VOLUME 9, ISSUE 47
September 14, 2014
This winery is located on an 8,000-acre property in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Created by George W. Vanderbilt in 1895, George's grandson, William A.V. Cecil began a winemaking program on the estate nearly a decade later.
The first vines on the property were French-American hybrids followed in a few years by vinifera vines. Veteran winemaker and vineyardist Philippe Jourdain was hired as a consultant and eventually became the full-time winemaker for Biltmore. Today, Biltmore offers more than 50 different wines and produces 2 million bottles a year. All current wine production is under the direction of Bernard Delille, a former assistant to Philippe, and Sharon Fenchak, who came to Biltmore in 1999. The vineyard director is Dennis Wynne.
The winemakers travel to the West Coast several times a year to visit vineyards and select fruit for their wines. The wines won three Best of Class awards at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition for the Blanc de Blanc Sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Century Red wines.
The winery is housed in the original dairy barn in the heart of the estate's new Antler Hill Village. There are multiple options for touring and tasting, places to eat, and lodging at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. The winery hosts more than a million visitors a year.
The wines enjoy national distribution. The offerings include a Russian River Valley Reserve Pinot Noir.
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