Don’t we all adore spring—the warm sunshine, the bright blooms, the trees bursting into emerald leaf? At Biltmore Estate, winemaker Sharon Fenchak daydreams of spring too, but her mus-ings turn toward a wine to usher in the season. Every year, Fenchak crafts a special blend for spring, and this year her efforts resulted in Révant, a crisp, versatile, off-dry white (a marriage of chardonnay, viognier, pinot grigio, riesling, semillon, and sauvignon blanc), whose name just happens to mean “daydreaming” in French.
“Révant is a blend of aromatic whites with just a touch of sweetness,” Fenchak says. “On the nose and palate are orange blossom and citrus with hints of peach, apricot, and a touch of honey.” Even the label is captivating, with its enhanced photograph of an ornate detail from one of the hand-carved stone friezes on the façade of Biltmore House.
On the nose and palate are orange blossom and citrus with hints of peach, apricot, and a touch of honey.
Opened in 1985 and now located in the Antler Hill Village section of the 8,000-acre estate, Biltmore Winery produces 150,000 cases a year. Six different tiers of wines flow from the American Series, made in North Carolina from grapes sourced in California and Washington State, and the high-end Antler Hill Collection boasts several national award-winners. In-between, the Biltmore Reserve wines are all made with grapes from vineyards in North Carolina, including those grown on the estate. The winery’s flagship, Biltmore Reserve Chardonnay, falls in this category.
In keeping with estate founder George Vanderbilt’s commitment to preservation and stewardship of the land, the winery staff is constantly searching for new ways to practice sustainability. Rows of grass between the vines prevent eroding soil from reaching local waterways. Water from nearby Long Valley Lake is used to irrigate the vineyards, and a bank of 7,000 solar panels not far from the winery generate energy for the estate. Crushed grape stems and skins are not wasted; they are used for mulch and compost on the grounds. Spent wine barrels become planters, and corks are recycled in partnership with Cork ReHarvest, part of the nonprofit Cork Forest Conservation Alliance.
Designed to be enjoyed across the seasons, Révant appeals to many different palates. Try the straw-colored charmer with sushi, fish tacos, lox and bagels, or a simple round of Brie. “This wine is nicely balanced with acidity and sweetness, so it pairs beautifully with a wide range of dishes and occasions,” says Fenchak. “It’s perfect to serve at or take to your summer outdoor gatherings, but it’s also a nice choice to enjoy any time of year.”
Biltmore Winery, 1 Lodge St, Asheville, North Carolina. Open daily, 11am–7pm. Access to winery and tasting are free with Biltmore Estate admission, which starts at $64. (800) 411-3812, biltmore.com.