Biltmore Wines: Cheers for Each Tier!

All Biltmore wines are cheers-worthy, from our fine American Series and Limited Release options to our exceptional Reserve tiers and Antler Hill® vintages.

Discover what makes our wines worth cheering about with an overview of each collection.

Biltmore Estate® American Series Collection

Biltmore Estate wines with chocolate desserts
Our classic Biltmore Estate® American Series wines are approachable and feature classic varietal character. Look for the “Biltmore burgundy” capsule and a line drawing of Biltmore House on the label.

Grapes for this collection are selected from leading growing regions across the nation and handcrafted at our estate winery in Asheville, NC. Each wine captures the true character of the varietal, resulting in an outstanding taste that provides a perfect pairing for any occasion.

Example: Biltmore Estate® Cabernet Sauvignon is a great option in our American Series collection. This smooth wine featuring lush cherry flavors and soft, lingering tannins was awarded 95 points in the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition.


Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Collection

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.

Crafted in smaller lots, these exceptional wines include some of our most intriguing varietals and blends that showcase our winemaker’s skillful artistry in each bottle. Limited Release wines are exclusively available on the estate, online, or through the Vanderbilt Wine Club®.

Example: Our highly aromatic Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Orange Muscat balances lightly sweet flavors of honey and tropical fruit with a clean, lightly tart finish that is surprisingly zesty.


Biltmore® Reserve Collection

Biltmore Reserve wines on an outdoor table
Our Biltmore® Reserve label honors fine vintages handcrafted with grapes from the estate’s vineyard in Asheville, NC. The collection is distinguished by blue foil capsules and a label showcasing elements of the Vanderbilt family’s table linens and place settings.

An invitation to dine with the Vanderbilts at their magnificent home in Asheville, North Carolina, assured you of enjoying gracious hospitality paired with fine wines. Today, their enduring legacy inspires our winemaker to handcraft each wine in our Biltmore® Reserve Collection from grapes grown at the estate’s own vineyard or from local partners in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Example: We handcraft our lovely Biltmore® Reserve Rosé North Carolina 2020 to offer delicate sweetness with hints of spice and white pepper. Approachable and easy to drink, the style is reminiscent of classic old-world rosés.


Vanderbilt Reserve® collection

Vanderbilt Reserve wine bottles on an elegant table
Each outstanding Vanderbilt Reserve® wine bears the appellation and vintage of its origin. This collection is distinguished by red foil capsules and a label design based on George Vanderbilt’s monogramed china and table linens.

These distinguished vintages reflect George Vanderbilt’s interest in collecting fine wines from around the world to share with his friends and family at Biltmore. For Vanderbilt Reserve® wines, our winemaker selects outstanding fruit from partner vineyards in some of the nation’s finest growing regions and oversees the process of handcrafting each one. Each of these wines bears the appellation and vintage of its origin.

Example: Our Vanderbilt Reserve® Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2018 showcases its versatile, food-friendly character with good acidity, flavors of strawberry, red raspberry, and cherry, and slight hints of minerality, enhanced by aging 14–16 months in French and American oak barrels.


Antler Hill® Collection

Antler Hill wines with plates and glasses
Handcrafted with premium vintages from the finest growing regions, Antler Hill® wines offer extraordinary taste and excellent aging potential. The handsome label is reproduced from a sporting print in George Vanderbilt’s collection.

Antler Hill® wines pair the passion of Biltmore winemaker Sharon Fenchak with the premium harvests and vintages from our small partner vineyards with whom we’ve cultivated long-standing relationships in the nation’s finest wine regions. Each wine is handcrafted with exceptional skill to showcase the varietal, the vintage, and to honor the Vanderbilt family’s heritage of gracious hospitality.

Example: From smooth tropical notes to a bright citrus finish, our exceptional Antler Hill® Chardonnay Carneros 2019 offers crisp layers of refreshing un-oaked flavor achieved by careful aging for 12–24 months in stainless steel tanks under the direction of our estate winemaker.


Biltmore Estate® Sparkling Collection

Biltmore Estate® Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs with two flutes
Each of our sparkling wines is carefully handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise, including our exceptional Biltmore Estate® Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs created with estate-grown Chardonnay grapes.

At Biltmore’s Winery in Asheville, NC, we craft both still and sparkling wines. It’s unusual to offer both—most wineries specialize in one or the other—but Biltmore has a long history of doing the unexpected.

All our sparkling wines are handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise, a process that requires a secondary fermentation in the bottle, and is vital for developing the delicate bubbles that characterize outstanding sparkling wines.

Example: Dry and delicate with tiny mousse-like bubbles, Biltmore Estate® Château Reserve Blanc de Blancs North Carolina 2019 is our finest sparkling wine–and it’s handcrafted from our own estate-grown Chardonnay grapes!

