Wine Dine and Play: August 2014

Biltmore Estate Winery

Asheville, North Carolina
Vineyards in Tobacco Country
“We have a river. We have a chateau. We have the land. We have no vineyard. Every French chateau has a vineyard.”
– William A.V. Cecil

When one thinks about drinking wine from America, you think California, Washington State, or Oregon, though what few people do know, even those living in the states, is that wine is grown and produced all over the place, in all 50 states. When you think about wine growing in Europe the first places that come to mind are France, Italy, and Germany, but what about Austria, Croatia, Poland, Serbia, Greece, and so on. The same applies here with New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina. There are over 120 wineries in North Carolina, but the focus for this article and review will be in Asheville, at the Biltmore Estate Winery, one of the more famous from this state. P.S., ignore the Georgia Wineries, though I love Georgia, their wine tastes like shit.

Scroll down to read the main review

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Review basics:
Wine, Dine, & Play’s Rating
84/100 on the Riesling and chardonnay
86/100 on the chardonnay
90/100 on the cabernet
Wines Produced
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Malbec, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Zinfandel, Tempranillo
White: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Rose,
Dessert: Malvasia, Moscato

Grape Blends
Red: Sangiovese and Merlot
White: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Muscat
Current Vintage for 2014
Reds: 2010
Whites: 2013
Region Map

North Carolina
Barrel Types
New American oak
Barrel Aging
1 year
Price chart:
$ -                    Under $50.00 USD
$$ -                  Over   $50.00 USD
$$$ -                Over $100.00 USD
$$$$ -              Over $200.00 USD
$$$$$-             Over $400.00 USD
Bottle prices:
Currencies chosen reflect the world’s major wine producers and buyers

Wine Selction:
Price Chart :
Biltmore Reserve Riesling North Carolina 2013 (750 ml)

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Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs 2009 (750 ml) 

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Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay 2013 (750 ml)

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Cost of wine tasting in USD (p/p):
Signature Flight:
Free with estate admission costs
Premier flight:
Signature flight cost + $3.00 per glass or $8.00 for three glasses of reserve

Scroll down below to the main review to read the tasting notes

From vineyards home page:
Founded on a love of the land – and a passion for entertaining – the Vanderbilt legacy lives on in shades of red, white, and rosé. Visit our historic winery on Biltmore’s 8,000-acre estate nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. As America’s most-visited winery, we have a lot to offer. Discover our agricultural story with a tour of our historic cellars. Let our hosts guide you through a tasting of our robust reds, refreshing rosés, crisp whites, and elegant sparkling’s. On the other hand, simply relax with some tapas and vino at our Wine Bar.
George Vanderbilt’s grandson, William Cecil, envisions the idea of an estate winery that honors the agricultural heritage of his grandfather’s estate. Despite a variety of obstacles, he plants French-American hybrid vines below Biltmore House, and his inaugural vintage is bottled in the Conservatory basement. A guided tour of the Winery and complimentary wine tasting are included with Biltmore estate admission, and we offer a variety of additional add-on winery experiences.

Main review:
The Biltmore Estate is a thing of beauty within itself, and it is the main reason why people come to vacation in Asheville, North Carolina. When I first came to the estate, I had no idea that there was a winery here, or later to find out that there were over one hundred in the entire state. To me this area was known for the past five hundred years for growing tobacco not grapes. The Biltmore winery offers many varieties of wines, some are grown in California, then shipped to North Carolina where the process of fermentation will begin. The winery and a tour of the winery is free of charge as long as you have a pass to enter the estate. I usually recommend a two-day pass, because the first day is dedicated to the Biltmore House, and the restaurants on the property. When you arrive at the winery complex, all tours are free, they usually last about thirty minutes, where they not only take you through the making area and tell you the process, but introduce you to more of the history of the Vanderbilt and Cecil heritage when it relates to their vision of wine.

During the tour, they also have the family car used on the property to not only go from the main house to the vineyard but to be used all over the area and that was a 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model “C-six”. From there you enter the winery building, which used to originally be the Biltmore Dairy Barn, as during prohibition the making of alcohol was illegal, so most farms switched to milk production during that time. At the end of the tour, you enter into the tasting room where you receive a complimentary tasting of the basic Biltmore wines. When you leave the tasting room, you exit into an extremely large gift shop where not only all of the wine is sold, but everything and anything about Biltmore. During the Christmas season, it is spectacular inside the shop, as well as the property and how it is decorated. Attached to the gift shop and near the main tasting room is the Reserve Tasting Room and bar, where for an extra cost, you get to taste the high end wines produced at Biltmore. With over twenty wines available for tasting, I have focused this review on my three favorites. The Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay, Blanc de Blancs sparkling, and the Reserve Riesling.

This or these wines remind me of:
With the wide variety of wines available at Biltmore, based on the three that are my favorites, with the tasting notes listed below, I would compare these wines, and the overall experience of the tasting and tour at the Biltmore winery to Constantia Uitsig in South Africa and Cosentino Winery in Napa, California.
 Bouquet & Palette:

Wine & Grape:
Palette Experience:
subtle floral aromas, peach and apricot hints
Smooth and balanced with crisp fruit flavors, and hints of oak
Careful aging produces a crisp sparkling wine with a delightful light pink hue
Flavors of cherries and strawberries
This classic Riesling is crisp and semi-sweet
Delicate fruit flavors, an aromatic nose and a hint of spice

Château Owner:
William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil
William Cecil Vanderbilt Jr

Bernard Delille
                                                                                                         Sharon Fenchak

Vineyard &Tasting Room address:  
1 Approach Rd
Asheville, NC 28803

Latitude: 35.540928
Longitude: -82.553013,-82.5778761,16z/data=!4m6!1m3!3m2!1s0x0:0x9255056f32ccd675!2sBiltmore+Estate!3m1!1s0x0:0x6d495969b7fc176b?hl=en            

 Contact Information:

(800) 411-3812
Social media:

Facebook Link      

Explore Biltmore wines

Review by:
Chef Sean Overpeck (CFE)

Chef Sean cooks for soldiers in Afghanistan, 2012:

 “I like cooking with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.”
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