New Exhibition Series: Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore

Immerse yourself in our new exhibition series, Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore—featuring three different large-scale, multi-sensory experiences—hosted at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate.

Created and produced by Grande Experiences, each individual component of this must-see series uses the very latest in immersive technology to illuminate the remarkable lives of Van Gogh, Monet, and Da Vinci and their timeless masterpieces of art and design.

In addition, each of the three events offers fascinating ties to George Vanderbilt’s collection of treasures on display in Biltmore House, his magnificent family home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Van Gogh Alive
November 5, 2021–March 5, 2022

Van Gogh Alive multi-sensory experience
A guest explores Van Gogh Alive, created and produced by Grande Experiences

The masterworks of Vincent van Gogh have been displayed around the world for over a century, but never like this.

Described as “an unforgettable multi-sensory experience,” Van Gogh Alive is a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, color, sound, and scent that compels you to leave the world behind and immerse yourself the masterful paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.

Simultaneously enchanting, entertaining, and educational, Van Gogh Alive stimulates all the senses and opens the mind.

Van Gogh and Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt share a Dutch heritage that will be highlighted at the estate during this period.

Monet & Friends — Life, Light & Color
March 9–July 10, 2022

Monet & Friends multi-sensory exhibition
Explore Monet’s masterpieces throughout the Monet & Friends experience

An homage to Claude Monet and the Impressionist painters of the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, this multi-sensory experience explores not only the paintings themselves but the history of the Impressionist movement amid the social and political turbulence of the era.

It transports you back to a time when European art was poised to change forever, and immerses you in the Impressionists’ masterworks as they come to life in a rich display of light, color, and sound.

Breathtaking paintings are projected on an enormous scale, illuminating the bold brushstrokes of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and more.

While Monet & Friends Life, Light & Color is on display at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate, two original Monet paintings from George Vanderbilt’s personal collection will be displayed inside America’s Largest Home®.

Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius
July 14, 2022–January 8, 2023

Leonardo da Vinci -- 500 Years of Genius experience
Discover marvels of art and invention with Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius

Inventor, artist, scientist, engineer, sculptor, anatomist, musician, architect, philosopher—Leonardo da Vinci was all of these things.

His brilliance and many extraordinary achievements are brought to vivid life in Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius, the world’s most comprehensive and thrilling Leonardo da Vinci experience.

Biltmore will be showcasing links to estate architecture and artwork in our collection that are influenced by da Vinci’s designs.

Don’t miss our Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore exhibition series!

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

Each of the three Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore multi-sensory experiences will be hosted at Amherst at Deerpark®, our event center on the grounds of the estate.

Plan your visit to Van Gogh Alive, Monet & Friends and Leonardo da Vinci now, and enhance your experience with special overnight offers at our distinctive hotels and historic cottages.

Champion Trees: The Estate’s Finest Fall Foliage

Today, Biltmore is home to a variety of Champion Trees—but when George Vanderbilt purchased the acreage that would become his estate, much of the land was overworked and actually vacant of trees due to activity from the previous settlers. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted made the following recommendation:

“Make a small park into which to look from your house; make a small pleasure ground and garden, farm your river bottom chiefly to keep and fatten live stock with a view to manure; and make the rest a forest, improving the existing woods and planting the old fields.”  

Landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted, George Vanderbilt, and other key Biltmore figures, 1892
Landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted (seated, center) and George Vanderbilt (standing, center-right) with other key Biltmore figures, 1892.

NC Champion Tree Program

Several of the trees handpicked by Olmsted are now recognized as North Carolina State Champion Trees. According to the NC Forest Service, the Champion Tree Program highlights native or naturalized species that have garnered attention because of their size, age, or historical significance. 

Naturally, these trees are some of the superstars of our historic gardens. Let’s take a look at a few and discover why there is no better time to seek out these estate beauties than leaf season.

The golden-rain tree (right) can be found in Biltmore’s Shrub Garden.
The golden-rain tree (right) can be found in Biltmore’s Shrub Garden.

Golden-Rain Tree

Perhaps one of the more unusual Champion Trees, the golden-rain tree in the Shrub Garden lends grace and charm to the landscape. Its showy fall color generally includes various shades of yellow and chartreuse. If you look closely, amid the autumn foliage you’ll find inflated seed pods, reminiscent of Chinese lanterns, hanging elegantly.