Learn more about Biltmore wines

Three bottles of Biltmore wine
Learn more about Biltmore wines with a complimentary tasting at the Winery, then enjoy your favorites by the glass or bottle at the adjacent Wine Bar.

We invite you to learn more about Biltmore wines by visiting our Winery in Asheville, NC, to taste them for yourself! Your Biltmore Estate admission includes access to Antler Hill Village & Winery, and we encourage you to reserve a complimentary tasting at the Winery on the day of your visit.

Want another great way to discover our wines? Become a member of the Vanderbilt Wine Club® and enjoy seasonal shipments of our handcrafted wines delivered directly to your door.


George Vanderbilt: A Thoughtful Wine Collector

George Vanderbilt was a thoughtful wine collector, whether at home or abroad.

Taste and style were two hallmarks of his life, and both are reflected throughout Biltmore—his private country estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

Visually stunning and technologically advanced, Biltmore House is a testament to Vanderbilt’s vision.

A Thoughtful Collector

Discover Biltmore white wines for outdoor entertaining
George Vanderbilt’s legacy of gracious hospitality lives on with Biltmore wines handcrafted from grapes grown in the estate’s own vineyard or selected from trusted west coast partners

George Vanderbilt was well-known as a collector, travelling the world gathering art, sculpture, furniture, and books. He also enjoyed wine, frequently purchasing it abroad and bringing cases of wine back to his home in Asheville to share with his family and friends.

Vanderbilt’s gracious hospitality was legendary, and a visit to his home was characterized by the best in comfort, entertainment, and attention to every detail, including the wines that graced his table and delighted his guests.

Man in a suit examining the library of Biltmore wines in the Winery
Wine cellars don’t have to be stuffy–evaluate your space and your lifestyle for options!

Wine research at Biltmore

In 2008, wine consultant John Hailman visited Biltmore to look at Vanderbilt’s wine cellar and the vintages stored there, and to review wine-related notes and correspondence from the Vanderbilt era.

Having been a wine columnist for the Washington Post, with his work nationally syndicated for more than a decade, Hailman is considered one of the foremost authorities on wine. In 2006, he wrote Thomas Jefferson on Wine, an examination of Jefferson’s influence as a wine connoisseur and collector in the early days of the nation.

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

Through Hailman’s research, we now have a better understanding of George Vanderbilt as a thoughtful wine collector. Archival correspondence, notes, and receipts suggest that Vanderbilt was well-versed in wines, purchasing those he enjoyed sharing.

Vanderbilt was also a practical buyer, preferring high quality vintages at reasonable prices, such as wines from Chateau Pontet-Canet which is still in business today in the Bordeaux wine region of France.

“Good enough for anybody”

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

Vanderbilt’s trusted wine purveyor Alexander Morten was known for his excellent taste and recommendations, and would have been a worthy provisioner for the Vanderbilt lifestyle. George Vanderbilt relied upon Morten’s suggestions and his outstanding contacts in the industry. In one letter dated February 14, 1914, Morten advises Vanderbilt on a particular vintage for an upcoming ball, suggesting:

“As to Champagne for a ball:- I can strongly recommend Pierlot 1906. This is a good, sound vintage wine, price $32.50, and is used almost exclusively by many of our customers for dances and entertainments of that ilk. If you have the slightest hesitation, however, I can recommend Pol Roger 1906; price $36. We also have Krug, Clicquot and Pommery of 1906 and 1904; but these are more expensive. The Pierlot is good enough for anybody.”

This letter is particularly poignant, as George Vanderbilt passed away in Washington, DC, just a month after he received this letter. We don’t know what type of ball the Vanderbilts might have been planning, but the preparations were apparently abandoned after Mr. Vanderbilt’s unexpected death.

“You have only to examine the amount and variety of crystal and stemware in the Biltmore collection—glasses for every possible occasion and type of beverage—to see the importance of wines and spirits as an integral part of dining and entertaining,” said Leslie Klingner, curator of interpretation.

Crystal glasses with George Vanderbilt's monogram
Delicate crystal glasses with George Vanderbilt’s monogram on the Banquet Hall table

“Knowing that George Vanderbilt collected and enjoyed wine—and served it to his guests—forges a very real and logical connection between the Vanderbilts and the wine business their descendants have developed and continue to nurture today,” Leslie said.

Savor Biltmore Wines

Two couples enjoying white wine outdoors
Enjoy Biltmore wines while visiting the estate or savor them at home

Be sure to visit Biltmore’s Winery and make reservations for a complimentary tasting of some of our most popular wines. Relax and enjoy our wines by the bottle or glass at the adjacent Wine Bar, then stock up on your favorite vintages at estate shops or online.

