Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Sweet Potato Skins Recipe

This arugula salad recipe was created especially for Biltmore by Chef Vivian Howard of A Chef’s Life on PBS and is a perfect blend of taste and texture for spring!

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Pairs well with many of our crisp, dry white wines including Biltmore® Reserve Chardonnay and Vanderbilt Reserve® Sauvignon Blanc.

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parm and Sweet Potato Skins
Savor this elevated spring salad by Chef Vivian Howard!

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan and Sweet Potato Skins

Total time: 1 hour Serving Size: 4 people


  • 4 roasted sweet potatoes (scoop out flesh and reserve for other use)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 6 ounces mature spicy arugula leaves
  • 1 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or Ricotta
  • Olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and kosher salt to taste

Maple Reduction

  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 pinch chili flakes


  • Roast sweet potatoes in a 450°F oven for 45–60 minutes. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh; reserve for other use.
  • Cut your sweet potato skins into strips or wedges. Add enough oil to a sauté pan so that it climbs about a third of an inch up the pan’s sides. Heat the oil over medium heat and brown the skins on both sides. Some parts of the skin will be browner than others. Drain the skins on paper towels and season them liberally with kosher salt.
  • Meanwhile in a small sauce or sauté pan simmer together the maple syrup, coriander seeds, vinegar and chili flakes till it reduces ever so slightly.
  • Toss arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and shaved cheese together in a bowl. Portion onto four plates and top each serving with sweet potato skins. Drizzle with maple reduction.

Bistro’s Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Enjoy the hearty flavors of Bistro’s Beef Bourguignon from the comfort of your home! While the Bistro version features Filet Mignon, the home-friendly recipe suggests the robust taste of chuck roast.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: This classic dish can be savored on its own or with velvety mashed potatoes and pairs beautifully with a rich red wines, like Biltmore’s Cardinal’s Crest or Vanderbilt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, for an even more satisfying experience!

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parm and Sweet Potato Skins
Savor this elevated spring salad by Chef Vivian Howard!

Bistro’s Beef Bourguignon

Total time: 6 hours Serving Size: 6-8 people


  • 4 pounds chuck roast, salted and diced into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 4 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cups cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into quarters
  • 1 ½ cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into quarters
  • 1 ½ teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup of butter, diced
  • 3 whole cloves
  • ½ pod of star anise
  • ¼ stick of cinnamon
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Approx. 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Small cheesecloth


  1. Salt chuck roast and set aside at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients. Prepare carrots, celery, onions, and mushrooms according to the ingredient list.
  2. Make an herb bouquet by wrapping the clove, star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves, and peppercorns in the cheesecloth, ensuring it is securely wrapped.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  4. In a large Dutch oven on medium-high heat, sear the beef in 1 tablespoon of canola oil until lightly browned and a crust forms on the beef. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Remove meat from the pot and set aside.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add in carrots, celery, and onion and sauté until mostly cooked, about 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and tomato paste.
  6. Add the red wine and gently scrape the bottom to remove the brown bits. Allow to simmer until wine is reduced by half.
  7. Turn off the heat and add the beef, herb bundle, and beef stock.
  8. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and cook at 300°F for 4-6 Hours or until beef is fork-tender. Stir in diced butter and season to taste for serving.

Note: If you prefer to use a crock pot, brown the beef and then add everything to your crockpot to cook on low for 8-10 hours until tender.

Peanut Butter Yule Log or “Buche de Noel” Recipe

Delight family and friends with a dessert as delicious as it is beautiful. Inspired by the traditional French bûche de Noël or yule log seasonal cake, Biltmore Pastry Chef Aaron Morgan developed a fresh twist on the classic confection with the addition of a rich peanut butter-cream cheese filling and elegant Italian buttercream icing that resembles freshly fallen snow.

Once the cake is assembled, branch out with decorative elements such as marzipan mushrooms, sugared berries, and fresh herbs that help make your yule log the highlight of any holiday or winter-themed gathering.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Slice and serve with our Biltmore Estate Riesling or Limited Release Dry Riesling.

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parm and Sweet Potato Skins
Savor this elevated spring salad by Chef Vivian Howard!