The katsura tree lives in the heart of Biltmore’s Azalea Garden.
The Katsura tree – which has a scent like cotton candy – lives in the heart of Biltmore’s Azalea Garden. The Katsura was one of the trees hand-picked by Biltmore landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. This Katsura is on the NC Forest Service Registry of Champion Trees. Photo credit The Biltmore Company.

Katsura Tree

Among the larger Champion Trees is the Katsura tree, found in the Azalea Garden. This tree has magnificent fall color with hues ranging from gold to apricot, accompanied by an unusual, sweet fragrance that permeates the area around the tree. Some describe the smell as cinnamon-like, while others think it is more similar to cotton candy—either way, it’s sure to satisfy the senses!

The dawn redwood is located in Biltmore’s Azalea Garden.
The dawn redwood is located in Biltmore’s Azalea Garden.

Additional Champion Trees

Other Champion Trees of note on the estate are the dawn redwood in the Azalea Garden with its lush bronze fall color and the Persian ironwood boasting brilliant warm autumnal hues between the Conservatory and the Gardener’s Cottage.

The Persian ironwood can be found next to Biltmore’s Conservatory.
The Persian ironwood has a showy fall leaf color, and can be found next to Biltmore’s Conservatory. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted hand-picked tree species including the Persian ironwood as part of a plan to reforest overworked farmland purchased by George Vanderbilt for the construction of Biltmore House. Photo credit The Biltmore Company.

Fall is a favorite season for strolling the gardens and grounds of the estate. During your next visit, we invite you to explore our Shrub Garden, Azalea Garden, and beyond to catch a glimpse of these Champion Trees at their finest: bursting with rich fall color.

Feature image: Persian ironwood with peak fall color

Providing Gracious Hospitality, One Bite at a Time

Cloreitha Fenton, Biltmore House Food & Beverage Outlets General Manager, has 23 years of providing gracious hospitality, one bite at a time.

Providing gracious hospitality at Biltmore
Cloreitha Fenton provides gracious hospitality with a smile

“I’ve been working here half my life,” said Clo, as she’s know by her friends and coworkers. “I like to tell people I’m ‘Biltmore-grown’.”

As General Manager, Clo oversees a department of all the employees who operate the food and beverage outlets for Biltmore House & Gardens, including The Bake Shop, Biltmore Dairy Bar®, and Courtyard Market in the Stable Courtyard, Conservatory Café located behind the Conservatory, and all the satellite food carts that pop up for special dates and events.

Guests entering Biltmore Dairy Bar®
Located in the Stable Courtyard adjacent to Biltmore House, Biltmore Dairy Bar® serves a wide range of sweet treats

In the past two decades, Clo has served in a variety of different roles at Biltmore. She joined the estate as a cook at Stable Café, then moved to Deerpark Restaurant. In 2000 she switched her focus to work in purchasing for Food & Beverage, but eventually returned to the Stable Complex as a supervisor for the outlets there.

In 2003 she became assistant manager of all estate food outlets, eventually helping open both The Creamery and Smokehouse for the launch of Antler Hill Village in 2010.

Guests enjoying gracious hospitality at The Creamery
Guests enjoy ice cream and other delicious treats and snacks at The Creamery in Antler Hill Village

Clo became a general manager in 2014 and is responsible for overseeing a team of supervisors, daily operations for the outlets, financials, and ensuring that her dedicated team of employees have everything they need to provide excellent service to guests.

Biltmore staff members provide gracious hospitality one bite at a time
Clo offers a training moment to a member of her team

“We’re in the mix every day, and we’re very hands-on. Sometimes we have to make decisions on the fly and make things happen,” she said. “In addition to the day-to-day work, my focus is to grow my team, make sure we’re profitable, and make sure my employees are taken care of.”

Clo embraces all the values Biltmore represents, but there is one that resonates with her in particular.

Family enjoying ice cream and treats at Biltmore
Biltmore Dairy Bar® offers something special for everyone, including vanilla ice cream inspired by an original Biltmore recipe

“I was raised to be gracious, to say ‘ma’am’ and ‘thank you’ and to be kind, and I make sure I maintain that sense of gracious hospitality. I try my best to help all my employees succeed and focus on those who want to grow,” she said. “I want to come in every day and give 100 percent, to give all I can.”

Join our gracious hospitality team today!