Featured blog image: John Singer Sargent portrait of George Vanderbilt paired with a selection of our fine Biltmore wines, including our Antler Hill series

Celebrate Summer with Sensational Sangrias

Celebrate summer with sensational sangrias featuring your favorite Biltmore wines!

Whether you’re a fan of reds, whites, or rosés, there’s a perfect option in the following recipes to help you to create fun and fruity sangrias for solo sipping and friendly gatherings all season long.

Refreshing White Sangria

Fruit-filled pitcher of refreshing white sangria
Enjoy a pitcher of Refreshing White Sangria featuring our Biltmore Masterpiece Collection White Wine

Although traditional sangria recipes tend to feature red wines, this version with our Biltmore Masterpiece Collection White Wine is a cool, refreshing treat for warm weather. Enjoy with friends and, should you have any left over (we doubt you will!), freeze it for a fun take on grown-up popsicles or slushies.

• 1 bottle Biltmore® Masterpiece Collection White Wine
• 4 ounces simple syrup
• 4 ounces brandy
• 2 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice
• 2 ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice
• 2 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 limes, sliced in wheels
• 1 lemon, sliced in wheels then halved
• 1 Fuji apple, cubed
• 1 Anjou pear, cubed
• 1 mango, cubed
• Seeds from ½ pomegranate (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until well mixed, adding pomegranate seeds at the end for presentation as they tend to fall to the bottom after stirring. Serve over ice. If sangria sits overnight, add simple syrup to taste as additional juices will come forward the next day. Serves 4-6.


Cardinal’s Crest Red Sangria

Biltmore Cardinal's Crest makes a sensational sangrias
Add some sparkle to warm weather sipping with our Cardinal’s Crest Sangria!

Take time for yourself with a glass of Cardinal’s Crest Red Sangria—the perfect sparkling treat for a leisurely Sunday morning brunch or a long afternoon on the porch.

• 3 ounces Biltmore Estate® Cardinal’s Crest
• ½ ounce Orange Curacao
• ½ ounce St. Remy Brandy
• ¾ ounce orange juice
• ¼ ounce grapefruit juice
• ½ ounce simple syrup
• 1 ounce Biltmore Estate® Brut sparkling wine
• Lime wedge and an orange wedge (optional garnish)

Add first 6 ingredients to a small pitcher or shaker; mix until combined. Pour over ice in a wine glass and top with 1 ounce sparkling wine and garnish with lime and orange wedges. Serves 1.


Celebrate Summer with Peach Sangria

Celebrate summer with Limited Release white wines
Savor summer with our Limited Release white wines, including Orange Muscat

The delicious combination of our fragrant Orange Muscat with apricot brandy, followed by the infusion of peach puree and delicate raspberries for fresh fruit taste and texture, elevates this sangria to new heights! Stir up an icy pitcher to share with friends and family under a shade tree this summer.

• 1 bottle Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Orange Muscat
• 16 ounces Bellini Cipriani White Peach Puree
• 4 ounces vodka
• 4 ounces apricot brandy
• 1 peach, sliced
• 1 cup raspberries
• Fresh mint (optional garnish)

Add first 4 ingredients to a pitcher with enough ice to chill; mix thoroughly. Add white peach slices and raspberries and garnish with mint. Serve over ice in a Collins glass. Serves 4-6.


Strawberry Rosé Sangria Cocktail

Celebrate summer with sensational sangrias
Sweeten the long days of summer with this delightful sangria cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé

Vibrant and robust, this is a cocktail-forward sangria that allows the Dry Rosé to come out on the nose while the strawberry and limoncello are on the finish. The sweetness of the powdered sugar on the lips is the perfect complement to the cocktail, and really adds to the presentation. Serves 1.

• 2½ ounces of Biltmore Estate® Dry Rosé
• 1 ounce Absolut® Juice Strawberry Edition
• ¾ ounce of Caravella Limoncello
• ¼ ounce pomegranate simple syrup
• Strawberries and blueberries rolled in powdered sugar (optional garnish), plus more sugar for dusting

Add ingredients to a mixing glass with a handful of ice and stir gently for about 10 seconds. Dust a Nick and Nora glass with powdered sugar. Strain the sangria cocktail mixture into that glass and garnish.

Purchase Biltmore wines now

Our award-winning wines are available for purchase at estate shops, online, and close to home with our Retail Locator.

Want more options to celebrate summer? Uncork these refreshing summer cocktails featuring Biltmore wines.

Special thanks to Jeremy Hood of The Urban Gastronome in Asheville, North Carolina, for developing these recipes to help us celebrate summer with our sensational sangrias!

Enhance Warm Weather Sipping with Biltmore Wines

Enhance warm weather sipping with Biltmore wines, whether you’re packing a picnic, entertaining friends and family outdoors, or simply relaxing on your porch or patio.

Ladies enjoying a warm weather picnic with wine at Biltmore House
Enjoy warm weather sipping with friends and family!

