Monday, June 4, 2012

The Biltmore Estate Wine Company

The Biltmore Estate is George Vanderbilt’s extraordinary home and beautiful gardens, nestled on 8,000 acres in the mountains of Asheville, NC. The celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt modeled the house on three châteaux built in 16th-century France. It would feature 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement alone would house a swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, bowling alley, servants' quarters, kitchens, and more. The grounds of the estate were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the creator of New York's Central Park and the father of American landscape architecture. He not only developed acres of gardens and parkland, but in his efforts to protect the environment and reclaim over-farmed land, Olmsted established America's first managed forest.

The most visited winery in the United States isn't located in Napa Valley. It's at Biltmore in the mountains of North Carolina, where approximately 1 million visitors stop by to sample award-winning estate wines each year. The first vineyards at Biltmore were established in 1971 in an area below Biltmore House. French-American hybrids were planted initially, with vinifera plantings following in a few years. Inspired after several years of experimenting, William A.V. Cecil, then president and owner of Biltmore, decided that a winery was the natural outcome of ongoing research and a logical extension of his grandfather's intention that the estate be self-supporting.

The estate vineyard is in a valley near the French Broad River and enjoys a favorable climate for grape cultivation. Varieties include Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. All grapes are picked by hand, with a harvest averaging 250 tons of grapes annually.

The Biltmore Estate Wine Company vinifies red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines.

Information and images in this post regarding the Biltmore Estate and the winery was gathered from The Biltmore website.  Please like Biltmore on Facebook, follow on Twitter,  and view on YouTube

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  1. Did you know they just announced a new marathon that is entirely on the estate? Perfect way for you to mesh your two loves! I keep hearing good things about Virginia wines.

    1. A marathon at Biltmore sounds amazing! Such beautiful country around there.