Biltmore’s original field-to-table program began in 1895 with George Vanderbilt’s vision of creating a self-sufficient estate modeled after Europe’s grand country homes. More than a century later, the vision is still alive with a thriving field-to-table program that supports Asheville’s new reputation as a culinary hot-spot.
Working the Land in Good Taste
While it’s not visible to estate guests, the backbone of the field-to-table program is the estate’s production garden. Tucked away on the west side of the estate, away from guest traffic, this farm supplies estate restaurants with fresh herbs, seasonal fruits and berries, and a variety of vegetables. Biltmore chefs count on a daily delivery of seasonal produce by 11 a.m. on the day of harvest. This means Biltmore guests have the unique pleasure of enjoying fresh, locally produced meals showcasing seasonal ingredients.
Also located on the west side is the Winery’s approximately 50-acre vineyard. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes thrive in Western North Carolina’s temperate climate and dot the rolling hills. These grapes are used to produce Biltmore Winery’s award-winning wines under the guidance of winemakers Bernard Delille and Sharon Fenchak.
Raising Beef and Lamb on the Estate
In Vanderbilt’s day, the estate’s rolling pastures provided beauty and a place for livestock to graze. Today, history repeats itself as 200 head of Angus cattle and a flock of 150 South African White Dorper Sheep roam across the fields. Biltmore prides itself on humanely raising the animals on lush pastures with natural grains and abstaining from growth hormones and antibiotics. A small portion of the herd and flock is culled each year so estate restaurants can serve premium cuts of meat.
Supporting Community Agriculture
While Biltmore prides itself on serving estate-raised ingredients, sometimes demand exceeds production. In an effort to support the community and serve only the best, Biltmore works with community farmers and food producers to source local ingredients and meat. The estate’s “buy local” program supports the local economy, reduces the estate’s carbon footprint, and literally provides a taste of Western North Carolina to estate guests.
Located in Asheville, N.C., Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore includes Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; four-star The Inn on Biltmore Estate; the new Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.