Refresh your palate

Biltmore Estate winemaker Sharon Fenchak recommends focusing on lighter, dryer, more acidic wines during the warmest months of the year.

According to Sharon, these wines refresh your palate in the same way lemonade does when the weather heats up and you feel more thirst.

Woman enjoying Biltmore Estate Chardonnay
Biltmore wines are perfect for warm weather sipping!

“Sweeter wines tend to leave you thirsty, while wines with higher acidity such as our own crisp Biltmore Estate® Sauvignon Blanc can actually quench your thirst on a warm spring or summer day,” Sharon said.

Crisp white wines for warm weather sipping

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

“Another great choice is Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc. It is refreshing and surprisingly creamy with notes of coconut and key lime,” said Sharon, “and it pairs beautifully with salads, chicken, and grilled fish–the kinds of food you tend to serve in warmer weather.

Sharon also recommends Biltmore Estate® Pinot Grigio with its spicy citrus finish, and our off-dry, approachable Biltmore Estate® Albariño as especially nice options for sipping outdoors on spring and summer evenings.

Prefer a cool, elegant classic white wine for summer sipping? Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay offers crisp fruit flavor and hints of oak to complement everything from grilled vegetables to chicken and seafood.

Pick the perfect rosé for warm weather

Celebrate summer with sensational sangrias
Sweeten the long days of summer with this delightful sangria cocktail featuring Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé

Rosé drinkers will appreciate our Biltmore Estate® Dry Rosé, a surprisingly dry wine with delicate layers of berry flavors. It’s perfect with chicken, pork, salmon, and sausage–serve it along with all those smoky grilled favorites at your next backyard barbecue–or enjoy it in our refreshing “Love Never Runs Dry” cocktail.

Warm-weather sippers for red wine lovers

Biltmore Cardinal's Crest makes a sensational sangrias
Add some sparkle to warm weather sipping with our Cardinal’s Crest Sangria!

Sharon recommends mellow, versatile reds for the warm weather sipping; one of the best is Biltmore Estate® Cardinal’s Crest—a smooth, easy-to-drink blend.

“Enjoy it by the glass, or mix up a pitcher of fruity Cardinal’s Crest Sangria to sip in the shade,” Sharon said. “Your friends will thank you!” 

Biltmore bubbles are festive and fun!

Biltmore Estate Brut sparkling wine and glasses
Sparkling wines aren’t just for special occasions–they’re also super for sipping in warm weather!

Like something bubbly? Sparkling wines like our Biltmore Estate® Brut, handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise style, are perfect for warm weather sipping on their own and as the base of mimosas or other cocktails.

Cool down with the 20-minute rule

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

“Whatever wine you prefer, make sure you chill it first, even if it’s a red wine,” said Sharon. She suggests that you cool reds for about 20 minutes before you serve them. For white wines, remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes prior to serving so their aromas and flavors can be released.

“The most important rule of wine? Drink what you like, regardless of the time of year!” Sharon said.

Enjoy Biltmore wines for warm weather sipping

Summer sipping outdoors with Biltmore wines
Enjoy summer sipping and entertaining outdoors with your favorite Biltmore wines

Find your favorite Biltmore wines at Biltmore Estate shops and restaurants, our Winery, or purchase them online at biltmoreshop.com/wines.

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
 

Plan a Romantic Date at Biltmore

Biltmore is the perfect place to plan a romantic date, especially when Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

Whether you’re looking for a day of special activities or a long weekend getaway, winter is a wonderful time to visit the estate. From the magnificence of America’s Largest Home® to special packages at both of our distinctive hotels, we’ve compiled a list of six sensational ideas for planning your romantic date at Biltmore. 

1. Share a sweet treat with someone special

Coffee and pastries from The Bake Shop at Biltmore are perfect for your romantic date
Indulge in a sweet treat from The Bake Shop during your romantic date at Biltmore!

Enjoy fresh–baked pastries and baked goods, excellent espresso, gourmet coffees, and herbal teas from The Bake Shop located in the Stable Courtyard next to Biltmore House. Before or after your self-guided house visit, this is a perfect way to warm up winter’s chill.

Romantic date tip: While you’re in the neighborhood, take time to visit the collection of gift shops located inside the Stables–you’re sure to find a charming memento of your time together!

2. Escape to the tropics!

Practice mindfulness in the peaceful Conservatory
Wander among tropical treasures in Biltmore’s Conservatory

Indoor enchantment awaits in Biltmore’s Conservatory. Possibly one of the warmest spots in North Carolina’s mountains during winter, the Conservatory is filled with thousands of exotic plants, including an expansive orchid display at its showiest peak in the peaceful winter months.

Romantic date tip: Be sure to snuggle up for a selfie together with a lush back drop of tropical treasures!

