There's a reason the wines produced at Biltmore Winery have won over 300 medals in competitions worldwide. According to wine experts, the soft, mist-laden air along the French Broad River creates a perfect environment for growing fine grapes.
Biltmore was always envisioned by George Vanderbilt as an estate that was self-supporting through agriculture and other endeavors. In the last half of the twentieth century, this concept was extended to include wine-making.
In 1971, the first grapes were planted near Biltmore Mansion, and today, the Biltmore Estate Winery has 94 acres of lush vineyards along the French Broad River. Planted with fine European varietals, these vineyards produce over 250 tons of grapes that are carefully hand-picked each year. From this harvest, the wine artisans of Biltmore Winery craft fine wines, including Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. This wine is bottled under three labels; Biltmore, Century and Biltmore Estate.
Self Guided Biltmore Winery Tour
Your self-guided tour of the winery starts on a glass walled balcony that looks down into the ultra modern fermentation room filled with huge stainless steel vats. Another window offers a view into the hi-tech bottling room.
The tour leads into the cellars. You might have visions of wandering among rack after rack of oak casks where the vineyard's vintages are slowly aging. Alas, the cellar corridors take you past blocked off hallways and a gated brick room filled with aging bottles of select vintages known as a "wine library", before arriving in the tasting room.
If the cellar is a disappointment, the tasting room is a delight. This large space could accommodate a hundred or more customers, but don't worry about them running dry. Attentive wine stewards keep busy pouring and the samples are generous.
Here most of the vintages produced at the winery are available for tasting, and the very knowledgeable tasting staff offer descriptions, and insight into Biltmore's wine-making process. Be sure to ask your wine steward for their personal favorites, we found a great new wine that way!
There are also regular culinary demonstrations that showcase all sorts of ways that fine food can be prepared and enjoyed with wine. We were there for a program that demonstrated the heady romance of flavors that occurs between full bodied red wines and dark gourmet chocolate. . . . Yum!
The Wine Shop
Wine Shop. Once you have discovered your favorite wines, you'll enter the well-stocked wine shop which offers a dazzling selection of wines. In addition to the dozens of varieties of wine produced here, the shop also features a wide array of gourmet foods, gifts, wine books, and just about everything that has anything to do with wine.
Guided Winery Tours If you want to see the working levels of the fermentation room and the cellar full of oak barrels of aging wine, you'll want to sign up to take the "Behind the Scenes Biltmore Winery Tour". The tour also offers a special guided wine tasting and, of course, a chance to shop in the Winery Store.
Biltmore Estate Links:
Biltmore Guided and Specialty Tours
Biltmore Outdoor Adventures and River Bend Farm
Tips For Visiting Biltmore Estate
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