Entrance to the Winery in Antler Village.
Behind-the-Scenes Guided Winery Tour
Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting
1913 Stevens-Duryea Model “C-Six”
A guided tour and tasting at the Biltmore Winery is included in your admission ticket to the estate. Whether you're interested in tasting wine, learning more about the art and science of winemaking, or just relaxing with some delicious food and wine in a beautiful setting during your estate visit, don't miss the Winery! Entrance to the Biltmore Winery is in Antler Hill Village. It's also adjacent to the Inn at Biltmore Estate.
From Antler Hill Village, begin your winery experience by taking a stroll through the historic cellars to an impressive tasting room where gracious wine hosts guide you through a complimentary wine tasting of robust reds, refreshing rosés, and crisp whites. Even grape juice is available so everyone can enjoy.
Learn a new recipe during a culinary demonstration. Discover gourmet foods, cooking accessories, and other treats for the palate in the Wine Shop.
Tucked in the back of the Wine Shop you'll find the Premium Tasting Counter, where you may sample reserve and sparkling wines for a nominal cost.
Winery Behind-the-Scenes Guided Walking Tour
Guests are guided on a walking tour of the Winery production areas. See and learn the difference between making red wine and white wine, as well as the bottling process. The tour ends in the Champagne finishing room where guests learn how true French style sparkling wines are made. Please arrive at the Winery Portal in Antler Hill Village 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled program time. Tickets must be purchased prior to event. This 45-minute tour is offered daily at 4:00 PM.
Red Wine and Chocolate
Be guided through a tasting of red wines paired with chocolate truffles. Learn about the red wine making process and why chocolate and red wine are considered a natural pairing. Tickets ($15/person) must be purchased prior to scheduled event. The 45-minute program is offered daily at 3:00 PM.
Dining at the Winery
Enjoy a wonderful meal at the Bistro at the Winery. Although the dishes reflect the flavors of our Blue Ridge Mountain retreat, you could be forgiven for thinking you've stepped into a café somewhere in Provence or Tuscany. Gather around the open kitchen inside the Bistro and watch chefs at work, creating fresh dishes for you with food grown right on the estate. Or, if you're in the mood for dining al fresco, ease into one of the outdoor tables at the Arbor Grill and order up savory appetizers, gourmet sandwiches, and entrees made with locally-grown ingredients. Note: Arbor Grill is weather dependent.
Discover a rare 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model “C-Six” seven-passenger touring car on display at the Winery. This car is the only one purchased by George Vanderbilt that remains in The Biltmore Company’s collection, and is believed to be one of only 10 known existing in the world today.
There's always something special going on at the winery. Year-round activities include barrel tastings, food and wine pairing, and cooking demonstrations.
More About the Biltmore Winery History
The most visited winery in the United States isnt located in Napa Valley. Its at Biltmore Estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where fine food and wine paired with elegant entertaining have been traditions since the turn of the 19th century.
The genesis for a winery at Biltmore actually began more than 75 years prior to the estate’s first vineyard plantings in 1971, with the property’s creator, George W. Vanderbilt (1862-1914). An avid world traveler, George was also a thoughtful collector of books, museum-quality art, antiques and fine wines. During his forays abroad, Mr. Vanderbilt would often purchase cases of fine wine, bringing them back to his 250-room chateau to share with guests in his own home.
His wine purveyor, Alexander Morten, was also known for his excellent palate and was a worthy advisor and provisioner for the Vanderbilt lifestyle. Knowing that George Vanderbilt collected and enjoyed fine wines in his stately home – and served them to his family, friends and guests – was the underlying inspiration decades later for the planting of vineyards and the creation of Biltmore Winery. When William A.V. Cecil, George’s grandson, first claimed his heritage, he already had an estate winery in his sights. A winery, he felt, was a natural extension of Biltmore’s agricultural legacy and mission of self sustainability. It was also a fitting homage to his grandfather’s love of wine, and his legacy for gracious hospitality.
French-American hybrids were planted initially, with vinifera plantings following a few years later and when vineyard experiments indicated a wine operation was feasible, Cecil did just as his grandfather would have done—he sought the best possible help available. He traveled to France and hired a veteran winemaker as a consultant to help get his new enterprise going.
Biltmore’s first winemaker
Selected for the job was Philippe Jourdain of Provence, a winemaker of the European school who, as a sixth generation winemaster, had been involved in the winemaking business all of his life. Not only had Jourdain operated a family vineyard, he was also a respected teacher of viticulture and oenology, having taught at the Lycee Agricole in Carcassonne.
In 1979, two years after Jourdain began working with the estate, Biltmore sold its first bottle of wine. Pleased with the results, Cecil convinced Jourdain to become the estate’s first official winemaker. Under Jourdain’s guidance, Biltmore began the serious cultivation of vinifera grapes, the finer quality European varietals, and began phasing out the French-American hybrids it previously depended upon. The original hybrids have since been replaced entirely with the European varietals.
Although the hybrids have a greater yield—averaging six tons of grapes to the acre—Cecil wanted a better quality wine than the hybrids offered. Making the switch was not without its challenges, however, and it took the combined talents of Jourdain, Winemaker Bernard Delille and vineyard staff to cultivate the sensitive vinifera in the unique climate and soils of Western North Carolina.
Biltmore’s winemakers today
When Jourdain retired in 1995, Delille was the best candidate to become Biltmore’s next winemaster. Having been winemaker at the estate since 1986, Delille recognized the challenges and opportunities as Biltmore Estate Wine Company began its next phase of maturity. Delille holds a master’s degree from the Faculty of Science in Lyon, France, and served his internship in the Bordeaux region. He received his French National Diploma of Winemaker in Dijon, Burgundy, and was winemaker in the Pyrenees Atlantiques region prior to coming to Biltmore.
While Delille and Jourdain come from different regions in France, their approach to the art of winemaking is much the same. Both were graced with the benefits of a French winemaking background to transform American grapes into Biltmore’s fine varietal wines.
A native of Pennsylvania, Winemaker Sharon Fenchak, who works closely with Delille, has been with Biltmore since 1999. In addition to wine production, Fenchak is involved with in-house research and development to help Biltmore lead the way in employing new grape-growing technology and testing grape-production methods. Before joining Biltmore, Fenchak was winemaker at Chestnut Mountain Winery in Braselton, Ga., where she oversaw the wine development process. Prior to that, she was employed as assistant winemaker at Habersham Winery in Baldwin, Ga. She holds a master's degree in food science from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's degree in food science from Penn State University.
In addition, Vineyard Manager Dennis Wynne experiments throughout the year with pruning methods, leaf removal, crop thinning and pesticide use. These projects, which vary according to the growing conditions of the particular season, help Wynne determine the most efficient and environmentally conscious grape growing methods. Wynne, who oversees Biltmore’s vineyards as well as partnership vineyards within North Carolina, has been with the company for 29 years and was awarded “Winegrower of Excellence” by the North Carolina Winegrower’s Association.