Explore Biltmore Estate Limited Release Wines

Explore our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release wines and learn how winemaker Sharon Fenchak carefully handcrafts each varietal or blend in the series here at Biltmore’s Winery in Asheville, North Carolina.

Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak in the Barrel Room at the Winery
Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak in the Barrel Room at the Winery

“When I’m sourcing grapes for our American series wines from one of our California or Washington vineyard partners, I’m also looking for outstanding vintages that inspire me to create distinctive wines for our Limited Release series,” Sharon said.

She noted that the Limited Release wines are usually based on smaller amounts of fruit, and that gives her and her production team an opportunity to bring out different qualities of a varietal or to create intriguing blends.

Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Malbec

Bottle of Biltmore Estate Limited Release Malbec and two glasses
Our award-winning Biltmore Estate Limited Release Malbec is perfect for sipping by the glass or pairing with your favorite hearty fare.

“One of our most popular offerings is our full-bodied, oak-aged Biltmore Estate Limited Release Malbec,” said Sharon. “It opens with scents of cocoa, cedar, molasses, and berries ahead of black raspberry, anise, and rich pecan flavors.”

As a varietal, Malbec originated in France and rose to its current popularity in Argentina and California. Ours is rich, fruit-forward, and a bit spicy with smooth, lingering tannins that pair perfectly with grilled meat, kebabs, and andouille sausage.

It’s also a surprisingly good partner for smoked cheeses and vegetarian fare like mushroom ragout, Portobello burgers, and tempeh dishes. As delicious as it is now, it offers good aging potential—if you can stand to wait!

Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Tempranillo

Pouring red wine into a glass
Try any of our Biltmore Estate Limited Release wines, including our spicy 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 Sharon. “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 of this varietal.”

Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Tempranillo is a hearty red wine that’s a great match for beef, lamb curry, and pork.

Explore other Biltmore Estate® Limited Release wines

Biltmore Estate Limited Release Orange Muscat wine paired with Lemon-Cranberry Shortbread cookies
Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Orange Muscat is a favorite for many guests, and it pairs perfectly with our Lemon-Cranberry Shortbread Cookies!

In addition to these two varietals, there are a number of other wines in our Limited Release series:

Enjoy Biltmore Estate® Limited Release wines now

Discover all Biltmore white wines at Biltmore's Wine Bar
You’ll find all our Limited Release wines at the Wine Bar adjacent to Biltmore’s Winery.

Savor Biltmore Estate® Limited Release varietals and blends–or any of our fine wines–by the bottle or glass at the Wine Bar adjacent to the Winery, or purchase them in estate shops or online.

Biltmore Winery Welcomes Chihuly Chandelier

Biltmore Winery welcomes you to marvel at Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier created by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

Learn more about the inspiration, creation, and location of this beautiful Chandelier by artist Dale Chihuly!

Inspiration for the Chihuly Chandelier

“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.

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 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 in Seattle, WA.

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, 2022, 8x6x6′, ©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 the first fine-art glass sculpture 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.

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, 2022, 8x6x6′, ©2023 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

Plan A Romantic Getaway to Biltmore

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.

Follow our expert tips and inspiration for planning your next romantic getaway to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

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.

Explore the estate together

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.
Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with one of these majestic birds of prey.
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.

Adventure awaits

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 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.
Make a morning reservation for Biltmore House and feel like a guest of the Vanderbilts.
Enjoy Biltmore House from a new perspective with our breathtaking Rooftop Tour.
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.

Rise and shine

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. 
Enjoy our Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting featuring premium Biltmore wines and artisan chocolate truffles from French Broad Chocolates. 📷 by @chelseaericasmith & @thewineshutter
Biltmore’s Winery offers wonderful ways to savor and share all year round, including the new Chandelier by Chihuly.
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!

Table for two

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!

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 a special romantic activity at Biltmore, or just enjoy time well spent together.
Cheers to your next romantic date or getaway at Biltmore!
Each season offers beautiful and romantic reasons to plan a date at Biltmore, like a stroll through the Azalea Garden during spring.