3. Discover the Vanderbilts’ love story

George and Edith Vanderbilt at buckspring Lodge
George and Edith Vanderbilt sitting on the front steps of Buckspring Lodge, their rustic retreat on Mt. Pisgah

The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad exhibition highlights the Transatlantic courtship and wedding of George and Edith Vanderbilt with archival letters, personal items and exotic treasures they collected during their world travels. The exhibition is located at The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village, just steps away from the Winery.

Romantic date tip: After learning more about the Vanderbilts, take time for a sweet treat or light bite from the nearby Creamery.

4. Warm up at the Winery

Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting for a romantic date
A match made in heaven–red wine and chocolate!

As soon as you arrive at our Winery, make a reservation for your complimentary wine tasting to savor a variety of our award-winning Biltmore wines. To make your romantic date truly memorable, enjoy a specialty wine experience like our Red Wine and Chocolate Tasting together!

Romantic date tip: Bubbles make everything better, so indulge in a glass (or a bottle!) of our refreshing Biltmore Estate® Blanc de Blancs or our pretty-in-pink Biltmore Estate® Blanc de Noir sparkling wine!

5. Let your romantic date take flight

Falconry is a Top 5 Winter activity at Biltmore
Explore the thrilling art of falconry at Biltmore

Our 8,000-acre backyard provides natural habitat for a variety of beautiful birds this time of year. Meet them, explore their habits, and learn about their environments with engaging, informative activities that invite you to expand your Biltmore knowledge in a new way. Feathered Friends, Waterfowl Habits, and Guided Bird Walks offer a great way to spend time outdoors with someone special.

Romantic date tip: Let your hearts soar as you discover the ancient art of Falconry together!

6. Immerse yourself in Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive exhibition
Explore our Van Gogh Alive exhibition now–March 5, 2022

This multi-sensory exhibition is a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, color, sound, and scent that compels you to leave the world behind and immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s paintings. Simultaneously enchanting, entertaining, and educational, Van Gogh Alive, created by Grande Experiences, stimulates all the senses and opens the mind.

Romantic date tip: Hold hands throughout this experience and “read” your partner’s thoughts through the contact.

Plan your romantic date at Biltmore now!

Couple on a romantic date at Biltmore
Plan your romantic getaway at Biltmore this winter

Join us during Winter at Biltmore for a romantic date, or simply enjoy spending time together with family and friends. We look forward to making you welcome!

Stocking, Storing, And Savoring Biltmore Wines

Whether you’re stocking, storing, or savoring Biltmore wines, this is our most important tip: enjoy the process!

Man in a suit examining the library of Biltmore wines in the Winery
Wine cellars don’t have to be stuffy–evaluate your space and your lifestyle for options!

“Lots of people think that stocking a wine cellar or storing wines is a stuffy, old-fashioned business, but that’s an outdated idea,” said Shruthi Dhoopati, Assistant Winemaker. “We want you to enjoy every part of the experience–especially savoring Biltmore wines!”

1. Evaluate your storage options

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

When deciding which wines to stock this winter, first evaluate your available storage space. Worry not if you don’t have the luxury of a wine cellar (few of us do), but instead ensure that your space is dark, away from movement or vibrations, not too hot or cold (55F˚ is ideal), and has a humidity level between 50% and 80%. A cool spot in a closet or cabinet away from exterior walls and removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of your home will allow your wine to rest comfortably until it is called into service.

2. Consider your lifestyle

Group of friends toasting with Biltmore wine
With Biltmore wines, all your gatherings are seasoned with cheer!

Reflect upon your favorite ways to indulge when stocking your wines. Are you a homebody who will be drinking a weeknight wine to relax after work? Or a social butterfly who regularly attends cocktail and dinner parties? Map out your month and decide what will work best for your needs, and your budget. As well, include in your decision-making process what foods you are more likely to cook at home (see our winter wine recommendations list below for ideas!).

3. Try different wines

Biltmore wines and charcuterie grazing board
Savor our outstanding Biltmore wines with a grazing board at your next gathering

For a fun and economical way to taste and choose, host a wine party with a variety of sweet and spicy hors d’oeuvres and invite your guests to bring a “new to them” bottle within a designated price limit. While you’re out and about, watch for sales to try something different with less risk. Or, for an even more targeted experience, make a tasting reservation at Biltmore Winery and discuss your options with our experienced wine hosts while you sample a selection of award-winning favorites*.

4. Plan ahead

Couple drinking winter wines while they savor in place at home
Include Biltmore wines in your Valentine’s Day celebration!

Review the special occasions that lie on your winter horizon. Will you be celebrating a milestone birthday, enjoying a romantic Valentine’s Day meal, or attending an intimate gathering with friends? Invest in choice bottles to have on hand, whether for a hostess gift or your own meaningful moment. And, be sure to set aside a bottle or two for fetes in years to come, which is also a perfect opportunity to experiment with the effects aging will have on different varietals.