Culinary staff holds career sign in front of Biltmore House
Apply now to become a member of the Biltmore team

Biltmore is interested in people who strive for excellence; who are committed to working together, supporting each other, and sharing a sense of stewardship to protect this special place. Our employees shape and enrich extraordinary experiences for guests, using judgment and skills based on our Vanderbilt-inspired legacy of hospitality.

In addition, Biltmore has been recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies To Work For® in 2021. We invite you to consider joining our dedicated team by viewing careers and applying online.

Featured image: Clo Fenton showcases a Winky Bar Sundae in a waffle bowl–a delightful creation inspired by a treat served at the original Biltmore Dairy Bar®.

Getting to know Albariño–an intriguing white wine

Getting to know Albariño–an intriguing white wine–is a great way to explore a less well-known varietal that is definitely worth discovering!

Biltmore Estate Albariño with oysters on the half shell
Known as vin de mar or “wine of the sea,” Albariño is a perfect partner with oysters and other seafood

Origins of the wine

Prized for its bright acidity and characteristic hints of coastal brine, Albariño is white varietal that probably originated in Galicia on the Iberian Peninsula of northwestern Spain, where some still refer to it as vino del mar or “wine of the sea.”

In neighboring Portugal, the grape is known as Alvarinho. Both names are a reference to the grape’s white color.

Growing conditions

California partner vineyard
Partner vineyards in California

Although some Albariño vines in Europe are estimated to be as much as 300 years old, the varietal is a relative newcomer to North America, with only about 300 acres in cultivation in California’s Central Coast region.

It’s also grown in Australia and South America, but it thrives in cool, foggy climates similar to the Iberian coast that experiences frequent Atlantic storms. While its characteristic sturdy stems and thick skin offer protection from the elements, Albariño vines are usually trained on an overhead trellis that allows better air circulation around the grapes and leaves.

Biltmore Estate Albariño

Biltmore Estate Albariño white wine
Our new Biltmore Estate Albariño is an intriguing white wine that pairs especially well with seafood dishes

“For our new Biltmore Estate Albariño, I selected grapes from our California vineyard partners who are producing excellent fruit,” said Sharon Fenchak, Biltmore winemaker.

“Albariño is an intriguing white wine, and I was interested in getting to the heart of what makes it so distinctive,” Sharon said. “Plus, I wanted to give our Biltmore wine enthusiasts the delightful discovery of a wine that’s not as familiar to them.”

Sharon handcrafted a bright straw-colored wine that features fresh aromas of spice and tropical fruit. In addition to notes of ruby red grapefruit and pepper, this crisp and refreshing light-bodied Albariño offers a round creaminess with good mouthfeel.

Getting to know Albariño

Biltmore Estate white wine with pesto shrimp
Savor our new Albariño with your favorite seafood dishes like this delicious shrimp with pesto sauce

“It’s more complex than you might suspect at first,” noted Sharon. “I think it’s the slight hint of salinity that elevates the other flavors, and makes you want to taste it again and again to really understand the subtleties of Albariño.”

To make the most of its coastal complexities, Sharon suggests savoring our new Biltmore Estate Albariño with seafood dishes such as bacon-wrapped scallops, fried grouper, and classic Spanish-style paella. For vegetarian pairings, consider baked butternut squash and pesto pasta.

The following recipe showcases Biltmore Estate Albariño as both an ingredient and a perfect pairing for this simple yet sophisticated dish!

Biltmore Estate Albariño with grilled oysters
Biltmore Estate Albariño paired with grilled oysters

Grilled Oysters with Albariño Garlic Butter

2 dozen oysters on the half shell
6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
3 large garlic cloves, grated
½ cup Biltmore Estate Albariño
1½ teaspoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
Lemon wedges for serving

Open bottom vent of a charcoal grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate of grill. Adjust vents as needed to maintain an internal temperature of 400°F to 450°F. Place top grate on grill. (If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high [400°F to 450°F].)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium-high. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Carefully add Albariño and champagne vinegar; cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, stirring until butter melts. Stir in parsley.

Arrange oysters on a rimmed baking sheet; top each oyster with a scant 1 teaspoon butter mixture. Place oysters on unoiled grates. Grill, covered, just until oyster juices begin to bubble vigorously, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm with parsley and lemon.

Find Biltmore Estate Albariño close to home

Friends toasting with Biltmore wine
Our new Biltmore Estate Albariño makes any occasion seem special!

