and Christmas Day Dinner with our most versatile, food-friendly wines to complement any cuisine. 

“Our Biltmore Estate® Sauvignon Blanc earned 91 points in the San Francisco International Wine Competition,” Jill said, “while Critics Challenge awarded our Antler Hill® Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015 93 points. We think you’ll also enjoy sharing our Biltmore Estate® RieslingBiltmore® Reserve Viognier North Carolina 2018, and our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Malbec with your special guests.”

New Year’s: Ready, Set, Celebrate!

Celebrate with Biltmore sparkling wines
Our handcrafted Biltmore bubbles make any occasion more special

For a more memorable midnight on New Year’s Eve or a brunch featuring traditional favorites the following day, be sure to include our sparkling wine, handcrafted in the time-honored méthode champenoise that creates the finest bubbles.

“Shake things up with our Biltmore Estate® Blanc de Noir,” suggested Jill. “Not only is it delicious, but the soft coral color makes it a feast for the eyes, too!”

Sparkling wines may be traditional for New Year’s, but Jill recommends considering a range of other options  including our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Gewürztraminer, Biltmore Estate® Limited Release TempranilloBiltmore Estate® Pinot Noir, and Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay.

Enjoying Our Wines at Home for the Holidays

Biltmore wines with chocolate desserts
For the holidays, we’ve bundled the best of our award-winning wines to help you simplify your celebrations (and save)!

“If you’re ready to re-stock your wine reserves, you can find Biltmore wines close to home with our Retail Locator,” said Jill.

Join the Vanderbilt Wine Club®

Vanderbilt Wine Club Christmas party
Enjoy members-only events like our annual Christmas party

Give a year of wine to someone special with a gift membership in our Vanderbilt Wine Club. Members receive three hand-selected Biltmore wines each season, shipped direct to your door, and the first club shipment ships free.

In addition, members save up to 25% on all wine purchases online or at the estate, plus complimentary premium wine tastings, access to first release wines, members-only events, and much more. 

Decanting Downton

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition ended September 7, 2020. Please enjoy this archived content.

In honor of hosting Downton Abbey: The Exhibition through September 7, 2020, we thought it would be fascinating to look at Downton Abbey—and Biltmore’s own history—through the lens of a wine bottle.

A thoughtful collector

We know that George Vanderbilt was a thoughtful wine collector in his own right, and he also relied upon the services of professional wine purveyor Alexander Morten who was well-known for his excellent taste and recommendations.

To learn more about the process of procuring and preparing wines in the late 19th century, we turned to Jeff Plack, business development manager for Biltmore Wines and a wine aficionado in general, to “pour out” what he knows about the subject.

Archival list of winter wines in Biltmore's wine cellar
March 12, 1913: list of wines in Biltmore’s cellar

The business of wine

“I love the fact that in the new Downton Abbey feature film–and in many episodes of the six-season PBS Masterpiece seriesthe characters were sipping wine at some point,” said Jeff. “Wine consumption was a direct measure of one’s wealth in that era and it was not unusual for large estates to have thousands of bottles in their cellars. At that time, the wines were mostly French.”

Jeff explains that Mr. Carson, the Crawley family’s beloved butler in the series, would have been largely responsible for the wines served at Downton Abbey.

“The family might have taken an active interest in wine,” Jeff said, “but the butler was generally the person who oversaw the supply and prepared the wines for the dinner table.

Decanting wines

Formal place setting on the Banquet Hall Table in Biltmore House
This formal place setting on the Banquet Hall table features six pieces of crystal, including a champagne coupe and a cordial glass for port or sherry

In one episode of the series, Carson is seen decanting wine using an interesting contraption.

“It’s appropriately called a decanting machine or cradle,” said Jeff. “The cradle holds the wine as someone turns a crank which slowly pours the wine out of the bottle.”

In the scene, Carson is using a lighted candle behind the bottle to help him see any sediment in the wine. This technique, along with a piece of muslin over the decanter, would help filter out impurities.