Peanut Butter Yule Log or “Buche de Noel”

Total time: 5 hours Serving Size: 6 people


For the biscuit roulade:

  • 3 whole large eggs
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting and shaping

For the peanut butter filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream

For the Italian buttercream:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened and cut into ½-inch pieces

For decoration (optional):

  • Marzipan mushrooms, cocoa powder, chocolate Florentine lace cookies, fresh rosemary, fresh or sugared cranberries, etc., as desired


  • First, make the biscuit roulade: Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a half-sheet pan (approximately 18x13x1 inches) with cooking spray; line the bottom with parchment paper, then spray the parchment with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat whole eggs, egg yolks and 1 cup granulated sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the mixture reaches the “ribbon stage,” or turns thick, pale, foamy and forms ribbons in the batter when the whisk is lifted. Fold in flour until just combined.
  • In a separate large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat 3 egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the egg-flour mixture until just combined.
  • Pour and spread the batter into the prepared sheet pan. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until the cake is just baked through and lightly golden.
  • Sprinkle the top of the hot cake generously with powdered sugar (this will help to keep the cake from sticking). Run a paring knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the edges of the sheet pan. Top the cake with a light, clean kitchen towel and a large cutting board; carefully but quickly, invert the cake onto the towel/cutting board. Remove the sheet pan and parchment paper from the cake.
  • Sprinkle the top of the cake generously with powdered sugar. Starting from one short end, tightly roll up the warm cake in the towel; transfer to a cutting board, small sheet pan or large plate, seam side-down. Set aside to cool completely, about 2 hours (you can refrigerate the cake to speed up the cooling process, if desired).
  • Meanwhile, make the peanut butter filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar on medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the peanut butter, melted butter and vanilla extract on medium speed for 1 minute or until well-combined and smooth, scraping the sides often.
  • In a separate large bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the heavy cream into the cream cheese-peanut butter mixture until just combined.
Ready to assemble!
  • Assemble the cake: On a clean work surface, carefully unroll the fully cooled cake. Spread peanut butter filling evenly over the top of the cake all the way to the edges. Reroll the cake and return to the cutting board/sheet pan; cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour to set the cake.
  • Meanwhile, make the Italian buttercream: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir 2 cups granulated sugar, water and corn syrup to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer reads 245°F to 250°F when inserted into the mixture.
  • While the sugar mixture cooks, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat 5 egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • With the stand mixer still running on medium-high speed, carefully and slowly pour hot sugar mixture into the egg whites. Continue to whip the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is fully cooled and turns to a light, fluffy, glossy meringue.
  • With the stand mixer still running on medium-high speed, add softened butter, one piece at a time, beating until the butter is fully incorporated and a light, fluffy, smooth frosting forms. If the frosting is too thin, cover and refrigerate until more firm.
  • Finally, assemble the cake: Use a sharp knife to cut one end of the chilled cake on an angle a few inches from the end; arrange the cut piece on one side of the cake to form a “branch.” Slice off the very end of the branch for a clean edge, if desired. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the buttercream (you may not use all of the buttercream); use an offset spatula to texture the sides, as desired.
  • Decorate and garnish the cake with marzipan mushrooms, Florentine lace cookies, cocoa powder, etc. as desired. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Tip: Don’t worry if your Peanut Butter Yule Log isn’t as smooth as you’d like—the snowy Italian buttercream frosting and decorations help cover any imperfections!

Braised Short Ribs with Gingered Sweet Potato Mash & Cherry Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Perfect for chasing the chill in the air, this hearty, multi-layered entrée comes from The Dining Room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: We suggest pairing it with The Hunt Sonoma County Red Blend 2020.

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parm and Sweet Potato Skins
Savor this elevated spring salad by Chef Vivian Howard!

Braised Short Ribs with Gingered Sweet Potato Mash and Cherry Barbeque Sauce

Total time: 4 hours Serving Size: 4 people


  • 6 pounds (4 pieces) beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ pound carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ pound celery, chopped
  • ½ pound white onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 quarts beef stock
  • 2 ounces fresh thyme

Cherry Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup dried sweet cherries
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sweet Potato Mash

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Season shortribs with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large heavy pan.  Brown short ribs on all sides, remove.  Add carrots, celery, and onion to a hot pan;  cook until just brown. Return short ribs to the pan along with thyme and beef stock.  Cover pan, and place in hot oven. 
  • Braise for 3 hours, or until meat is extremely tender and falls away from the bone. Remove meat to a covered platter, and keep warm. Strain and reserve cooking liquid.
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the reserved cooking liquid to a simmer.  Reduce until halved in volume.  Stir in molasses, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and dried cherries.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring heavy cream and butter to a simmer.  Bring to boil a large pot of salted water.  Add diced sweet potatoes.  Cook until sweet potatoes are tender.  Drain. Run cooked potatoes through a food mill or ricer.  Stir in warmed cream and butter along with minced ginger and honey.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve:  Divide sweet potatoes between 4 plates.  Place one short rib atop each portion of sweet potatoes. Sauce the beef with the cherry barbeque.

Spring Squash Carbonara Recipe

Savor this spring-inspired pasta dish from our estate chefs featuring quail eggs! Quail eggs elevate any dish and pair especially well with bacon, black truffles, asparagus, caviar, and mushrooms.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Our Limited Release Pinot Grigio pairs well with the Carbonara. Winemaker Sharon Fenchak says its crispness and citrus notes complement the richness of the quail eggs in this dish.