Our easy-drinking Albariño is perfect for sipping at brunch, on picnics, and around the fire pit on cool fall evenings, but don’t look for it on the estate or in our online store–it’s only available for purchase with local retailers. Find it in your area with our Retail Locator.

July Travels of George Vanderbilt

The travels of George Vanderbilt were extensive, to say the least. He visited more than 25 countries, crossing the Atlantic Ocean a total of 60 times by the end of his life. But more specifically, he was a champion of the July getaway, often spending the entire month abroad.

Portrait of young George Vanderbilt, 1878
Portrait of young George Vanderbilt, 1878

Childhood Travels

George’s love of travel can be traced back to his youth. He spent much of his childhood visiting museums, libraries, and historic sites throughout Europe with his family. In 1879, at the age of 16, George accompanied his father on a three-month-long summer tour of England and France. Their travels took them to Versailles, the Louvre, Napoleon’s tomb, the National Gallery in London, Windsor Castle, and the graves of philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau.

He wrote in his July 1879 travel journal (feature image):

“July 4th 1879 Friday. Went out to Rouen [France]… It is said to be one of the quaintest towns in the world and is renowned for its medieval architecture. The cathedral is beautiful as also St. Maclou, we also went to the Museum of Antiquities and went to a little restaurant to get a little breakfast. But by far the finest sight is St. Ouen a magnificent cathedral of perfect medieval architecture.”

George Vanderbilt during Spanish travels with cousins, 1891
George Vanderbilt during Spanish travels with cousins, 1891

Abroad with Cousins

Years later, in 1891, George spent two months—including much of July—exploring Spain with three of his cousins. They first arrived in Gibraltar and then travelled to the capital city of Madrid; Seville, a town known for its enormous cathedral which houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus; and Ronda, an old Moorish hilltop town. When the trip came to its end, instead of returning home, George stayed at the Grand Hotel in London until August.

George and Edith Vanderbilt’s honeymooon villa, 1898
George and Edith Vanderbilt’s honeymooon villa, 1898

An Italian Honeymoon

July was also the first full month of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s four-month-long honeymoon. Following their Parisian wedding in June 1898, the Vanderbilts stayed near Stresa in the Lake District of Italy. A peaceful Italian villa served as the couple’s home base as they explored the area’s spectacular Alpine scenery and took short trips to visit some of Europe’s finest museums and galleries.

George Vanderbilt wrote to artist James McNeill Whistler, July 10, 1898: 

“[We] have spent a delightful fortnight in the villa on Lake Maggiore and return there from here via the beautiful Stelvio pass, so that nature fills out & continues the interest of this little tour. It was Mrs Vanderbilts first visit to both Venice & Vienna & it has been an added pleasure of course to see her delight and interest and the way the pictures really took possession of her…”*

Summertime blooms in Biltmore's Italian Garden
Summertime blooms in Biltmore’s Italian Garden

Legacy of Travel

While extensive travel like this was rare 120 years ago—especially before the advent of the airplane—it is still unusual today. July may inspire a longing to escape from the everyday, but for many of us, travels of that nature are simply not feasible. With our fast-paced lifestyles, it can be difficult to find the time.

Luckily, you can experience the legacy of George Vanderbilt and his lifelong love of travel with an overnight stay at Biltmore. From the iconic French château to the Italian Garden, George’s time spent abroad influenced many elements of the estate. Satisfy your longing to travel this summer with a Biltmore getaway, the perfect European-inspired escape. We invite you to plan your escape today.

*Source: Letters of J. McN. Whistler 1855-1903; A.M. Whistler, 1829-1881.

Top 5 Biltmore Family Favorites for Summer 2021

Our top 5 Biltmore family favorite activities for summer are sure to please the entire clan, from grandparents to grandchildren!

Winkie Bar Sundae in a waffle bowl
Try all the ice cream treats, including this delicious Winkie Bar Sundae served in a waffle bowl

5. Favorite Flavors: Ice Cream for Everyone

Did you know that the vanilla ice cream served on the estate is based on a delicious original Biltmore Dairy recipe? Now at Biltmore Dairy Bar® near Biltmore House and the Creamery in Antler Hill Village, you and your family can enjoy the same rich flavor enjoy by estate guests more than a century ago.