Biltmore’s winter wine recommendations

Woman shopping at the Wine Shop at Biltmore's Winery
Find your favorite Biltmore wines at the estate or online

For a great winter wine foundation, Shruthi suggests trying these winning Biltmore wines:

Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay: For more temperate nights when grilling outdoors is an option, try the subtle oak flavors of Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay with salmon, chicken, and foil-wrapped veggies, or warm up indoors with creamy pasta or clam chowder.

Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Malbec: A wild game dish like venison or bison burgers will be the perfect winter complement to a Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Malbec, or try spicy, vibrant flavors such as those found in chimichurri sauce or Spanish tapas.

Biltmore Estate® Cabernet Sauvignon: Steak, short ribs, and winter vegetables such as squash and portabella mushrooms are perfect with the smooth, vanilla-scented flavor of Biltmore Estate® Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vanderbilt Reserve® Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: Elegant and easy to drink, Vanderbilt Reserve® Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is right at home whether accompanying roasted pork and poultry or hearty pasta dishes with a tomato-based sauce.

Savor Biltmore wines now

Couple toasting a small moments with Biltmore wine
Savor all your special small moments with Biltmore wines!

The world of wine is fascinating, and the more you learn, the more addictive it can become. This winter, relish the journey of discovery, and make it a fun process. Shruthi advises, “Enjoy every part of the experience–especially savoring your wines!”

And to keep your stock replenished at a great value, join the Vanderbilt Wine Club® to receive a curated shipment every three months. You’ll thank yourself the rest of the year!

*Whether you are a Biltmore Annual Passholder or daytime guest, make required Tasting Room reservations in person at the Winery on the day of your visit, or ask our staff for more information on wines that interest you.

Taste Passion And Perseverance In This Chardonnay!

“You’ll taste our passion for perseverance in this new Biltmore® Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina 2020 Barrel Select wine,” said Sharon Fenchak, Biltmore winemaker.

From grape to glass

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

“The grapes for this smooth, buttery Chardonnay were carefully nurtured by Philip Oglesby, Vineyard Supervisor, and his crew,” Sharon said. “From planting and tending the vines to caring for them throughout the growing season and harvesting the grapes by hand in late September and early October, the vineyard team ensured that we had the best possible fruit to begin this project.”

Biltmore-grown barrels

Biltmore wine barrels for Chardonnay
These barrels are coopered for the Winery from Biltmore-grown oak

According to Sharon, the grapes aren’t the only part of this wine that represents the estate.

“Once this medium-bodied golden Chardonnay was ready to be fermented and aged, we transferred it into a group of very special barrels,” said Sharon.

For the first time in the estate’s winemaking history, wood from oak trees that were grown on the estate was shipped to Seguin Moreau, an artisan barrel-making firm. Now anchored in Napa, California, the company originated in France in 1838 and continues to provide high-quality barrels to the wine industry today.

Chardonnay tasting notes and pairings

“It is remarkable to have Biltmore-grown oak coopered into custom barrels for aging our own Chardonnay,” Sharon said. Now, in addition to having our grapes reflect our Blue Ridge Mountain terroir, the very barrels we use for aging also echo the unique characteristics of weather and soil found here.”

After aging for 12 months in Biltmore oak barrels, this Chardonnay developed a delightful nose of caramel, coffee, and grilled pineapple, plus pleasant hints of oak that continue on the palate along with flavors of Meyer lemon, vanilla, and kiwi ahead of a lingering finish of honey and spice.

Biltmore wines and charcuterie grazing board
Savor our outstanding Biltmore wines with a grazing board at your next gathering

To further enhance the rich notes of this exceptional Chardonnay, Sharon suggests warming it slightly to around 60 degrees, then gathering friends together to savor a glass with a grazing platter featuring blue cheese drizzled with local honey, pistachios, and smoked trout dip.

Other excellent pairings include seafood cioppino, Caribbean-style red snapper, and mussels with a butter-and-garlic sauce and plenty of toasted baguettes for dipping.

Passion and perseverance

Bottles of Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay sitting on a barrel
The label for this distinctive Chardonnay features an original watercolor painting of Biltmore’s vineyard

Sharon and the wine production team have called Biltmore® Reserve Chardonnay North Carolina 2020 Barrel Select wine “the taste of 2020 in a glass.”

“That’s not a negative attribute,” Sharon noted. “It really refers to the fact that 2020 was a challenging year in many ways, but even so, we poured our passion, determination, and perseverance into this wine, and we see it as a tribute to North Carolina grape growing.”

For the label, Lisa Vogel, Art Director, painted an original watercolor to distinguish this one-of-a-kind wine.

