Something as simple as a glass of wine or a summer squash cooked to perfection can transform a culinary experience into an art form. Fresh ingredients dot the hillsides of Biltmore’s fields and vineyards, but it takes passionate people to bring them to the table.
“What we taste in the vineyard, you’re actually able to taste in the bottle,” says Sharon Fenchak, one of Biltmore’s winemakers.
Whether she’s working with grapes from Biltmore’s own vineyard or beyond, she’s always searching for new ways to produce wine that’s true to varietal character. This sense of purpose imbues each bottle with simple flavors that feel lush on the palate.
Pairing local wine with ingredients that are fresh from the fields is a feast for the senses. Paul Klaassen is a former executive chef at the Bistro, a seasonal American restaurant on the Biltmore grounds. He says Biltmore seeks culinary inspiration from the ingredients grown on the property.
“I like to just take the freshest and nicest ingredients that I can find in season and not over complicate it,” he says. “I like simple preparations that just let all the beautiful ingredients speak for themselves.”
Though the grounds are sweeping and opulent, Biltmore’s culinary and wine programs are focused on simplicity. Each meal is driven by a sense of pride that resonates with Asheville’s culinary ethos.
“It’s such an eclectic food town,” says Paul. “It’s great to be able to have guests come in and see the house and then sit down at the end of the day for a meal.”
When Sharon considers the bounty that surrounds her she says, “Being true to the land is very important to Biltmore and what we do.”