Plan your next romantic date or getaway now

 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 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. Here, the process begins long before the first grape is harvested; it begins with planting seeds of thought, from there our vision takes root and the rest is history!

Biltmore’s Wine History

Archival Bltmore wine receipt
A portion of an archival receipt for a wine and spirits order to be delivered to Biltmore House

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 Entrance
Experience an award-winning portfolio of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines at Biltmore Winery.

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.”

Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak

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

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.

Cheers to our working winery and our handcrafted wines!

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

Join us at the Winery to enjoy the fruits of our labor! Experience our Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting in the Tasting Room, take a deeper dive into our working winery on the Farm to Table Tour and Taste, 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.
 

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!

Purchase our award-winning wines in estate shops or find a Biltmore wine retailer close to you.


Biltmore Basil & Bee Cocktail

Biltmore Estate ingredients shine in this craft cocktail featuring Biltmore sparkling wine, honey, and basil!

When served at the restaurants on Biltmore Estate, this bright and herbal cocktail features hyper-local ingredients including Biltmore basil, honey, and sparkling wine, as well as Chemist Spirits, an Asheville favorite. Enjoy it year-round at our restaurants or follow this recipe to enjoy it at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz Chemist Spirits American Gin
  • 1 oz Honey-Basil Syrup
  • ¾ Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes of Orange Bitters
  • 2 oz Biltmore Sparkling Brut

*Honey Basil Syrup Recipe

  • ½ cup Biltmore Honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup Basil (use large leaves for making syrup and pluck smaller leaves for garnishes)
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Lemon peel

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Honey Basil Syrup: Simmer water and basil on low heat for 5 minutes. Add honey and stir to dissolve. Add star anise and lemon peel. Allow to cool before straining and setting aside.
  2. Add gin, lemon juice, and honey basil syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until very cold, about 30 seconds.
  3. Strain the drink into a coupe or martini glass. Top with Biltmore Sparkling Brut and orange bitters. Garnish with small basil leaves and serve.

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

Summer is the perfect time to craft incredible cocktails featuring wines handcrafted here at Biltmore’s Winery in Asheville, North Carolina. 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!).

Special thanks to The Urban Gastronome for creating this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  • 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.

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. 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!

Special thanks to The Urban Gastronome for creating this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  • 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.

Chenin Blanc Pineapple Slushies

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

This craft cocktail is a fun way to liven up a summer gathering. 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!

Special thanks to The Urban Gastronome for creating this recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of chilled Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Chenin Blanc
  • 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

Instructions:

  • Tip: Put wine in the freezer 30 minutes prior to mixing these cocktails.
  • Prepare the Ginger Syrup: Place all ginger syrup ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the 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.

Aperol Spritz

This lower-alcohol content cocktail is perfect for summertime sipping.

Summertime wouldn’t be complete without a classic Aperol Spritz, highlighting the bittersweet and citrusy flavor of the namesake liqueur. While traditionally made using Italian Prosecco, any dry sparkling white wine will do the trick.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. Biltmore Estate® Brut
  • 2 oz. Aperol
  • 1 oz. soda water

Instructions:

  • Chill all ingredients and fill a wine glass with ice to chill before you begin.
  • Add sparkling wine, Aperol, and soda water to the chilled glass and gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a freshly sliced orange wheel, if desired.

Tip: If you find the cocktail is too bitter or too sweet for your taste, you can easily adjust the ratio of ingredients.

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.

Glass of Wine at Vineyard
Enjoy the fruits of our labor, by the glass, on the Farm to Table Tour.

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.”

Grape harvesting
Harvest preparation is one of the busiest times of the year for vineyards and the wineries.

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 Merlot Dry Creek Valley, Vanderbilt Reserve Pinot Noir Sonoma County, Antler Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, and The Hunt Red Blend Sonoma County.”

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.”

Discover our exceptional wines for yourself

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

Sip Biltmore’s Reserve-Worthy Rosé Wine!

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

For some enthusiasts, rosé wines might have been seen as lightweight or unworthy of sipping or sharing.

That view is changing, however, as winemakers take rosé 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 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.” 
They 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.