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parm and Sweet Potato Skins
Savor this elevated spring salad by Chef Vivian Howard!

Spring Squash Carbonara

Total time: 1.5 hours Serving Size: 6 people


  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1 pound smoked bacon, diced
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound zucchini, chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
  • 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 squash blossoms, halved lengthwise (optional)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 quail eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Put bacon in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Slowly cook until the bacon begins to brown. Drain most of the fat, leaving a few tablespoons in the pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the zucchini and cook until tender. Remove from heat.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. When the water begins to boil, add the spaghetti and stir. Cook the pasta for 6–8 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Place the zucchini mixture back over medium heat. Add the pasta, 1 cup of pasta water, and egg yolks to the zucchini mixture and stir continuously. When a creamy sauce begins to form, add the Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, squash blossoms, lemon zest and ¼ cup chopped chives. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the pasta evenly into 6 bowls and top each with a sunny side up quail egg, the reserved chives, and more Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

Tomato Gazpacho Recipe

Enjoy your own garden-fresh tomatoes with this lovely cool soup created by Bistro’s Executive Chef. Perfect for lunch with some crusty bread and olive oil, or as an elegant appetizer before dinner.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Pair this refreshing Spanish soup with an equally refreshing wine, such as our Biltmore Estate Albariño or Sauvignon Blanc.

Arugula Salad with Shaved Parm and Sweet Potato Skins
Savor this elevated spring salad by Chef Vivian Howard!

Tomato Gazpacho

Total time: 30 minutes


  • Gazpacho Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 2 red peppers – diced
  • 3/4 cup red onions – diced
  • 3/4 cup cucumber – peeled seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup celery – diced
  • 1/3 cup fennel – diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chipotle Crème Fraiche Ingredients
  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime (reserve zest for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotle peppers – finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Soup: Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. With a small knife, remove each tomato core and cut a small X into the bottom of each tomato. Put water and ice in a large bowl; set aside. When the salted water comes to a boil, carefully drop tomatoes into the pot and blanch for 30 seconds. Remove tomatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water. Allow a few minutes to chill. Once chilled, remove tomatoes from ice water and peel off outer skin. Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Discard skins and seeds. Place tomatoes and all remaining gazpacho ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. For best results, store gazpacho in refrigerator overnight before serving.
  2. Chipotle Crème Fraiche: Place crème fraiche, lime juice, and chipotle peppers in a small mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serving Suggestion: Place approximately 1 cup of chilled gazpacho in each bowl. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche, some of the reserved lime zest, and a few cilantro leaves.

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.


  • 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


  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!


  • 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


  • 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!


  • 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


  • 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!


  • 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


  • 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.


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


  • 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.

Vanderbilt-Inspired Picnic Recipes & Tips

A picnic while visiting Biltmore is a great way to enjoy the pastoral views of the historic estate’s sprawling gardens and grounds, similar to the Vanderbilts and their guests over a century ago.

Make the most of your next picnic with these expert tips plus estate chef recipes for a Vanderbilt-inspired picnic complete with Biltmore wine pairings.

Pauline Dresser, Edith Vanderbilt’s sister, attending a picnic in Langrolay-sur-Rance, France, 1895.

Picnicking with the Vanderbilts

During the Victorian era, picnics were often elaborate, and creating a suitably “rustic” ambiance might require more effort than a formal banquet. Hampers full of special delicacies were carried to remote outdoor locations along with a bewildering array of china and glassware, chairs, cushions, ground covers, tents, sunshades, games, and amusements—plus all the children, pets, and any guests who happened to be visiting.

Picnic Island in the Lagoon on Biltmore Estate, circa 1900.

On Biltmore Estate, the Vanderbilt family enjoyed picnics at a special location known as “Picnic Island,” which you can see situated in the Lagoon. At Edith Vanderbilt’s request, a swinging bridge (no longer there) was added for easy access to Picnic Island and estate rangers ensured there was no poison ivy growing there—a task modern picnickers know all too well!

We also know that Mrs. Vanderbilt planned a picnic in May of 1915 on nearby Busbee Mountain, and we have multiple picnic baskets, metal serveware and food canisters included, in our archival collection.

Be sure to pack Biltmore Wines for your next picnic!

Try these modern-day expert picnic tips:

Thank goodness today’s picnics are much simpler! By keeping everything quick and easy, you can enjoy the entire experience from start to finish—even without chairs and fine china. Here are a few tips from our estate experts.

