Christmas at Biltmore Wine 2012

I’m struggling with this post, usually the words just pour out, but not today. I had intendedChristmas at Biltmore 2012 to talk about Christmas and my trip to Colonial Williamsburg last week but in light of recent events the words on my screen just look trivial.

Maybe what we need is to return to simpler times. A time when we’re not rushing around like crazy people, acting like maniacs just to get our hands on the latest gadget, gizmo or toy fad. A time when gifts were homemade and cherished because you didn’t have very much to call your own. I’m not saying life was great before electricity, motorized cars and all the current comforts of home, I for one find indoor plumbing a necessity. But Christmas meant something more than just a glorified commercial event and a collection of “I want, I want, I want”. While I won’t get into the religious aspect of the holiday, it was a time for remembering those we love, to show kindness and gratitude. Who doesn’t need a little a more of those attitudes in our lives, I know I could show and use a little more in mine.

There are two places in the US you have to visit at Christmas time.  Colonial Williamsburg is one and the Biltmore Estate is the other. Like I mentioned earlier my husband and I spent last week in Colonial Williamsburg. If you never been there, I urge you to and book your trip for next Christmas. Summers are HOT and very, very crowded. I’ll cover Virginia wines in another post as this post is all about the Biltmore Estate and Christmas at Biltmore Wine.

Tropical mango and pineapple aromas. Sweet with low acidity, flavors of peach, pear, more tropical fruit and a creamy finish.
Varietal – Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Muscat Orange
Region – California
pH – 3.18
TA – 0.64
RS – 2.3%
Alcohol – 12.5%
SRP – $12.99
Each year the estate holds a design contest for the Christmas at Biltmore wine. 2012 label artist is Marcus C. Thomas of Weaverville, North   Carolina. Nicely done Marcus.

Christmas at Biltmore has always been a treasured tradition. George Vanderbilt opened his new home to family and friends on Christmas Eve in 1895. The first Christmas tree was placed in the Banquet Hall which has remained the focal point for Christmas celebrations since. I can just see and smell the fresh garland bulging with red and green bulbs. Red bows hung about gilded mirrors reflecting light off the fireplace while George and friends sipped wine or brandy by the fire.

George and his wife Edith continued to retreat to the Estate until his sudden death in 1914. Edith stayed on at the Estate and made the decision to sell 80,000 acres of PisgahForest, later becoming America’s first national forest. The decision to sell, not only allowed the Estate to remain financially stable but also ensured the land would be preserved and untouched for future generations. This desire to promote sustainability coupled with George’s love of wines marries well with the decision to add the vineyards.

The estate is still privately owned by the Vanderbilt descendents and I often wonder if Anderson Cooper has ever spent Christmas there? I know I would love to sit by the massive fire place and reflect on the beautiful massive Christmas tree.

Wishing all of you a safe and merry Christmas and hoping we can all be a little kinder to each other. Not just for Christmas but let’s make it a New Year’s Resolution to continue through the year!

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About Kellie Stargaard

Wine blogger
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