Tip: Get sandwiches and ice cream to go from the Creamery and have a picnic on the nearby Village Green. Celebrate summer with Biltmore wine for the grownups and Biltmore sparkling grape juice for the younger set.

Family biking at Biltmore
Bring the whole family along on your next biking adventure at Biltmore

4. Favorite Activity: Biking for All Ages

Ready to explore our wide-open spaces? Visit the Outdoor Adventure Center or Bike Barn in Antler Hill Village and rent mountain bikes for rugged trails or comfort cruisers for paved paths. Tandem rentals also available so the younger members of the family can join the fun.

Tip: Consider our Farm Trail Guided Bike Ride and other new outdoor activities for more exciting ways to explore the estate.

Biltmore Gardens Railway in Antler Hill Village at Biltmore
Marvel at the wonders of miniature trains during Biltmore Gardens Railway!

3. Rediscover a Family Favorite: Biltmore Gardens Railway

One of the absolute must-see elements of the estate this summer is Biltmore Gardens Railway, featuring beautiful garden-scale botanical model train displays. This charming exhibition featuring estate-related landmarks—each handcrafted in meticulous detail from all-natural materials—returns to the Conservatory.

Tip: Experience Biltmore Gardens Railway now through September 26, 2021.

Child explores Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village
The new Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village is fun for all ages!

2. New Family Favorite: Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Crafted and installed in Antler Hill Village, this unique-to-Biltmore, large-scale outdoor sculpture entitled Free as a Bird is a wondrous combination of Patrick Dougherty’s carpentry skills and love of nature.

Over the last three decades, this internationally-acclaimed artist has built over 300 of these works, which have captivated the hearts and imaginations of viewers worldwide. Enjoy Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty now through September 30, 2021.

Tip: Explore Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty during the day or at night, when the sculpture is lit to enhance your experience.

Family activities for spring at Biltmore
Explore our glorious gardens and grounds during Biltmore Blooms this spring

1. All-Time Family Favorite: Our 8,000-Acre Backyard!

With 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain backyard, you’ll never run out of places to explore at Biltmore! Enjoy more than 20 miles of hiking trails along the French Broad River, through lush green forests, or in the open meadows of the estate.

Tip: Visit the Bike Barn or Outdoor Adventure Center for a detailed trail map and orientation to the trails.

Enhance your Biltmore visit with an overnight stay

In addition to our top 5 family-favorite activities, make the most of summer vacations and long holiday weekends at Biltmore by adding overnight accommodations at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, or our two private historic Cottages on Biltmore Estate.

Woven in Wonder: Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Woven in wonder, Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty is a fascinating outdoor sculpture created exclusively for Biltmore.

Stickwork is a one-of-a-kind installation

“Each of Patrick’s sculptures are one-of-a-kind,” said Travis Tatham, Director of Entertaining and Event Programming, “and that makes his work a perfect fit for Biltmore, which is a one-of-a-kind destination.”

Weaving with willows

Patrick Dougherty with his Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Patrick Dougherty with his Stickwork creation for Biltmore

Working with willow branches, Patrick creates large-scale installations that reflect the beauty and character of the site that hosts them.

Patrick and son Sam Dougherty arrived at Biltmore in mid-March to begin work on the installation in Antler Hill Village along with a truckload of willow branches grown in New York.

Patrick Dougherty with his Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Patrick Dougherty weaves willow branches into his Stickwork sculpture

“Given the large crowds that Biltmore draws, we wanted something palatial and roomy, with walking areas to accommodate large numbers of visitors,” said Patrick. “We aimed for a free-wheeling sculpture to occupy the site with flowing energy.”

Free as a Bird

Mockingbird atop Patrick Dougherty's Stickwork creation for Biltmore
A curious mockingbird checks the progress on the Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village

While working at Biltmore, Patrick and Sam noticed a pair of mockingbirds that came from a nearby holly bush every day to serenade the creation.

“They seemed to be staking a claim to the work,” Patrick said, “so we decided to name the sculpture Free as a Bird in their honor.”

In the past three decades, Patrick has built more than 300 of these large-scale environmental works worldwide, from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States.

Sam Dougherty works on Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Sam Dougherty adds his signature woven edges to the Stickwork creation for Biltmore

Sam, Patrick’s full-time construction assistant since June 2016, has developed into an expert stickworker. His signature can be found on every sculpture, especially in the rolled top edges.

Stickwork is fun for all ages!