“I chose to include an iconic oak tree in the estate’s vineyard,” said Lisa, “as a visual way to represent the grapes and the barrels that earned this outstanding wine our exclusive Biltmore® Reserve Barrel Select designation.”

Join the Vanderbilt Wine Club® now to experience this Chardonnay

Vanderbilt Wine Club shipment
As a Vanderbilt Wine Club member, you’ll receive a shipment of Biltmore wines each season, plus access to exclusive vintages, events, and more

This wine will be released exclusively to our Vanderbilt Wine Club® members. Explore membership options at the Winery or online, and stock up on your favorite Biltmore wines at biltmoreshop.com.

Taste The Terroir Of Biltmore Wines

When you taste the terroir of Biltmore wines, you’re tasting some of the oldest terroir in the world in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Terroir refers to the complete natural environment in which the grapes for wine are grown and in which the wines themselves are produced and aged. It includes factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.

Long established among European winegrowers, the concept of terroir is becoming more important in the U.S. and other nations.

Interestingly, there is no exact translation of terroir from its French language origins—it loosely means “a sense of place,” and can be as broad as an entire region or as narrow as a few rows in a specific vineyard.

What is the terroir of Biltmore wines?

Grapes ripening in Biltmore's vineyard
Grapes ripening in Biltmore’s vineyard

Biltmore’s acreage—including the vineyard—is classified as a Low and Intermediate Mountain System between 1,400–4,600 feet above sea level with soil influenced by elevation, slope aspect, exposure, and vegetation. As part of the ancient Appalachian Mountain chain that formed 480 billion years ago, the Blue Ridge Mountains feature lower elevations and a soft, weathered appearance that shows much they’ve worn away over the years.

When George Vanderbilt’s grandson William A.V. Cecil envisioned developing an estate vineyard and winery, he felt it should be possible to grow grapes at Biltmore.

In his book Lady on the Hill, Cecil wrote 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.”

West coast advantages

California partner vineyard
Partner vineyards in California

Unlike the conditions of the Mediterranean and other classic grape-growing regions, however, the climate of Western North Carolina is notoriously unpredictable, averaging 47 inches of rain per year—more than twice the average amount that falls in Napa Valley.

In addition to a drier climate, California growers have another advantage when it comes to terroir: the geologic age of the area is much “younger” than that of the east coast. Wine grapes typically fare better in lower-nutrient, more alkaline soils preferably with gravelly or rocky substrates.

The idea is that the plants’ roots will grow deeper in such circumstances to seek nutrients and water, allowing the plant and eventually the fruit to express the unique characteristics of the specific location that the grower has chosen.

“Our west coast vineyard partners like those in Cienega Valley have the benefits of a maritime climate and rocky soils that create more intensity and richness in the grapes,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Wine Manager. “They may have lower yields there, but flavors develop more fully.”

Climate affects terroir

Picking red grapes at Biltmore
Grapes being picked by hand in Biltmore’s vineyard

“Soil and climate have significant impact on grape quality, but climate is the more important factor at Biltmore,” said Philip Oglesby, Vineyard Supervisor. Grapes can be more reactive to certain weather conditions than some crops, but when the weather is right in Western North Carolina, the fruit produced in our vineyards is exceptional.”

Try any of our Biltmore Reserve wines, such as Biltmore Reserve® Cabernet Sauvignon North Carolina, handcrafted from estate-grown grapes, and you’ll taste not only the character of the varietal, but the distinctive influence of our unique Blue Ridge Mountain terroir.

Fun Fact

The state soil of North Carolina is known as Cecil soil. Named for Cecil County, Maryland where the soil type was first documented rather than the family name of George Vanderbilt’s descendants, it is nonetheless a delightful coincidence that Biltmore’s vineyard and Winery are rooted in Cecil soil!

Purchase Biltmore® Reserve wines now and taste the terroir!

Bottles of Biltmore Reserve Rose North Carolina wine
Only wines handcrafted from estate-grown grapes earn our Biltmore® Reserve label

Find Biltmore wines, including Biltmore® Reserve wines, in estate shops and online.

Pair Biltmore Wine with Cookies for Holiday Cheer

‘Tis the season to pair Biltmore wine with your favorite cookies to create plenty of holiday cheer!

Pairing wine and cookies

“Whether you’re baking at home, participating in a neighborhood cookie swap, or sending sweets to someone far away, our wine and cookie pairing ideas are the perfect way to pour on the cheer this holiday season,” said Courtney Miller, Vanderbilt Wine Club® Manager.

Bottles of Biltmore wine, cookies, and other foods
Pour on the cheer by pairing Biltmore wines with cookies this holiday season

In the recipes below, we’ve paired each cookie with Biltmore wine to make it even easier to match the distinctive flavors with wines that complements them.