(Note: the featured image for this blog shows the decanting cradle in Mr. Carson’s pantry as part of Downton Abbey: The Exhibition currently hosted at Biltmore.)

The circle of wine

For wealthy households like the one depicted in Downton Abbey, the variety of wines consumed at dinner made a circle of sorts.

Glass and silver wine decanter
A delicate silver and glass wine decanter from the Biltmore collection

“Evenings would usually begin with port or sherry and possibly a glass of champagne as an apéritif,” said Jeff. “Each subsequent course of the dinner would be paired with a different wine.”

Mariporta dessert wine on a tray with glasses
Our Mariporta is a port-style dessert wine reminiscent of the ones the Vanderbilts might have enjoyed

According to Jeff, wine pairings were different than the ones we make today.

A common practice of the era was to serve a white Burgundy (generally a Chardonnay) with the first course and then a red Bordeaux with the main meal. 

“It was less about the science of which wines ‘go with’ or complement which foods, and more about wines that they preferred,” Jeff said. “For dessert, they would move back to something like port, similar to our Mariporta Red Dessert Wine, and then end with sparkling wine again; a happy circle of wine life.”

Celebrate with Biltmore sparkling wines
Our handcrafted Biltmore bubbles make any occasion more special

With modern winemaking techniques, we no longer need to use decanting machines and filters, and though we enjoy pairing wines based on qualities such as acidity and tannins, we also love complementing favorite flavors with wines we enjoy.

Savor Biltmore Wines

Join us at the Winery for complimentary tastings of our award-winning wines. You can purchase Biltmore wines at most estate shops or online. In addition, experience Downton Abbey: The Exhibition hosted in two locations on estate grounds, November 8, 2019–April 7, 2020.

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

Sip Biltmore’s Reserve-Worthy Rosé Wine!

If you think rosé wines are overly sweet or just a little too pink, think again—rosés are one of the hottest trends among wine aficionados at the moment.

For some enthusiasts, rosé wines might have been seen as a lightweight wine, not worth sipping or sharing.

That view is changing, however, as winemakers take rosé wines to a crisper, dryer level that may surprise you.

Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé 2018 in the Conservatory

Sip our new Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé Wine

Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé Wine

Biltmore Winery cultivates a number of varietals in our estate vineyards, and each season we hope to craft Biltmore Reserve wines that reflect the distinctive terroir of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Grape harvest in Biltmore's vineyard

Harvesting wine grapes in Biltmore’s vineyard

“Last year’s harvest yielded enough Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon for us to offer something special—a rosé wine, created from our estate-grown grapes,” said Sharon Fenchak, Biltmore winemaker.

Carefully Crafted North Carolina Wines

According to Sharon, the only wines considered for the Biltmore Reserve wine label are those handcrafted from grapes grown in Biltmore’s own estate vineyard and by our North Carolina partners. By law, wines with an appellation and vintage date must contain at least 75% of grapes from the specific region in the year noted.

Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé 2018 in the Rose Garden

Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé 2018 in the Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden

“Our Biltmore Reserve Rosé wine is crafted from select North Carolina Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot grapes,” noted Sharon. “We’ve coaxed beautiful color and subtle complexity from the fruit, creating layered aromas plus flavors of red berries, tropical fruits, and a hint of spice in this wine.” 
Rosé wines are perfect for outdoor entertaining all summer long.

Savor the Collection of Biltmore Rosé Wines

In addition to our new Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé, we also offer delightful options like Biltmore Estate Zinfandel Blanc de Noir—a vibrant and crisp rosé wine with sweet tropical fruit aromas. 

Our Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé is an elegant and refreshing wine 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 wine crafted from Pinot Noir grapes in the traditional méthode champenoise

Buy Biltmore Rosé Wines Online or at Local Shops

Purchase our rosé wines—or any of our fine Biltmore wines—at the estate’s Winery and shops, online, or through our Retailer Locator.