Stickwork creation for Biltmore
Some Biltmore staff members had an opportunity to assist Patrick and Sam Dougherty in the creation of the Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village

According to one Biltmore team member who had an opportunity to work with Sam and Patrick as they wove the whimsical sculpture, “Adults have asked ‘what is this?’ but kids walk up and know exactly what to do with it. They say ‘it’s a stickhouse and I need to run through it and play!'”

Discover Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Child explores Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village
The new Stickwork sculpture in Antler Hill Village is fun for all ages!

Now through September 30, discover Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty, located in Antler Hill Village near the Outdoor Adventure Center.

This delightful sculpture entitled Free as a Bird invites excitement and exploration for all ages, and is included with estate admission.

Free as a Bird is lit at night, further enlivening the space, especially for those who are enjoying a stay at either of our distinctive hotels or our two private historic cottages.

Craft Incredible Cocktails with Biltmore Wines!

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

Switch up the spirits

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

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

White Wine Mojito Cocktail*

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Riesling & Tonic Cocktail*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chenin Blanc Pineapple Slushies*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase award-winning Biltmore wines!

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

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

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

Experience Our Annual Biltmore Blooms Celebration

Enjoy this archived Biltmore Blooms content from Spring 2021!


Experience our annual Biltmore Blooms celebration across the estate as winter loosens its grip to make way for spring!

Gardens and grounds

From the earliest flowering shrubs and vivid blooms in the Walled Garden–including this year’s colorful kaleidoscope of yellow, white, pink, purple, and red tulips in the patterned beds–to the glorious progression of color along the Approach Road, we’ve been delighting guests with our annual Biltmore Blooms celebration for more than three decades.

Azaleas along the Approach Road in spring
The Approach Road to Biltmore House is lined with azaleas each spring

The splendid spring show isn’t limited to the outdoors, however; our Floral and Museum Services teams have worked together to develop an “Art in Bloom” theme featuring beautiful arrangements throughout Biltmore House.

Inspired by Biltmore’s collections

“This year for Biltmore Blooms we are celebrating the fact that George Vanderbilt envisioned Biltmore not just as a home, but also as a platform to showcase the incredible works of art he collected,” said Leslie Klingner, Curator of Interpretation.

“Vanderbilt developed a passion for art early in life,” Leslie said,” and he amassed an impressive collection. To highlight some of these amazing pieces, our floral team has created designs inspired by works throughout Biltmore House.”

Art in Bloom

“Each year during Biltmore Blooms, our floral designs reflect not only the welcome return of spring, but they also showcase the scale and grandeur of America’s Largest Home®,” said Lizzie Borchers, Floral Displays Manager.

Biltmore Blooms arrangement for Third Floor Living Hall in Biltmore House
Floral designer Cristy Leonard creating a larger-than-life arrangement for the Third Floor Living Hall (design inspired by a painting of a ship in that room)

“For ‘Art in Bloom’ in 2021, we envisioned flowers as the paints, pastels, and pencils of spring, turning our arrangements into works of art themselves,” Lizzie said. “When you visit this season, see how our designs highlight the colors, textures, shapes, and forms in the artwork.”

A sneak peek at Biltmore Blooms details!

In the Breakfast Room, Biltmore floral designer Lucinda Ledford drew inspiration from two works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Young Boy with an Orange, painted in 1881, and The Young Algerian Girl, painted in 1882.

Biltmore Blooms floral arrangement highlighting Renoir's
The vibrant colors of Renoir’s “Child with Orange” painting inspired the details of this floral arrangement for the Breakfast Room

Giovanni Boldini’s lovely 1910 portrait of Edith Vanderbilt that hangs in the Tapestry Gallery near the entrance to the Library inspired floral designer Jodee Mitchell to create a sweeping arrangement featuring delicate white flowers and greenery.

Lily of the valley with a sketch for a Biltmore Blooms design
Design sketch for a Biltmore Blooms arrangement featuring lilies of the valley and other white flowers, inspired by Giovanni Boldini’s stunning portrait of Edith Vanderbilt

Based on the series of mid-16th-century Renaissance tapestries detailing the history of Roman mythological gods and goddesses in Biltmore’s Banquet Hall, floral designer Cristy Leonard developed a glorious spring centerpiece befitting the massive table in that room.

