The Story Behind Biltmore’s Winery
Written By Sharon Fenchak
Wine & Food
You may be surprised to learn that our winery is housed in a converted dairy barn. This is no ordinary dairy barn, however. It was originally designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the architect for Biltmore House. After the dairy barn was no longer in use, William A.V. Cecil, the grandson of Biltmore’s original owner George W. Vanderbilt, decided that a winery would be the natural outcome of ongoing research and a logical extension of his grandfather’s intention that the estate be self-supporting. In 1985, the Winery officially opened to the public.
Biltmore’s vineyard is located in a valley near the French Broad River on the west side of the estate. The first vines were planted in 1971. Varieties grown include Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. All grapes are picked by hand, with each harvest averaging 250 tons of grapes annually.