Pairing Our Gardens with Biltmore White Wines

Looking for expert advice in selecting wines for spring entertaining? Be inspired by our playful pairing of our beautiful gardens with Biltmore white wines!

Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé in the Walled Garden
Nothing could be finer than sipping our Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé with all your favorite flavors!

Outdoor entertaining with Biltmore Wines

From patios to picnics to pool parties, here’s a basic tip on serving and appreciating wine outdoors in spring:

“Just follow the ‘20-Minute Rule’,” said Spencer Knight, Winery Tours Supervisor. “Remove white wine from the refrigerator 20–30 minutes prior to serving so the flavor profile has a chance to expand.”

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

According to Spencer, it’s also a good idea to return open wine bottles to a container of ice and water between refills, especially if you’re entertaining outside in warmer weather.

Pairing Biltmore white wines with our historic gardens

Biltmore wines provide great summer sipping
Enjoy Biltmore white wines by the glass or bottle this summer

In addition to pairing the distinct “personalities” of Biltmore’s historic gardens and grounds with our refreshing white wines, you’ll also find suggestions for white wine pairings with your favorite seasonal flavors.

Diana at Biltmore

Temple of Diana overlooking Biltmore House
Temple of Diana overlooking Biltmore House

This elegant site overlooking Biltmore House offers a classic setting that calls to mind Biltmore’s outstanding sparkling wines.

Brighten any special occasion with our Pas de Deux Moscatohandcrafted in traditional méthode champenoise to create fine, tiny bubbles.

This aromatic semi-sweet sparkler features the essence of orange blossom and flavors of wild strawberry and lemon. Enjoy with fresh fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, or cheesecake. 

Spring in the Shrub Garden

Olmsted planned colorful blooms for spring in Biltmore's Shrub Garden
Colorful spring blooms in Biltmore’s Shrub Garden

Savor the beauty of Biltmore’s Shrub Garden—a picture-perfect pairing for Biltmore Estate Riesling as the wine’s fresh and fragrant style is reminiscent of early-blooming spring shrubs.

Beautifully balanced with sweet apricot aromas, light honey flavors, and a crisp finish, Biltmore’s Riesling makes a surprisingly savory companion to spicy Thai dishes as well as fruity desserts.

A classic wine pairing for the Walled Garden

White wisteria blooming in Biltmore's Walled Garden
White wisteria blooming in the Walled Garden

Stroll the paths of this grand garden and enjoy the sun-warmed stone walls that enfold you with tradition, much like the classic taste of our Biltmore Estate Chardonnay

Smooth and balanced with subtle floral aromas, crisp fruit flavors, and hints of oak, Biltmore’s Chardonnay shines when served with favorites including chicken and grilled vegetables, pasta with cream sauce, and even hard-to-pair fare like squash dishes.

Our Rose Garden paired with a special rosé

Roses blooming in Biltmore's Rose Garden
Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden in front of the Conservatory

Biltmore’s rambling rose garden is a perfect match for our Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Rosé 2018.

Crafted from select North Carolina Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, our pretty-in-pink rosé blossoms with beautiful color, layered aromas, and flavors of red berries, tropical fruits, and a hint of spice. Enjoy with cheese plates and pizza. 

Pairing our Spring Release Wine with the Azalea Garden

Azaleas blooming in late spring
Azaleas blooming at Biltmore in late spring

The informal feel and bright colors of the Azalea Garden make it a natural match for our fragrant and food-friendly Biltmore Spring Release White Wine.

Handcrafted to capture the essence of the season, this is the perfect wine for warmer weather and picnics. You can also spice up spring by pairing it with zesty sausage and Indian food!

Enjoy Biltmore white wines this spring
Pair Biltmore wines with all your favorite flavors this spring

Savor Biltmore wines now

Whether you’re stocking up on favorite varietals or trying new ones, you can purchase Biltmore wines online or close to home through our Retailer Locator.