A Biltmore floral designer creates an arrangement for the Banquet Hall
Cristy carefully selects each element in an enormous Biltmore Blooms floral arrangement for the Banquet Hall table

These are just a few of the wonderful arrangements in Biltmore House this spring; there are countless others to discover!

Experience Biltmore Blooms this spring

Explore our favorite outdoor rooms
Visit now and enjoy spring across our 8,000 acres!

Experience all the excitement of Biltmore Blooms included with your daytime admission to Biltmore.

Make required Biltmore House reservations now while your preferred dates and times are still available, and experience the spectacular seasonal show in our historic gardens.

In addition to Biltmore Blooms, enjoy the delights of Biltmore Gardens Railway in the Conservatory and Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty in Antler Hill Village, also included in daytime admission.

Celebrate Our 125th Anniversary with Sparkling Wine

To celebrate our 125th anniversary, Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak created a sparkling wine to commemorate the occasion.

Here’s a brief history of the first Christmas event at Biltmore, and the seasonal spirit that inspired our new Biltmore Estate® 125th Anniversary Release Brut sparkling wine.

Biltmore’s first Christmas

Celebrate Christmas at Biltmore
The towering Banquet Hall Christmas tree has been a tradition for 125 years

On Christmas Eve of 1895, George Vanderbilt welcomed his friends and family to celebrate the holiday in his magnificent new home. The following account of “Christmas at Biltmore” was reported in The Times-Democrat newspaper from New Orleans, Louisiana, two days later:

Newspaper account of the celebration

Floral team members install garland
Garlands and greenery are still used to decorate Biltmore House

“For many days workmen were enhancing the splendor of the chateau with decorations appropriate to the Christmas season, under the direction of Mr. Vanderbilt. His suggestions have covered every detail, and a beautiful and elaborate scene was unfolded before his guests yesterday.

Decoration of the planthouse (Winter Garden) is the chief feature. The design called for an unobstructed view from all the approaches within the chateau, and the idea is thoroughly realistic. The exquisite charm of the enclosed garden is apparent at the first glance as the guests enter the main floor.

Winter Garden in Biltmore House
The Winter Garden decorated for Christmas at Biltmore in 2020

Above, from a symmetrical dome, fall great festoons of spruce and waxen holly, forming arching lines, while garlands of the same evergreens adorn each point of vantage. The effect is as if a vast green canopy had been erected under the span of the dome, the supports of which, also laden with green, serve as pillars of the canopy.

About the floor of the planthouse innumerable palms and ferns are arranged in such a way as to give all the natural effect of a garden in the opening of a tropical forest. That eye may not be wearied with one unvaried hue of green, many plants in full bloom are placed here and there in the planthouse, their color being used to the fullest advantage.

Enornous red berry wreath in the Library at Biltmore House
This enormous berry-and-ribbon wreath in the Library recalls the natural decor from Biltmore’s first Christmas celebration

The forests of Biltmore estate afforded a wealth of the desired foliage, and plants from a New York florist, who arranged the whole scene, and bushels of scarlet holly berries were ordered from the marshes of Eastern Carolina and were used in ornamentation of the chateau.”

The tradition continues

This year marks the 125th time that the halls of Biltmore House have been decked in honor of Christmas. As part of the celebration, Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak spent months developing our new Biltmore Estate® 125th Anniversary Release Brut.

Celebrate Our 125th Anniversary with Sparkling Wine

Biltmore sparkling wine in an ice bucket
Add sparkle to your celebrations with Biltmore sparkling wines

“This sparkling wine is handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes selected from partner vineyards in California,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Wine Marketing Manager.

“It’s a wonderful wine with a touch of rose gold color and aromas of tangerine, yeast, strawberry, and honey,” Jill said. “The taste is refreshing and nicely balanced with tiny bubbles and hints of strawberry, mint, and Meyer lemon.”

Pouring Biltmore sparkling wine into a glass
Celebrate our anniversary–or yours–with the new Biltmore Estate 125th Anniversary Release Brut

According to Jill, this is an excellent sparkling wine to pair with charcuterie and cheese boards, fresh fruit, caviar, steak tartar, scallops, and angel food cake with strawberries.

Perfect for any occasion!

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

“It’s also perfect for ringing in the New Year, or giving as a thoughtful gift of the season,” noted Jill. “And be sure to have plenty of our exceptional Biltmore bubbles on hand for your Valentine’s Day celebrations!”