“Go ahead and sweeten the season by purchasing Biltmore wines,” advised Courtney, “then bake some cookies, or snag similar styles from your local bakery; we won’t tell!”

Pour on the holiday cheer

According to Courtney, you generally choose a wine that’s a little sweeter than the treat with which you plan to pair it, but richer, heavier sweets can stand up to dryer wines.

“Either way, you’ll be ready to savor a sophisticated treat for the holidays,” Courtney said. “And if you upgrade Santa’s usual glass of milk to a glass of Biltmore wine, I’m pretty sure he’ll add you to his ‘nice’ list!”


Gingersnap cookies paired with Biltmore Estate Riesling
Spice up your holiday wine and cookie pairings by serving Honey Gingersnaps with Biltmore Estate® Riesling!

Honey Gingersnap Cookies

Heidi Badger, Pastry Sous Chef at Cedric’s® Tavern, developed this recipe. “These honey gingersnaps are soft, tender, and nicely spiced, especially if you use freshly grated ginger. The honey flavor is very subtle,” said Heidi.

Chef Heidi recommends serving these traditional holiday favorites with lightly sweet wines such as our delightful Biltmore Estate® Riesling.

Yield: approximately 3 dozen cookies
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1½-2 hours (includes 1-hour chill time)

Ingredients
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 large egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger or freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Method
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and honey until fluffy. Mix in egg and set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Stir into wet ingredients until combined.

Chill dough for 1 hour or until slightly firm.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place onto parchment-lined cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Biltmore Estate Limited Release Petite Sirah paired with holiday cookies
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside–these chocolate cookies pair perfectly with our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Petite Sirah

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Mudslide Cookies

“These cookies have a rich, intense chocolate flavor, especially when enhanced by the coffee liqueur,” said Angie Chan, Pastry Chef, Deerpark/Amherst/Lioncrest/Biltmore Catering. “They feature a crispy outer shell that reminds me of meringue and a fudgy, soft interior. Because the recipe is already flourless, the cookies can be made gluten free.”

For a match made in heaven, Chef Angie suggests pairing these rich chocolate cookies with red wines like our Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Petite Sirah.

Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies
Preparation Time: about 15 minutes
Total Time: about 2 hours (includes 1-hour chill time)

Ingredients
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup cocoa powder
3 egg whites
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or coffee syrup*
1–2 tablespoons milk

*Coffee syrup: dissolve 2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder with 1/3 cup sugar in 1/3 cup hot water. Allow to cool and use the same amount noted in the recipe.

Method
In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg whites, coffee liqueur, and vanilla extract until lightly foamy. Combine wet and dry mixtures and stir until well mixed. Dough will be very thick and sticky once it comes together. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to help with mixing, if needed.

Add in the chocolate chips and refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and coat with a thin layer of non-stick vegetable oil spray to prevent sticking.

Scoop 1 tablespoon worth of dough and place onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until the top is slightly cracked and dry. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Lemon-Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Biltmore Estate Limited Release Orange Muscat wine paired with Lemon-Cranberry Shortbread cookies
Pair these citrus-and-cranberry-kissed shortbread cookies with our lightly sweet Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Orange Muscat

For an updated version of a classic treat, Chef Angie also created Lemon-Cranberry Shortbread Cookies with bright hints of citrus and the tart tang of cranberries.

“There’s nothing more perfect for the holidays than shortbread cookie like this with fresh flavors to lighten the richness of the recipe,” Chef Angie said. “In addition, they pair perfectly with the hints of tropical fruit in our lightly sweet Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Orange Muscat.

Yield: about 2 dozen
Preparation Time: about 15 minutes
Total Time: about 2 hours (includes 1-hour chill time)

Ingredients
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon extract (or fresh-squeezed lemon juice as substitute)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ teaspoon salt

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, butter, and lemon extract together until light and fluffy.

Add flour, baking soda, and salt and stir until just combined. Add lemon zest and milk, mix well. Gently fold in the dried cranberries. Mixture will be crumbly.

Work dough by hand into a ball and then roll into a log about 2-3 inches thick. Wrap with parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Once dough is chilled and firm, use a sharp knife to carefully slice dough into about ½-inch pieces and place onto parchment-lined cookie sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart.

Bake for approximately 11-12 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Enjoy Biltmore wines this holiday season!

Biltmore wines and cookies
Enjoy perfect pairings with Biltmore wine and cookies this holiday season

Whether you’re pairing them with cookies, entertaining friends, or simply enjoying a peaceful glass by a crackling fire, you’ll find all our award-winning Biltmore wines in our estate shops, online, and close to home with our Retail Locator.

For a special gift for yourself and others, consider joining our Vanderbilt Wine Club®. You’ll enjoy hand-selected Biltmore wines delivered to your door each season, plus all the other privileges membership brings.