  • Choose a location that offers a scenic view to take in nature’s beauty for your next picnic at Biltmore!
  • Slice a loaf of fresh bread and your favorite cheese into wedges (eliminates the need for utensils), then pair it with wine. Consider our refreshing Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheeses or our Cabernet Sauvignon with savory smoked Gouda.
  • Bring along finger-friendly foods such as olives, nuts, and fresh veggies or fruit for a little extra texture.
  • Make a variety of sandwiches the night before. That way, you can be ready to picnic the next day with no prep. Sandwiches also mean you don’t have to bring many separate items—everything’s already combined into a tasty package.
  • Set the scene with a few special touches, such as fresh flowers or a favorite quilt as a picnic cloth.
  • A sparkling wine like our Biltmore Estate Pas de Deux Sparkling makes any occasion special—and won’t leave a stain if spilled on cloth.
  • Grab-and-go snacks or light bites from an estate restaurant or shop are also a great option for a memorable picnic at Biltmore without the fuss.

(Please note: Guests with estate admission, an overnight stay, or an Annual Pass are permitted to picnic on Biltmore Estate. If picnicking on the estate, outside food is only permitted in designated areas.  Outside alcohol and tailgating—including the use of tents, grills, multiple camping chairs/tables, and large coolers—are not permitted anywhere on estate grounds.)

couple enjoys a picnic
A picnic is a picturesque way to enjoy the great outdoors throughout the seasons on Biltmore Estate. 📸 by @camrynglackin

Try these Biltmore-inspired picnic recipes:

Whether you are taking in the views at Biltmore or relaxing at your local park, here are a few recipes and wine pairings our estate chefs recommend for enjoying your next picnic Vanderbilt-style.

Holiday Bacon Deviled Eggs

Pair with Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs

Serves 24


  • 12 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Slice eggs in half lengthwise; remove yolks and set whites aside.
  • In a small bowl, mash yolks. Stir in the mayonnaise, bacon, cheese, mustard and pepper.
  • Pipe into egg whites.
  • Refrigerate or keep cool until serving.

Harvest Turkey Sandwich with Blackberry-Whole Grain Mustard

Pair with Biltmore Pinot Noir

Yields one sandwich.


  • 2 slices of focaccia bread, toasted
  • Small handful of fresh baby arugula
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon
  • 2 oz of sliced brie
  • 5 oz of smoked turkey, thinly sliced
  • Blackberry-Whole Grain Mustard*

Blackberry-Whole Grain Mustard Ingredients:

  • 3 fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 oz Whole Grained Mustard


  • Prepare the mustard by mashing the berries and mix with mustard and set aside.
  • Toast the focaccia, spread the mustard on the top portion of the bread after it is toasted, place the turkey on the bottom, then the sliced brie and add the bacon and arugula and lastly place the top of the focaccia and serve.

Herb Marinated Grilled Vegetables

Pair with Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc

Yields about 6 servings


  • 2 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 portabella mushrooms, remove gills
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, cut in 6 pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus, remove bottom two inches and discard
  • 1 red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 vine-ripe tomato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 oz olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place oil, garlic, and herbs in a large mixing bowl and stir together. Add all remaining vegetables to bowl except portabellas. Toss vegetables with oil mixture.
  • On a separate plate, rub the portabella with some of the oil mixture on both sides of it.
  • Let vegetables marinate for 10–15 minutes at room temperature. Drain any excess oil off of the vegetables and grill each piece for 1–2 minutes on each side. If the grill flares up, remove more oil from the vegetables. Place vegetables on a platter. Can be served hot or chilled.

Smoked Mozzarella and Gemelli Salad

Pair with Biltmore Pinot Grigio

Yields 8-10 servings


  • 3/4 pound Smoked Mozzarella, large diced
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese – grated
  • 1 pound Gemelli pasta
  • 1/2 cup spinach, julienne
  • 1 large red bell peppers, julienne
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, small dice
  • 1 tablespoon +2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until just tender to the bite. Drain and shock in ice water. Drain again thoroughly and place in large mixing bowl. Add smoked mozzarella, parmesan, spinach, red peppers, red onion, and parsley.
  • In a separate bowl, assemble dressing by adding mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, red wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice, Tabasco, black pepper, and salt. Whisk together.
  • Add dressing to pasta mix and toss together gently, using a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until needed.

Mudslide Cookies

Pair with Biltmore Estate Blanc de Noir

Yields 1 dozen large cookies or 4 dozen small cookies


  • 8 oz. chocolate, unsweetened
  • 1 pound, 8 oz. chocolate, bittersweet
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 8 each eggs
  • 1 pound, 8 oz. sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. cake flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound, 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. walnuts


  • Melt the chocolates and butter together. Beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts. Dough will firm as it sits.
  • Scoop and bake at 325 F for 10–14 minutes.